The East Buttress on Mount Whitney is unique because it offers an aesthetic and very high quality rock route to the top of the tallest peak in the Lower 48. Throughout the years the neighboring East Face route on Whitney was the most well known on the peak and it has a long and rich history. In more recent years, with the advancement of climbing skills and equipment, the East Buttress has become the more popular of the two routes. Although the East Face is graded slightly lower (5.6) that the East Buttress (5.7-5.8), most climbers and guides would agree that they are very similar in difficulty.
on the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek Trail.
The climbing on the East Buttress is varied and continuously interesting and challenging. Many pitches involve both crack climbing and face climbing with sections of pure friction climbing, often at or near the crest of a sometimes narrow and exposed ridge. The quality of the rock is nearly perfect on solid, golden Sierra granite. Many climbers call this one of the best moderate routes in the range.
Thanks to AAI climber Michael Kaye for letting us publish his photos from his recent climb of the East Buttress with AAI guide Aidan Loehr.
Michael following a pitch on the narrow
crest about halfway up the route.
High on the East Buttress with Iceberg Lake (12,600') below.
Climber Michael Kaye with Mount Russell (14,088') behind.
Aidan and Michael enjoy a perfect day on the summit of Whitney.