I will be climbing Mt. Whitney with adventure blogger and creator of The Big Outside, Michael Lanza to benefit Big City Mountaineers, a charity focused on improving the lives of underserved youth through wilderness expeditions. Big City Mountaineers partners with community-based youth organizations and caring adult volunteers who act as mentors in the field to help young people realize their potential. Their curriculum improves integrity, self- esteem, responsibility, decision-making abilities and communication skills in close to 1,000 youth annually. Of the teens BCM serves, 71% are from single parent or guardian-led households, 83% are from families living below the poverty line, 80% have parents with no more than a high school education, and 62% have never traveled beyond their county of residence. More information can be found at www.bigcitymountaineers.org.
At 14,497 feet, Mount Whitney is the highest peak in the lower 48 states. It is also one of the most sought-after mountains in North America. During the winter and spring months the Mountaineers Route is full of snow. Crampon, ice axe, and rope travel skills including fixed line skills are required. In some conditions running belays are also employed. Over the four-day climb we will set up two expedition style camps with the highest located at the base of the spectacular East Face of Mt. Whitney. This 25-45 degree climb offers an excellent opportunity to learn and review skills applicable to climbs such as Mt. McKinley, peaks in South America, the Alps, Russia, Nepal, and other big snow climbs. This route offers a much less crowded way of reaching this very popular summit, and beautiful vistas are prevalent throughout.