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Mount Muir via East Butress

Eastern Sierra + White Mountains Area, California

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Mount Muir via East Butress

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  • Heading toward East Butress.- Mount Muir via East Butress
  • Choss pile.- Mount Muir via East Butress
  • Looking down at the base of the climb.- Mount Muir via East Butress
  • Heading to Trail Camp.- Mount Muir via East Butress
  • Looking back toward Outpost Camp.- Mount Muir via East Butress
  • Mount Muir and Mount Whitney at sunrise.- Mount Muir via East Butress
  • Mount Muir.- Mount Muir via East Butress
  • Trail crest at sunset.- Mount Muir via East Butress
  • Trail Camp.- Mount Muir via East Butress
  • Heading toward Trail Camp.- Mount Muir via East Butress
  • The last water source at Trail Camp.- Mount Muir via East Butress
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Easy access to trail camp.
Cons: 
Route finding. Choss.
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Region:
Eastern Sierra + White Mountains Area, CA
Access: 
Hike-in
Climbing:
Trad climbing
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
No
Site characteristics: Drinking water: 
Unfrozen water
Number of days: 
2
Recommended Equipment:
Helmets, Harness / rope / anchors, Trad rack
Class / Rating: 
5.7
Highest point: 
14,012.00 ft (4,270.86 m)
Distance: 
6.00 mi (9.66 km)
Alpine climbing NCCS rating: 
Grade V
Year round: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
None
Permit required: 
Yes
Permit reservation URL: 
https://www.recreation.gov/wildernessAreaDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=72201
Permit self-issue on site: 
No
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Primary aspect: 
East facing
Total Distance: 
16.40 mi (26.39 km)
Total elevation gain: 
5,790.00 ft (1,764.79 m)
Trailhead Elevation: 
8,412.00 ft (2,563.98 m)
Typically multi-day: 
Yes
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

Mount Muir was named after John Muir, a famous geologist and founder of the Sierra Club. Being 0.95 miles from the famous Mount Whitney, most people probably don't even know that it's there. But the peak itself towers at 14,018 feet and can be easily acessed from the Trail Crest when you make your way to the summit of Mount Whitney. There isn't any sign that indicates which peak is Mount Muir from the trail, so make sure you study the map ahead of time. 

You'll want to follow the route toward Mount Whitney that begins at Whitney Portal. The East Butress Route starts from the Trail Camp where most people camp for the night before heading to the summit of Mount Whitney. This route has no maintained trail and requires quite a bit of route finding. You start by following the trail toward the 99 switchbacks from the camp; leave the trail to the right after you gain a little bit of altitude past the lake. There are a couple of boulder hills to pass before you reach the base of the route. There might be some snow fields in late summer, but these can be avoided. Once you reach the base of the mountain, the route finding begins. 

This route requires trad gear, rope, and a helmet. The rocks are pretty loose and easy to kick down, so make sure to be cautious when you step and avoid raining rocks on your belayer. 

After a long weave around the mountain and past the first tower nearing the summit, the climbing gets easier and the terrain mellows out to a scramble. The summit area is pretty small and generally windy. Enjoy the view before scrambling down toward the main trail, and follow the trail back toward 99 switchbacks to return to the camp. 

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(14 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(45 within a 30 mile radius)

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