Much of the rock at the Portal is white granite, with some smooth glacier polish, fields of knobs and swirls of intruded rock. The climbing here is on quality rock, although some rotten rock does exist.
One of the must do routes at the Portal is Bony Fingers (11a), located on the Whale crag, some of the best rock at the Portal is on Candlelight Buttress. The longest routes can be found on the Whitney Portal Buttress.
One of the newer routes on the Whitney Portal Buttress, Ghostrider is a modern route, with four pitches of crack climbing and four pitches of bolted knob climbing. The first four pitches of Ghostrider, including the 10c crux (face climbing) can be avoided by climbing the first three pitches of Satori.
The upper four pitches consist of beautiful knob face climbing with reasonably spaced bolts. After the 8th pitch you can continue to the top of the Portal Buttress by climbing the last three pitches of Satori or you can rappel back to the base of the route. Two 195 foot ropes are required for these raps.
See enlarged topo below.
To reach The Whitney Portal climbing area, turn west at the stop light in Lone Pine onto Whitney Portal Road. All approaches to the crags are made from the last 1 1/2 miles section of this road.
Many, if not most of the routes at the Portal were established ground-up and some are quite serious propositions. Please respect the first ascensionalists and the climbing community and do not add bolts to established routes.
Please also be aware that the Whitney Portal is home to California Black Bears and take the necessary precautions to protect your food and vehicle from them.
Route Information to the other Whitney Portal crags can be found in Alan Bartletts now out of print Rock Climbs of the Eastern Sierra. A new guide to the area is currently being compiled.