Mount Williamson is the second highest mountain in California, located roughly five miles north of Mount Whitney (14,494 ft.), the highest. Mount Williamson is located one mile east of the main crest of the Sierra Nevada, and is a massive mountain, dominating its neighboring mountains, and dominating the western view for fifty miles along U.S. Highway 395. Additional text submitted by Brent Harder: Mt. Williamson is the second highest peak in California, only second to Mt. Whitney. From Highway 395 in the Owens Valley it can be seen for 50 miles. There are times of the year when the area is restricted, so be sure to check with the Mt. Whitney Ranger District Office in Lone Pine. Because of this restriction, climbing is only open from December 15th to July 15th. By far the worst part of this climb is the 10 mile approach from Shepherd Pass Trailhead to Shepherd Pass. It is recommended to climb Mt. Tyndal and Mt. Williamson once in the Shepard Pass area, since you have exerted the approach effort already. The standard West Face Route starts on the southern portion of the West face. The climber will enter a large chute and climb either snow (preferably) or skree for aproximately 1000 vertical feet. A broken rocky cliff stops progress and the crux of the climb is the final challenge. It is fairly easy yet exposed class 3 rock climbing for about one pitch. A rope and a few nuts may be useful here for protection. Once this pitch is compleated, the summit ridge is an easy scramble to the South (main) Summit to the right (Southeast).
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