WHITE MOUNTAIN (11,398') CLASS 2
Location: 4 miles NNW of Sonora Pass
Drive: See Lost Cannon Peak, Route A, Drive. From the 3.7 mile point, go left. Follow this road 1.4 miles to its end at Silver Creek Meadows, where a large dirt road loop makes for plenty of primitive parking. A display board, "Wilderness Information" marks the start of the trail.
Climb: Follow the grassy track west past the sign "Closed to all Motor Vehicles." In a few hundred yards, pass a cabin and head directly cross-country, or following any faint tracks across the meadow, to its far western side, where one may pick up a faint use trail several yards to the right (north) of the creek. Follow this use trail as well as possible, with blazes (rectangular or boot-shaped carvings on the side of trees) helping to point out the way. The faint trail stays to the right of the main creek. Cross through a series of meadows, where the trail becomes very indistinct. Try staying to the right to avoid boggy sections. After about 2 miles, the trail becomes more obvious. Head west cross-country, keeping the summit in view, and climb up the long, steep, rubbly slopes to the White Mountain ridge. The highpoint seems to be atop the spur ridgeline that comes out furthest to the east.
WINTER SKI ASCENT: As the road is not plowed past Pickel Meadow, a long ski/hike up the driving approach will be necessary. Route A seems to be a route that ascends possible avalanche slopes. It might be preferable to continue to the pass (see Wells Peak, Route A, Climb) and backtrack to the summit. Also, see White Mountain, Notes, for another possible route.
TRIP STATS: Route A, 2,700 feet gain, 3.5 miles one way; winter ski ascent, 1,800 feet extra gain, 5.2 miles extra one way.
Notes: White Mountain can
be climbed along with Wells Peak for a long day. The ridgeline
proper, from the summit of White Mountain, toward the pass to
Silver King Creek, is best avoided as it gets very rough and brushy
with low-lying trees. It seems better to drop down to a small
lake 0.7 mile north of White Mountain, and then try to traverse
to the pass, from where Wells Peak, Route A, climbs cross-country.
This route will involve some class 2 terrain. The total stats
for both peaks this way will be 3,700 feet gain, 12 miles round
Another possible route for White Mountain is to gain the ridge to the southwest of Silver Creek Meadow. This leads gently west to Pk. 11,324' which is the southernmost point of the ridge leading north, over Pk. 11,345', to the summit of White Mountain. This doesn't seem to have any difficulties beyond class 2.