Eastern Sierra Climbing Private

The Eastern Sierra, also known as the Range of Light, is renowned for it's long, multi-pitch alpine climbing routes. Quality granite, stable weather and breathtaking views are all part of the adventure in this incredible range! Pick a route that suits your skill and fitness level with a private climb tailored for you!
Climber in Mount Emerson Gully in California
Climber on a private guided climbing trip Mount Emerson Ridge Pinnacle in California with Blackbird Guides
Mount Emerson in California


The Eastern Sierra is a wild range of granite towers spanning over 250 miles north to south.  These peaks hold incredible climbing, from simple day long missions, to complicated multi-pitch rock climbs.  Depending on the season they can be guarded with snowy slopes or be completely dry.  Approaches to gain the climbing routes also ranges widely, from easy, sub-two hour hikes to full day walks in to camp.



We can guide most routes in the Inyo National Forest, so reach out if you've got a route in mind that you don't see on our list.

Some of our favorite offerings are:

Temple Crag

Crystal Crag

Third Pillar of Dana

East Arete. Mount Humphreys

Southeast Face, Mount Emerson 

The Backbone, Ellery Ridge


Requisite Experience 

Climbing in the Eastern Sierra ranges from basic, introductory alpine climbing to committing, multi-pitch rock routes.   There are a ton of options for climbers with excellent fitness to gain experience in alpine terrain.  Experienced climbers who move well on 3rd class rock terrain, steep, firm snow and are accustomed to the challenge of climbing rugged terrain with a full pack will find a lifetime of excellent quality climbs to explore.  

Some routes are fairly committing, meaning that once you start the technical climbing, it's not easy to simply turn around if you're not up to the climb.  If you're unsure which climbs are right for you, email us and we'll make sure we pick a climb that falls within your physical fitness and technical skill level.  If this is your first time climbing with us, we'll review your experience and make sure we pick something within your limits.

The best way to approach these climbs is to reach out and start a conversation about what is best for you and your group.  Email Us! 

    Climber in Mount Emerson Gully in California
    Climber on a private guided climbing trip Mount Emerson Ridge Pinnacle in California with Blackbird Guides
    Mount Emerson in California
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Climber on a private guided climbing trip Mount Emerson Ridge Pinnacle in California with Blackbird Guides
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Mount Emerson in California


    Available Dates

    July 5-9, 2021
    June 9-13 Vardy/Fike
    July 23 Huetter
    Custom Date 1:1, Per Day
    Custom Dates, 2:1 Per Day
    August 22-25, 2021


    Ratio (Climbers: Guide)Per Day


    Technical Gear

    ❏ Climbing Helmet

    ❏ Headlamp - with fresh batteries

    ❏ Climbing harness (alpine or rock harness)

    ❏ Two Locking carabiners - Petzl Attache, etc

    ❏ Climbing boots - LaSportiva trango, Scarpa Charmoz or similar

    ❏ Gaiters - OR mini gaiters to keep snow out of boots

    ❏ Crampons (Steel crampons that are compatible with your boots)

    ❏ Ice Axe (55 to 65cm Axe)

    ❏ Trekking Poles - adjustable preferred



    ❏ Sun Hat

    ❏ Sun Glasses

    ❏ Warm Hat

    ❏ 2x Buffs or face masks (These are for warmth and wind protection and are

    required for Covid-19 face coverings)

    ❏ Long sleeve base layer top

    ❏ 1 to 2 fleece weight upper layers (I'm using a Patgonia R1 and Nano Air)

    ❏ Puffy - Mid Weight Down/synthetic, Patagonia Fitzroy or similar

    ❏ Waterproof Shell Jacket with Hood - Gore-Tex (or similar) - basic, lightweight shell, NOT


    ❏ Gloves-TWO pair

    ❏ one pair light/mid weight for warm temps

    ❏ one mid/heavy weight for cold

    ❏ Socks - TWO pair. Both mid-weight wool/synthetic

    ❏ Underwear - wool/synthetic

    ❏ Sports Bra - wool/synthetic

    ❏ Goggles (bring to gear check, we may choose to leave at the car depending on Weather


    ❏ Long johns (bring to gear check, we may choose to leave at the car depending on Weather



    Camping & Backpacking Gear

    ❏ Sleeping Bag (20F) - down preferred due to weight and pack-ability.

    ❏ Sleeping Pad - Inflatables are comfortable, but make sure it is insulated for sleeping on

    snow! Therm-a-rest NeoAir X-Therm or X-Lite are expensive, but excellent.

    ❏ Compression Stuff sack for sleeping bag

    ❏ Backpack - 50L (or the smallest bag that fits all of your gear and your share of the group

    gear). Black Diamond Speed 50 or similar work well for this.

    Other Essentials

    ❏ Sun Screen (SPF 30 minimum)

    ❏ Lip Balm (with SPF)


    Food and water

    ❏ Two freeze dried dinner meals (or meals that can be made with just hot water):

    I recommend Backpacker's Pantry Pad Thai, and Mountain House Pasta Primavera, but

    everyone has strong opinions on freeze dried meals. If you know you don’t like or do

    well with Freeze Dried, please let me know and I will forward some

    “just-add-water” options.

    ❏ Two Breakfasts:

    Grits with cheese, oatmeal, cold cereal with powdered milk, bagel and cream cheese,

    PB and J sandwich, mountain house freeze dried.

    Bring whatever sounds appealing for a midnight breakfast.

    ❏ Instant Coffee (if you’re a coffee drinker, now is a bad time to kick the habit!)

    ❏ Decaffeinated tea for evening hot drink

    ❏ Cup of 1⁄2 liter Nalgene Bottle (for hot drinks). I prefer the 1⁄2 liter Nalgene so that I can

    use it for water on the climb as well.

    ❏ Bowl

    To keep things light and compact, I use the freeze dried dinner bag for my breakfast

    bowl, but some people don’t like the remaining flavors. If that’s the case, bring a light

    bowl (lightweight tupperware works great)

    ❏ Spoon - choose a long handled spoon if you’re eating freeze dried food out of the bag.

    Normal spoons make it hard to reach the food and it gets messy.

    ❏ Snack Food - 3 days worth of snacks. I usually break this down as:

    ❏ Water - bring two liters capacity. I prefer using a 1⁄2 Liter Nalgene for hot drinks and a

    soft/collapsible 2L Hyrdrapack Bottle) Please bring at least one hard sided water


    ❏ Hand Sanitizer (Bring extra due to increased use for Covid-19)

    ❏ Toilet Paper


    ❏ First Aid/blister Kit

    ❏ Chemical hand warmers

    ❏ Hydration System (Camelback, etc). Please bring an additional hard sided water bottle if

    you choose to bring a hydration system.

    Know Before You Go


    Eastern Sierra, CA



    Technical Difficulty ⚫⚫⚫⚪⚪

    Generally routes in the Eastern Sierra require proficiency in a variety of skills including basic rope skills, experience with belaying, rappelling and technical climbing on 4th and 5th class rock. Depending on the route selected and the time of year, crampon and ice axe techniques may be required.  

    Physical Difficulty ⚫⚫⚫⚪⚪

    The difficulty of the approaches, climbing and descents on routes in the Eastern Sierra vary widely on objective and are often steep, rugged terrain with a heavy backpack.  You should be in excellent physical condition no matter which routes you choose for your private program!

    Trip Length

    You set the length of this trip!


    Email us to schedule custom dates for your program!


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