Pro:A helmet of some sort is required. You will want something to protect your head from rocks that may be dislodged by fellow climbers. The route can be busy, especially when the day climbers arrive. Rope, and any other specialized gear is not necessary for Summer. In Winter, you will need a full compliment of gear from crampons and ice axes to avalanche beacons and possibly a satellite phone. Its typically a 3 day, 2 night climb in winter.
Although I went with a good friend of mine who is in great shape, he was not able to make it above Upper Boy Scout Lake, so I did the Mountaineers Route solo (I know I know). There was a bit of ice on the class 3 section, so it was a bit dicey. But I did it OK and made it to the summit.
Day 1 - Whitney Portal to Upper Boy Scout Lake - 3.8 miles.
Day 2 - Upper Boy Scout Lake to Whitney Summit, all the way down to Whitney Portal - 9 miles.
Freemont Peak via the West Saddle
Instead of going all the way to the saddle between Fremont and Doyle, I decided to shorten the route and simply go up to the flat saddle, which is pretty high, right to the West of Fremont Peak. Just take the Inner basin trail to where it connects with the Weatherford Trail. And at this intersection, don't go left or right, simply go straight forward up the mountain, off trail. Just take the route of least resistance and slowly start to curve your route to the left, east. There are a number of game trails that you can follow to make the hiking easier. I started at 6:30am at Lockett Meadow, got to the inner basin at 7:30, Fremont Peak summit at 9:30 (three hours from Lockett Meadow), back to the inner basin at 11am, then back to Lockett Meadow at 11:50am. These times are with able photo/rest periods.
After passing this impressive peak for the past 30 years I finally decided to take the time and summit it. After driving around it, I found the closest approach on the North East side. Basically you take New River Rd. to 27th Ave. and head south for .7 miles. There is a turn off that you can park at.
For anyone who wants scree climbing practice, this is it. It is very steep and you do the traditional two steps up and one step slide back. It is a bit unnerving, but nothing too scary. If you want, you can go up via the light brush and bushwack to the right of the scree chute, but the scree chute is much more fun. Total time to get up to the summit was 1 hour.
Well, after a few previous failed attempts my friend and I made it up the scree chute to the summit. It was extremely windy all the way to Brown's Saddle and I thought that we wouldn't be able to make the ascent. But all of a sudden, the wind died away. As other people have stated, there were only two points were it got really threatening. But those points are enough to turn most people around. We got to the top, took some photos, signed the registry. Then we decided to go back down using the North drainage slope. This way was very lush and green. However it seemed to take forever to get to the base. Luckily the infestation of gypsy month on all the foliage hastened our descent. I don't know what is worse, risking a fatal fall going back down the chute or having a multitude of squirming caterpillars fall on your head after you have disturbed their nests. After reaching the North base of Brown's Peak we hiked NorthWest over two hills which brought us to below the Brown's Peak Trail, approximately 100 yards to the saddle. Here we picked up a poorly maintained trail that eventually brought us to the Four Peaks Trail. Next time I would still go up the scree chute but when I came down I would go back up the higher distance and meet up with the original Brown's Trail.
average hiking speed 0.51 mph
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.