Whitney Portal Area, Mushroom Tower, New Routes. This attractive formation is about one mile west of Whitney Portal Buttress. It is recognizable by a boulder on its summit. Approach it from the Mount Whitney trail by going up the drainage before (east of) the drainage leading to the Boy Scout Lakes and the east side of the Mount Whitney massif. A tree-covered ledge runs along the bottom of the formation. From the high point of a ‘hill’ above this ledge the route Sparky (III 5.8) wanders up the center of the formation for seven pitches. Eric Tipton and I climbed it in August 1995. Roper’s Vagueness. Previously unreported is a route (III 5.7 A2) Bruce Bindner and I did on this formation in June 1979. Starting from the right side of the tree-covered ledge climb a corner, then move left to another corner. Higher, a gully is reached. Go down and right a bit, then climb more corners up until one can walk off the right side of the formation. This climb does not go to the summit, and we climbed it mistakenly thinking we were doing the old Fred Beckey route called Wrinkled Lady.
Pat Brennan, unafilliated