Marx's idea can be applied to climbing in general: it's an easy --or maybe a lazy-- way to get to essential things in life. Need some focus for your fuzzy mind? Soloing easily brings things into focus. Feeling bland? A classic climb is an easy remedy to bring joy. Having trouble finding God in the city? Even profane men like us can find God out in the mountains.
I love soloing alpine because I can reflect and take in the fantastic vistas when I want to stop and also zoom at my own pace when I feel good. But I also like the camaraderie of climbing and having so many good climbing partners that I haven't been out alone in a while. So seeing a weather window in the forecast, I was very much anticipating this trip. As it turned out, I was the only one in the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek. There was one other car when I got back, maybe they went up the trail or hung around the campground. Such solitude, an amazing mountain to myself, was one of my greatest climbing experiences.
I'd never climbed the East Face of Whitney. It's so historic and classic, and easy and safe enough that I wanted to solo it. Because there would be enough time in the day, I would combine it with another route. Because of the proximity, East Buttress seemed like the best option. I would guess both of the routes have been soloed in winter; I'm not sure if they've been linked in winter but probably Peter Croft or some other beast Owens Valley climber has done it and probably added in some route on Russell as well.
For the rest of the report, see: http://pullharder.org/2012/02/11/winter-whitney-linkup/
Climbed Feb 10, 2012. East Buttress took 1:45, East Face took 1:30; the car-to-car time was 12:45.