East Ridge 3rd class

 
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Mt. Russell


High Sierra, California USA


Trip Report
Mt. Russell, East Ridge (October 2009)
Saturday December 12, 2009 11:54am
The East Ridge of Mt. Russell
The East Ridge of Mt. Russell
Credit: Sam Page

Sure, Mt. Whitney is the highest mountain in the contiguous United States, but after climbing it twice (or even twice in one day), one begins to look around for other challenges. What one sees when one looks around from the summit of Mt. Whitney is the precipitous southern wall of Mt. Russell. At 14,086 feet, several hundred feet lower than Mt. Whitney, Mt. Russell is sometimes dismissed as just another fourteener in the Sierras. But R. J. Secor's description of the peak can get one's attention: "This is the finest peak in the Mount Whitney region. It is high and beautiful, and none of its routes are easy". It got my attention. In early October, I recruited several people to join me for a Sunday climb of Mt. Russell's classic East Ridge.

Looking down the East Ridge toward Lake Tulainyo from the summit.
Looking down the East Ridge toward Lake Tulainyo from the summit.
Credit: Sam Page

As we approached the weekend, the weather forecasts got progressively worse. By Friday, the forecasts for the Sierras called for 50 mph winds with gusts up to 100 mph on Sunday. That was enough for most people in our party to cancel. But I had not been to the Sierras in over six years, so it was going to take a lot more than talk of 100 mph gusts to discourage me.

Read more about my tussle with Mt. Russell.

  Trip Report Views: 2,341
Sam Page
About the Author
Sam Page is a mountain climber from Orange County, CA.

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medusa

Trad climber
culver city
  Dec 12, 2009 - 03:14pm PT
North ridge of lone Pine peak is way better hands down! Did Russel via Fish Hook arete. Down climbing the east ridge.. It's all 3rd class. Boring! At best.. No matter the weather..
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Mt. Russell - East Ridge 3rd class - High Sierra, California USA. Click to Enlarge
The route as seen from the summit of Whitney.
Photo: Chris McNamara
Other Routes on Mt. Russell
Mt. Russell - Fishhook Arete 5.9 - High Sierra, California USA. Click for details.
Fishhook Arete, 5.9
Mt. Russell
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The route as seen from the summit of Whitney.
Mt. Russell - Mithral Dihedral 5.10b - High Sierra, California USA. Click for details.
Mithral Dihedral, 5.10b
Mt. Russell
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The route as seen from Mt. Whitney summit.
Mt. Russell - Star Trekin 5.10c - High Sierra, California USA. Click for details.
Star Trekin, 5.10c
Mt. Russell
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The route as seen from Mt. Whitney summit.