Fishhook Arete 5.9

 
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Mt. Russell


High Sierra, California USA


Trip Report
Mt Russell, Fishhook Arete (III, 5.9, 8P) via a Unique Variation (Photo TR)
Tuesday June 4, 2013 12:20am
An old climb from last year, but 'tis the season!

Mt Russell's Fishhook Arete seen on the approach. The last 2 pitches t...
Mt Russell's Fishhook Arete seen on the approach. The last 2 pitches take the '5.7' detached block variation. I found this to be harder than either of the lower 2 5.9 sections. Last pitch on this variation is 5.7.
Credit: PellucidWombat
May 12, 2012
After our acclimatization day of climbing Mt Whitney's E Buttress, Jared and I climbed 14,088' Mt Russell's classic Fishhook Arete (III, 5.9, 8P). We felt much stronger for this route as we had caught up on sleep and had acclimatized well. It was nice and warm, though the constant wind got us to keep our jackets on. On P7 I took what SuperTopo called a 5.7 variation that I thought was harder than any of the 5.9 sections of the route. It was a great variation, though - more interesting and much more true to the crest.



Mt Russell seen as we passed the Sierra Crest.



Nearing the base of Fishook Arete.



Fishook Arete, P1 exfoliating flakes.



Jared following P1.



Jared leading P2.



Jared at P2 belay. The P3 5.9 Crux is above.



P3 5_9 crux, before or after? I couldn't tell.



Jared leading P4.



Jared leading P4, riding the second tower.



Jared after the P5 5.8 downclimb.



Jared leading P5.



Jared leading P5.



Jared leading P5.



Leading P6, starting with wide 5.8.



Views east from P6.



Views east from P6.



Leading P6, wider 5.8.



P6 5.8 chimney. More like 5.6 to 5.7.



Mt Whitney from atop P6.



P7 cl. 4 ledge variation (lame). I took the more direct "5.7" variation to the left that was not 5.7.



P7, starting up the corner between two detached pillars. It was offwidthish. No Jesus piece until you're through it!



P7, through the OW variation, after I've tunneled between the pillars. As there was no pro, I flipped the rope after so that Jared could follow by what would normally be runout face climbing.



P7 second detached tower. I stepped back on the first tower to flip the rope so that Jared could climb the L variation to avoid the OW. This thin crack was really tough! You can tunnel through the upper blocks, or if your follower has a pack, do what I did and chimney the gap, straight up the center!



P7 inside the second detached tower. So tempting to do the squeeze, but Jared is following with a pack :-)



P7, inside the second tower.



P7, more chimneying up a strange slot behind the second tower.



Nearing the top.



P8, final 5.7 corner before topping out on the summit!



Jared on the summit. Sun is setting, so it's time to get down!


The way we took back to the base was fairly straightforward. Just as you near the east summit, when the summit ridge starts rising again, look for a way to cut to the right of the crest. It is straightforward enough to downclimb some very steep, but solid cl. 3-4 terrain for about a hundred feet or so before reaching the sand and talus slope. From there it is an easy romp to camp. We started the downclimb just when we needed to use our headlamps, so it really can't be that tricky if you hit it right.


Mt Russell at night.



Perfect bivy view of Mt Russell.



Mt Russell from the E Buttress of Mt Whitney.



Mt Russell's Mithral Dihedral and Fishook Arete from the E Buttress of Mt Whitney.




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PellucidWombat
About the Author
PellucidWombat is a mountain climber from Berkeley, CA.

Comments
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hamik

Mountain climber
Pasadena, CA
  Jun 4, 2013 - 12:39am PT
Nice pics as always, Mark. I suspect that more than a handful of climbers use your route overlays. I saw your Fishhook entry in the summit register this past weekend!
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Jun 4, 2013 - 12:53am PT
Pellucid, nice to see you on something more solid than Curtis Ridge.
Great shooting and writeup!
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
  Jun 4, 2013 - 01:14am PT
That thar rock looks awesome, and your write-up looked awesome too! You should compile all your overlays and make your own guidebook.
PellucidWombat

Mountain climber
Berkeley, CA
Author's Reply  Jun 4, 2013 - 02:07am PT
nice to see you on something more solid than Curtis Ridge.

Well, my last climb was on Ruby Wall, so I haven't necessarily stayed away from the choss down in the Sierra! Of course it still was nothing compared to Curtis Ridge. I should have a good TR for the Ruby outing sometime in the next week.
kaholatingtong

Trad climber
Nevada City
  Jun 4, 2013 - 02:21am PT
fantastic pictures, cheers.
Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
  Jun 4, 2013 - 02:30am PT
Dang that's cool looking! I gotta get down there...
matty

Trad climber
under the sea
  Jun 4, 2013 - 09:43am PT
Love the star shot
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jun 4, 2013 - 01:03pm PT
Stellar as usual, thanks Mark!!!
Les

Trad climber
Bahston
  Jun 4, 2013 - 01:21pm PT
Sweet!
crunch

Social climber
CO
  Jun 4, 2013 - 01:35pm PT
Nice pictures! A superb climb up a fantastic feature. Thanks!
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
  Jun 15, 2013 - 12:35pm PT
Wow, one of the best exposÚs of the Fishhook Arete that I've seen. Great photos.

The photo of the N face of Whitney from atop P6 is a grand photo, it shows the great ski lines there. May I save and use that photo, with credit to you of course!
PellucidWombat

Mountain climber
Berkeley, CA
Author's Reply  Jun 18, 2013 - 04:53am PT
May I save and use that photo, with credit to you of course!

Of course! I'm happy to share. Happy turns!
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
  Jun 18, 2013 - 11:53am PT
You certainly get about! Looks like fun, great report thanks for posting up.

Steve
Grippa

Trad climber
Salt Lake City, UT
  Jul 8, 2013 - 09:22am PT
Mt. Russell is sooooooo sick.
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
  Jul 8, 2013 - 09:51am PT
That rock looked really clean--I had an interesting feeling of claustrophobia just looking at those squeeze chimneys!
Great photo of the stars--you can really appreciate Polaris with that shot
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Jul 8, 2013 - 11:40am PT
Great TR!

More on this Sierra classic here:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=754454&msg=1866452#msg1866452
Reeotch

climber
4 Corners Area
  Jul 8, 2013 - 12:09pm PT
Most excellent!
Classic peak, classic route, classic TR.

The pic of Mt. Russell at night is killer!
Nohea

Trad climber
Living Outside the Statist Quo
  Jul 8, 2013 - 01:09pm PT
An enjoyable TR in beautiful country. Big thanks and well done.

Aloha,
Will
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
From Panorama City, CA
  Jul 8, 2013 - 03:34pm PT
Nice!
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Mt. Russell - Fishhook Arete 5.9 - 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 - East Ridge 3rd class - High Sierra, California USA. Click for details.
East Ridge, 3rd class
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.