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North Face

North Face

North Face

Page Type: Route

Location: California, United States, North America

Object Title: North Face

Route Type: Trad Climbing

Time Required: Half a day

Rock Difficulty: 5.6 (YDS)

Number of Pitches: 5

Grade: II

Route Quality: 
 - 1 Votes


Page By: glahhg

Created/Edited: Jul 21, 2008 / Jul 21, 2008

Object ID: 423189

Hits: 4023 

Page Score: 77.48%  - 8 Votes 

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As far as we know, this is the first route on the true North face of Mt. Russell. Beckey's "Northeast Face", the only other route on this aspect of the mountain, ascends snow and slabs to the right of the main North Face.

The route takes a right-diagonaling crack system that traverses out above the steep depression in the center of the North face for three long pitches, then ascends two more pitches of stellar rock up a crack system straight up to meet with the East Ridge.

The route is much easier than it appears from the ground, with the difficulty topping out at around 5.6 in the upper pitches.

First ascent Nate Ricklin and Scotty Nelson, July 12, 2008.

Climbing pitch 2 of the North Face of Mt. Russell
Leading the 2nd pitch offwidth

Getting There

See info for Mt. Russell.

There are two main possibilities for getting to the base of the North Face from Whitney Portal:

Hike up and over Cleaver Col and contour around the north side of Carillon, or hike up and over Russell-Carillon Pass. See info for the East Ridge and the Cleaver.

Route Description

On the left hand side of the face locate a prominent right slanting crack and ramp system with a large offwidth down low. Follow this for 3 pitches (4th and easy 5th) until it meets the first major crack system. Climb this crack system (up great rock) for 2 pitches of 5.6 to the summit ridge.

Scramble up the remainder of the East Ridge to the summit!

The North Face of Mt. Russell
Route shown in red.

Essential Gear

Standard light Sierra rock rack.

External Links

Trip report and more pictures.


Looking down from belay 3The North Face of Mt. RussellClimbing pitch 2 of the North Face of Mt. RussellNearing the top of pitch 4The North Face of Mt. Russell: Pitch 1The super-clean 4th pitch of the North Face of Mt. RussellStoked!  On the FA of the NF of Mt. Russell