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Mt Russell early June 2013 conditions

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Mt Russell early June 2013 conditions

Postby Raj217 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:23 pm

I have permits (4) for day use to the Mt Whitney Zone on 6/9/13. So I'd like to day hike Mt Russell taking the east ridge route. I need some clarifications -

1. The summitpost page for Mt Russell East Ridge says this route does not fall within the Mt Whitney Zone and hence no day permit is required. From what I gathered reading on recreation.gov a permit is required.

2. What would the conditions be like in early June of 2013 (compare it to other years) ? the east ridge even though class 3 has lot of exposure. would there be lot of snow making this a hard climb ? what about trail conditions of N Fork of Lone Pine Creek ?

3. My other option to use this permit would be to do Mt Muir. assuming that the short class 3 scramble to Mt Muir summit would be easier than Mt russell under same conditions. Correct me if I am wrong on this one.

Thanks.
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Re: Mt Russell early June 2013 conditions

Postby bobpickering » Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:55 pm

I'm not sure, but I think you do need a Whitney Zone permit for Russell. Snow shouldn't be an issue unless we get lots more between now and June. The east ridge is exposed, but it's indeed class 3.

Muir would be easier, since you walk a trail until you're within a few hundred feet of the summit. The trail may still have some snow in June, but the west side of Muir gets lots of sun and should be free of snow.
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Re: Mt Russell early June 2013 conditions

Postby seano » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:05 pm

Sadly and stupidly, Russell requires a permit. If you're reasonably fit, I would suggest doing Russell, Whitney, and Muir as a loop.
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Re: Mt Russell early June 2013 conditions

Postby mrchad9 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:23 pm

I was reading an article on the effects of the gov't sequestration on the NPS, and one of the first things they are cutting is backcountry rangers. I think Yosemite expected to have four individuals, for the entire park, populated areas and not, and they aren't in the backcountry all, maybe much, of the time. I'd expect the impact on Inyo NF might not be too different.

While Mount Russell requires the permit, I would not hesitate to go up Cleaver Col and do the east ridge without one. Not at all.

And I don't think snow will be a factor. And there is no snow on the upper part of Mount Muir right now, nevermind June.
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Re: Mt Russell early June 2013 conditions

Postby 2600fromatari » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:01 pm

Snow level for this winter is similar to the year before. I went up late May and it was snow free except for a few patches here and there. Muir is much easier. You have about 50-100 ft of scrambling/exposure. The East Ridge is much longer than that.

seano made a good suggestion if you're fit enough to do that as a dayhike. Or, you can try to get a multi-day permit to do all 3. The North Fork falls under the same quota as the main trail for dayhikes. For overnighters, I believe the limit for the North Fork is 10/day with 4 reservable.
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Re: Mt Russell early June 2013 conditions

Postby lasvegaswraith » Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:04 am

Russell is within the Mt Whit zone as a dayhike. However as an overnight, it still requires a different permit but not subject to the lottery.
I've climbed Russell twice in early June and snow did not prove to be a factor on the E Ridge. Depending on the cover, you could run into snow between LBSL and UBSL, but again shouldn't be deep.
As MRC9 suggested, Cleaver Col is also an option and you can bag Carillon on the way to Russell.

I think Yosemite expected to have four individuals, for the entire park,
I'm sure they're going to be able to police the permits well... :wink:
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Re: Mt Russell early June 2013 conditions

Postby Raj217 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:41 pm

Thanks all. As Seano suggested if i combine russell and Muir as a day hike is this a good route-
http://idahoalpinezone.com/modules/gall ... yRoute.jpg

I'll skip Carillion and Whitney.

But I am giving 14hrs for only Russell day hike - with 5700 feet gain. its the route finding that will slow me down. plus the unnerving exposure on E ridge. I'll play it by the ear for Mt Muir.
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Re: Mt Russell early June 2013 conditions

Postby 2600fromatari » Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:54 pm

Raj, if you're thinking about adding Muir, you're basically doing Whitney whether you like it or not. You'll be within touching distance of the Smithsonian hut and will be on the Whitney Trail. I don't see any reason to skip Whitney unless the extra 15-30 minutes isn't worth it to you.
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Re: Mt Russell early June 2013 conditions

Postby mrchad9 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:58 pm

Skip it for the lols. Do all the needles on the ridge and take a 5 minute detour around Whitney. It'd be a FA.
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Re: Mt Russell early June 2013 conditions

Postby seano » Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:29 pm

Since you have a permit, just go up to Upper Boy Scout and slog up to the saddle between Russell and Carillon. The hike to Cleaver Col is scenic, but adds distance.
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Re: Mt Russell early June 2013 conditions

Postby Deb » Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:26 pm

seano wrote:Since you have a permit, just go up to Upper Boy Scout and slog up to the saddle between Russell and Carillon. The hike to Cleaver Col is scenic, but adds distance.

Ditto! Carillon is a boring slog, albeit "check in the box." East Ridge from Carillon looks heavenly!
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Re: Mt Russell early June 2013 conditions

Postby Kurt Wedberg » Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:24 pm

Raj,

Although this is turning into a dismal year for snow it's still a little early to say how much snow will be on the East Ridge of Russell in early June. Here's a photo gallery from the East Ridge of Mt. Russell June 5-6, 2010. This was a big snow year. Figure you won't see any more snow than this and most likely less if you do it this year in June.

Here are a couple pictures showing parts of the East Ridge from the same gallery:

Image

Image

Image
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