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3rd class climbs with little/no snow approach?

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Re: 3rd class climbs with little/no snow approach?

Postby cab » Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:37 pm

I climbed the East Ridge of Mt. Russell two weeks ago. I used an axe (snow was too soft for crampons to do any good) for about a 100ft section near the summit. Other than that, almost all snow could be avoided.
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Re: 3rd class climbs with little/no snow approach?

Postby Clark_Griswold » Wed Jul 13, 2011 5:42 pm

Was also thinking Russell East Ridge, though approach might be long depending on perspective. Permit issues, but its likely to be what you want. Consider some of the "lesser" peaks accessed from the Horseshoe Meadows TH. I think they aren't really class 3, but they can probably be made that way.
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Re: 3rd class climbs with little/no snow approach?

Postby Vladislav » Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:09 pm

3Deserts wrote:I know, this season, this time of year, hell will probably sooner freeze over than find something like this, but is anyone aware of a good one or two summits in the eastern Sierra that offer good 3rd class climbing that don't involve snow requiring crampons/axe? Preferably with a relatively short approach? This would be for next weekend, July 23rdish.

I would try North Ridge of Independence. No approach. It may be a bit steeper than class 3 if you stay on top of the ridge but it is always possible to bypass harder sections. It is relatively low, will possibly be snow free.
East Ridge of Russell is always an excellent chioce.
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Re: 3rd class climbs with little/no snow approach?

Postby fedak » Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:33 pm

> However, I thought I saw some very recent photos either somewhere on this site or Whitney Portal forum of substantial snow still present on the approach.

http://www.whitneyportalstore.com/forum ... #Post85541
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Re: 3rd class climbs with little/no snow approach?

Postby Hyadventure » Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:03 pm

How about Crystal Crag near Mammoth. Short approach, 2 to 4 class, half day max. http://www.summitpost.org/crystal-crag/151086
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Re: 3rd class climbs with little/no snow approach?

Postby cab » Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:11 pm

3Deserts wrote:So to reiterate, regular old boots will get us up to UBSL and beyond...yeah?


Yes, regular boots will get you all the way to the top. Two weeks ago, there was a very low angle (almost flat) snowfield just below the Russell-Carillon saddle that you will have to cross. You will probably posthole a little bit, but the snow shouldn't be very deep, if it's not avoidable alltogether now.

After that, no snow to cross until you get just below the East Summit where there was about a 100ft ascending traverse across a snow field. No crampons necessary, maybe an axe if you want a self-belay. There should be a pretty good boot track now. Route is clear all the way to the true summit after that.
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Re: 3rd class climbs with little/no snow approach?

Postby mrchad9 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:38 am

You don't need a permit to dayhike Mount Russell. And both of those routes are better for just the descent.
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Re: 3rd class climbs with little/no snow approach?

Postby Princess Buttercup » Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:09 am

Actually, you do need a permit to dayhike Russell, available only from the IAVC in Lone Pine, as the approach is in the Whitney Zone. Get more info here:

http://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsint ... n%20Passes

And their phone # is (760)876-6222

Basically, all the approaches are scree, no matter where you go. I'd actually say the 'nicest' approach is to climb the slabs on the north side of Lower Boy Scout Lake and aim high to gain some of the more solid rock above Clyde Meadow before getting into the main chute heading to the Russell-Carrilon plateau.

If you head to Upper Boy Scout and the drainage above, there is nice scrambling to be had to gain the entry to the Rockwell variation. There is a bit of a use trail from UBSL to the back of the drainage, but it's pretty sloppy also.

Image

Some fun slabs and blocks to scramble to get above the headwall (on the right of the drainage):

Image

I'm pretty sure the left of the photo was the entrance to the RV:

Image

We were heading up the south face, right side to check it out last year, which is where the pics come from. We went at a quite leisurely pace and made the RT (up the south and down the east ridge) from the Portal in 12 hours. Very comfortable, really.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/moosepics6 ... 849192579/

Now, if you're looking for a fun and different route, I might recommend the NE Ridge of Candlelight Peak, just outside of the Whitney Zone. No permit needed for a day hike since you start by hiking to Lone Pine Lake and head up from there. Route finding can be a bit tricky, though, especially starting out on the right ramp from LPL.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/moosepics6 ... 850219560/

I found the scrambling there to be quite slab-u-licious...

Image

Have fun!

-L
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Re: 3rd class climbs with little/no snow approach?

Postby mrchad9 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:06 am

If you go Cleaver Col you don't need a permit. Guaranteed.

Didn't say it wasn't in the zone, just that a permit isn't needed. You will be free and clear via that route. And it is the best way to go.

It is a bit like saying you don't need to drive under 60 mph, when the speed limit is 55.
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Re: 3rd class climbs with little/no snow approach?

Postby Princess Buttercup » Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:52 pm

It's a technicality, but the Whitney Zone extends across the upper Carrilon drainage, including Cleaver Col.

http://mappery.com/Mt-Whitney-Zone-Map

This was put in place to prevent the end-around you describe for Whitney (in particular), although it's one hell of a long way to go from there. Now, do the rangers patrol up that drainage? Not so much, so I wouldn't particularly worry about the permit thing there. <shrugs> YMMV.

I think that's perhaps the prettiest way to attain the base of the east ridge, but Cleaver Col is just as loose, if not more so, than the other approaches. There's practically a use trail heading up the slope from Clyde Meadow, ducks and all.
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Re: 3rd class climbs with little/no snow approach?

Postby mrchad9 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:59 pm

I did it late September last year. Yes it is slightly more elevation gain on paper, but our feet weren't sinking into the scree at all so it likely evened out. We went up Cleaver Col, down to the lake (well worth it), up the Carillon-Russell saddle, up Carillon, and over to Russell. Came down straight to lower BSL, rather than our ascent route. Nice quick scree run down.

I don't have my pics with me or I could tell you exactly how long it took, but we didn't start or finish in the dark, so less than 12 hours. Easily doable in a day. And going this route you won't need to carry much water. There is safe to drink unfiltered water both running down from the lake east of Carillon and Tulainyo Lake.
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Re: 3rd class climbs with little/no snow approach?

Postby mrchad9 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:03 pm

MooseTracks wrote:This was put in place to prevent the end-around you describe for Whitney (in particular),

Yes. It is a perfect example of the NFS making a change simply in an attempt to control people's behaviors and prevent people from going out into the mountains rather than doing something that is an actual benefit for the NF based on sound, logical reasoning.
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Re: 3rd class climbs with little/no snow approach?

Postby Princess Buttercup » Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:27 pm

3deserts, there are pics in this set from the Challenge last summer, using Cleaver Col to gain access to the north side of Mt. Morgenson. There is a purported Cl3 route from the col up to the summit of Carillon, but I haven't played around on it.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/moosepics6 ... 908444149/

The climb to the col is short, but extremely loose. Jim and I decided to wait for it to clear out before heading up last August.

The base:

Image

From about 1/2 way up looking down (one of the best things about this drainage is the fact that you have water all the way, and can tank up right before the climb):

Image

Upper mess to traverse L out of the chute (careful pulling on anything here):

Image

View across to R-C Col:

Image

Conceivably you could stay fairly high from the col and not have much more to gain R-C. Couple of small slabby sections, I think.

In thinking about it, there is also a Cl3 route up Gambler's Special from that side of the drainage. That's a fun scree run run back down to Carillon Creek and LBSL, as well!

-L
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Re: 3rd class climbs with little/no snow approach?

Postby Princess Buttercup » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:45 pm

And for the record, Chad, I think that loop of the WZ is lame, as well. But perhaps it keeps most of the sloggers on the Mountaineer's "trail".

Don't even get me started on the cairns to which you can sacrifice a goat up there, spaced about every 30 feet. :evil:
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Re: 3rd class climbs with little/no snow approach?

Postby Princess Buttercup » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:24 pm

Excellent, 3D! Sounds like a blast. Cheers!

-L
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