We had a great time climbing the airy east ridge. We downclimbed the South Slope, dropped to Iceberg Lake and had jaw-dropping views of Whitney and Keeler Needle.
Great climb! It definitely has been the most exposed route that I've done to date. I climbed this peak with Suet Fei Li and Joel Wilson as part of a trip with CHAOS.
I've gotta come back to try the Russell-Whitney Traverse that Bob Burd did in the '02 Sierra Challenge.
Ascent #1: Started from Whitney Portal @ 5.22. Got altitude sickness @ Upper Boy Scout Lake, but perservered until attaining true summit. Felt sick as a dog by this point, and veg'ed for an hour and a half. Made it back to parking lot by 21.20- long day. Trip report.
#2: Fishhook Arête with G-Town. Started route @ 9.38, summited at 16.48. An exceptional, superb, exhilirating climb up an amazing peak. Bomber rock, good pro', stimulating exposure! The ridge ends AT the summit (& the technical climbing maybe 15' below)! Can really fly up upper part of ridge as is not as sustained as lower part (most of the upper pitches I placed 3 pieces or less per pitch, & none on one of them). Did in 9 (or was it 10?) pitches to lessen rope drag. Awesome day on a great route with a good friend/climbing partner. There is nothing (required) harder on this route than 5.8.
#3. Traverse from 'Mt. Morgenson.' After starting from the Whitney Portal TH @ 6.14, summited Morgenson @ 10.24. Hung out on the summit for about 1/2 an hour, then followed Bob, Sean, & Rick as they made their way towards Russell. I must point out that as soon as Sean told me they were leaving, I chugged my beer then followed- they were long gone by this point. While the climber in me initially tried to stick to the true ridge, I realized that unless I wanted to take all day, this wouldn't be feasible (at a certain point I would have wanted a rope, too, which I didn't have). So at a certain point I swallowed my pride, dropped down, & just tried to find the easiest way over to the 'base' of Russell. I will iterate that this traverse is non-trivial; in fact, I wouldn't recommend it to anybody. A far more sane thing to do would be to just drop down to the basin below, & walk back along it to where Russell begins. Trust me. "3rd to 4th class" my ass. Regardless, think I summited around 12.50 or so. Departed summit at 13.15, down to the Russell-Carillon col (thanks for the suggestion, guys), to Clyde Meadow (nice to meet up with & hang with you 'til the end, JD), to the Portal! Back at the standard route beginning @ 16.37. . What a f$%!ing day
#4: Mithral Dihedral (6.13.'12)
w/ Faith. Route lived up to the hype & expectations I'd created through the years (which is amazing)- classic climb up one of the coolest & most sustained dihedrals I've ever laid eyes upon... THE dihedral was MONEY!!! The preceding, 'warm-up' dihedral was fun, too. Great day!
Winter attempt of the East ridge of Russell, with Rene' Renteria and Chris Burke. Unfortunately, we did not make the summit. We did reach the East summit (the lower one of the two) at 3 pm, and winter days are short. We decided to return to the Russell-Carillon saddle so as to not be taken by the night while on the ridge. Next time we will leave earlier in the morning. The route is long, especially in winter condition when the snow on the ridge requires extra caution. I have posted a full TR with photos TR here.
Beautiful weather and quite a slog up. East ridge was easy and pleasant. See trip report for more details.
Mt. Russell was peak #3 for the day for ScottyS and I. We started with Muir, continued up the trail to Whitney, descended the north slope of Whitney, and gained the South Face. We ascended both summits, and descended the East Ridge, which was very cool by itself. From there we ascended Mt. Carillon for peak #4, and headed down the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek to the Portal.
An easy and uneventful way to torture my boss at the time ( who wanted to climb Whitney East face but chickened out ). I smoked a joint on the top just to mock him to boot! Glad i don't do that stuff any more!
Perfect day for a climb up Russell. Forjan and I did this as a long day hike. Did the Rockwell Variation on the approach, climbed the East Ridge and descended the South Slope and main chute from the Russell-Carillon Saddle back to Clyde Meadow. I must agree with John in re-naming the Rockwell Chute the "Just Shoot Me Now" chute as he describes is his trip report. This is one hell of a loose sand/rock slog that will test your mental endurance for sure. But the climb was worth it. The views and the East Ridge are stellar. All in all an awesome day!
Nice day with Bob's 2002 Sierra Mountaineers Challenge group. See my SP Trip Report for more detail.
Fun day hike from the Portal
Soloed the Fishook Arete (III, 5.8 -- some people say 5.9) this morning. This is one damn fine rock climb. It has everything you could ask for: great exposure, consistent difficulty, fantastic rock, and a spectacular setting. The arete hosts a wide variety of features: face climbing on knobs, splitter hand cracks, knife-edge traverses, and even a squeeze chimney. Some people have called the crux 5.9+ and claim there are several sections of 5.9 and 5.8+ on the route, but they're having high altitude delusions. The hardest move is about 5.7 or 5.7+. The actual climb took 43 minutes. Car to car in just under 6 hours. I hiked up a "different" way so that took some extra time.
Such a fun route. We thought we were doing great on the 3rd class ridge. We handled the exposure, and only got on hands and knees once. On the final ridge between the two summits we met a couple guys who had just finished a ropeless ascent of the fishook arete (5.8). We were humbled as they jumped from rock to rock past us mere lowly mortals. Still a fine summit with great views of Willimason and Whitney. Must go back and climb a technical route, maybe Fishook or one of the long dihedral routes.
Good climb with a lot of exposure for class 3. We left from Upper Boy Scout Lake, over some benches to a small tarn in a N.W. direction, then a few more benches, which opened up to a broad couloir, heading back N.E. to the Russell- Carillon Saddle. Then up the arete, with a false summit thrown in for good measure. Ha! We came down to our camp in a more direct line, in a S.E. direction. This was a fast descent, but I enjoyed our ascent route better. It was a more varied route.
I went up the East Ridge, met up with two other climbers (Tom H. & Larry) showed them the way to the summit. Stayed around took some good photos and headed down the South chute. At the bottom, by Russell/Whitney pass, I ascended up the north face of Whitney coming out on top of the mountaineer's route. Summit Whitney, then Muir and down to Lower Boy Scout Lake in 9hrs.
This was the eleventh peak of my CA 14er tour.
After bagging Muir and Whitney, I descended Whitney's North Face to the low point between Whitney and Russell. Then I cruised up the Class 3 South Face of Russell. Most of the climb was on Class 2 loose talus and sand. There was a fun (albeit short) section of Class 3 rock near the top.
Some time I need to go climb some of the more demanding routes on Russell. The Mithal Dihedral looks awesome.