North Face

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 36.59080°N / 118.2878°W
Additional Information Route Type: Trad Climbing
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: 5.6 (YDS)
Additional Information Number of Pitches: 5
Additional Information Grade: II
Sign the Climber's Log


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. RussellLeading 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. RussellRoute shown in red.

Essential Gear

Standard light Sierra rock rack.

External Links

Trip report and more pictures.



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.