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.
Leading the 2nd pitch offwidth
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
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!
Route shown in red.
Standard light Sierra rock rack.
External LinksTrip report and more pictures.