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Mt. Russell

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Bloody Corner  T 
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Mithril Dihedral T 
Star Trekkin' T 
Western Front T 

Mt. Russell  


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 14,088'
Location: 36.59, -118.291 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 165,690
Administrators: Chris Owen, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: M.Morley on Mar 5, 2006
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BETA PHOTO: Routes on Mount Russell - with descent for Mithril...

Description 

At 14,088 ft (4,294 m), Mt. Russell is the 7th highest peak in California, and one of 15 above 14,000' in the state.

Getting There 

Approach from Whitney Portal via the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek. This is the same approach used for the East Face, East Buttress, and Mountaineer's Routes on Mt. Whitney.

If overnighting, you must obtain a wilderness permit for the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek by following a specific set of procedures outlined on the forest service's website.

Allow about 5 hours from Whitney Portal to Iceberg Lake if carrying full packs with overnight gear.

Climbing Season



Weather station 15.3 miles from here

6 Total Routes

['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',3],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',1],['5.7',0],['5.8',0],['5.9',2],['5.10',3],['5.11',0],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Mt. Russell:
East Arete   3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a     Trad, Alpine, Grade II   
Fishhook ArÍte   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 8 pitches, 1000'   
Mithril Dihedral   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 500'   
Bloody Corner    5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 800'   
Star Trekkin'   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 600'   
Western Front   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 900'   
Browse More Classics in Mt. Russell

Featured Route For Mt. Russell
Steve Larson on East Ridge of Russell. Does this look like a 3rd class route to you!? Full winter conditions - October 24, 2005

East Arete 3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a  CA : High Sierra : Mt. Russell
Day 1, hike from Whitney Portal to camp at Upper Boy Scout Lake. Day 2 Do climb. Day 3 Hike back to Whitney Portal. Ascend the scree slope north of the lake to the Russell-Carillon Col. Head West up the ridge, keeping to the right where necessary to reach the East summit of Russell. Traverse the summit ridge, mostly on the right until reaching the West summit....[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Mt. Russell Slideshow Add Photo
Mt. Russell as seen from the summit of Whitney
Mt. Russell as seen from the summit of Whitney
Diana at the west side of the south face, Mithral Dihedral and Fishhook Arete prominent.
BETA PHOTO: Diana at the west side of the south face, Mithral ...
Mt. Russell from the summit of Whitney
Mt. Russell from the summit of Whitney
View of Mount Russell from Whitney-Russell Pass
View of Mount Russell from Whitney-Russell Pass
Mt Russell from Iceberg Lake
Mt Russell from Iceberg Lake
The East Ridge and North (or Northeast) Face of Mt. Russell.
The East Ridge and North (or Northeast) Face of Mt...
Mt. Russell.  The Fishhook Arete follows the line from the highest point (top center of picture, just catching sunlight), down the sweeping knife-edge ridge.
BETA PHOTO: Mt. Russell. The Fishhook Arete follows the line ...
Mt. Whitney and Mt. Russell from the top of the steep talus approaching Russell's East Ridge
Mt. Whitney and Mt. Russell from the top of the st...
Nearly 360 panorama from the East Summit of Russell.  In the center of the photo is Whitney.  To the right of Whitney in the foreground is the West (true) Summit.  What a breathtaking scene it was!
Nearly 360 panorama from the East Summit of Russel...
Tulainyo Lake from near Mt Russell.
Tulainyo Lake from near Mt Russell.
Mt Russell
BETA PHOTO: Mt Russell
The use tail and scree slope below the south face.  Taken from the "L Shaped Pass".
The use tail and scree slope below the south face....
Contemplating Mt. Russell from the summit of Whitney
Contemplating Mt. Russell from the summit of Whitn...
"L Shaped Pass" is the flat area to the left.
"L Shaped Pass" is the flat area to the left.
Russell from the Whitney summit
Russell from the Whitney summit

Comments on Mt. Russell Add Comment
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By Murf
Sep 20, 2010
There is an alternate approach via the "Cartwell Variation" which continues past Upper Boyscout Lake. The was originally used to approach the East Ridge. Continue on a use trail past the right of Upper Boyscout. Keep going past an alpine lake, again passing on the right, and around a scree slope until you meet a slabby buttress. You can climb the slabby buttress at Class 3+ or continue on the faint tail. In either case you eventually work your way high under the south face of Russell heading for the "L Shaped Pass".

It is shorter than the Iceberg approach but the scree below the south face is truly heinous. 3/4 of the way through it I swore never to do it again (similar oaths have been uttered on the Whitney-Russell Col). In truth, both ways are kinda brutal.

Where I think this variation truly shines is getting down to Upper Boyscout in the event the East Ridge isn't an option. This happened to a partner and I due to a heavy dusting of snow on the upper reaches. East Ridge was a death trap, so we went back via Iceberg. This would have been a much better way down.
By Darren Malloy
Jul 23, 2013
Just a note - in the description it states that a permit is required for "overnighting" in this area. As of 2013, I am pretty sure a permit is required for day trips up the N. Fork of Lone Pine Creek as well. Check with the Inyo NF to make sure you have the story straight.
By kenr
Aug 16, 2014
West summit is higher than the East summit.