Ascent of Mount Russell on 2007-07-23

Climber: luscious lars

Date:Monday, July 23, 2007
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Russell
    Elevation:2704 ft / 824 m

Ascent Trip Report

7-23-07, bernasconi gate, just pasted 6:30 am. hiked up right-east side of gate toward lake but backtracked, moving upward, away from the lake. many of the rocks had red pigment. most appeared natural. passed a ridge and entered a mini cwm with very oddly shaped rocks. rain rocks. it started to rain and i put my windbreaker on. (odd weather for july.) hiked up from there to a weathered american flag sticking from some rocks. ten minutes and the rain had stopped. south is a cave-like formation. (call it "pirate.") switched backward the lake, gaining elevation. this is all cross-country. found two abandoned mining pits. one on the ridge has a three-second drop. hiked down the canyon on the other side into the picnic area. exited at the three holed bedrock mortero (peppertree site). hiked passed the narrows and then, at the next pit toilet, took the ridge up following a horse trail. hiked the horse trails (the ones up on the ridge, not near the road) until the pictograph rock. saw a large doe, granite night lizards, sage sparrows, some sort of cliff-clinging birds, white velvet ants, ravens, red-tails. picked up the horse trail as it left the roadway toward the mystic lake area. "cross-countried" to the mouth of the canyon below mt russell. at 12:45, it was overcast at the mouth, but the cloud cover was giving way. hard to find shade. even with a short summer rain, it was hot. after a 10 minute rest behind a large rock, the cloud cover reappeared. took off up the right side of the canyon. spotted trail on the left, but continued up to gain elevation. i did not want to lose my elevation. ended up on wrong peak. no water. had to scramble down and cross-country up to the final row of telephone poles. the trail from here to the peak is easy to follow. (is someone doing maintenance?) there are many ducts and the peak has a survey pole with some makeshift flags flying. found the registry (a tube) a few yards off the peak toward the east. placed it at the first oak east of the latter. the hike down was much easier except for having run out of water. ate an apple and some cheese at the peak, but it was a mad death march to the horse stables (nearest water-- a real bushwhack through rattlesnake country.) then from the group camp, i took the road back, mostly. blisters, lost cell phone, but a beautiful day. 7-24-07, following day, paid the $8 to park at the horse rentals-hunters' trailhead. this is the closest one can get to the mouth without breaking some rules. disturbed two diamondbacks. heard my phone alarm when i had reached the mouth of the canyon. it was early and getting hot fast. on the way back, i checked out some of the red pigmented rocks. i dunno. i could not really make out anything.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1904 ft / 580 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1904 ft / 579 m
    Round-Trip Distance:11 mi / 17.7 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Weather:Drizzle, Pleasant, Breezy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1904 ft / 580 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 904 ft / 276 m; Extra: 1000 ft / 304m
    Loss on way in:1000 ft / 304 m
    Distance:7 mi / 11.3 km
    Route:horse trs, x-country
    Start Trailhead:bernasconi gate  1800 ft / 548 m
    Time:7 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:904 ft / 275 m
    Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Route:horse trs, bushwhack, roads
    End Trailhead:bernasconi gate  1800 ft / 548 m
    Time:3 Hours 

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