Ascent of Mount Russell on 2015-07-08

Climber: James Morehouse

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Russell
    Elevation:14088 ft / 4294 m

Ascent Trip Report

There was a 40% chance of snow showers on the summit today, so I started hiking around 4:45 a.m., give or take. By the time I was nearing Upper Boy Scout Lake, clouds had begun to form. As I topped out on the plateau below the Russell/Carillon saddle, Mount Whitney became socked in with clouds and some began drifting over towards Russell. By the time I reached the East Ridge, cloud cover in the area was nearing 50%. I easily passed my turn around point (13,900') in June where the slabby ledge near the "tip of the blade" just below the east summit was covered with deep, soft snow. Instead of heading to the left side of the east summit, I went right for some reason, and climbed a class 3 chimney that topped out to the right of the summit, and on top of the North Ridge. I worked my way across to the West Summit, found the register, and signed in, only staying there about ten minutes, as the clouds were building fast. It was a disappointment to start down so quickly, especially since it took me four attempts to finally make it. Last year I was weathered off twice (once with a thunderstorm, the second with high wind, and the third was deep, soft snow over the downward sloping ledge right below the tip of the blade). Still, I didn't really relish the thought of being on the East Ridge when it was wet. Snow flurries began just as I exited the ridge, but I never really experienced any serious precipitation. However, I think behind and above me it was raining and snowing. The next day the mountain tops were covered with clouds and wet weather came in.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:5900 ft / 1798 m
    Round-Trip Distance:11 mi / 17.7 km
    Trailhead:Whitney Portal  8188 ft / 2495 m
    Grade/Class:Class 3
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
40% chance of snow showers on the summit
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by James Morehouse
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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