Ascent of Mount Russell on 2016-03-09

Climber: David Comerzan

Date:Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Russell
    Elevation:2704 ft / 824 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was a solo hike of a Lower Peak (Russell) and 4 Peakbagger peaks. My first peak was Pettit Hill. I had some friends who did it from the south but ran into some private property issues. I did it from the north and it worked out well. I exited the 60 freeway south at Moreno Beach Blvd/Auto Mall Dr.. At the second light, Trail Ridge Way, drove a couple of 100’ where it ended and park. I followed an asphalt road a short distance towards a water tank. I came to a junction with a horse trail that was outlined with a white fence. I turned left (east) and followed the horse trail about ¼ mile where the white fence ended. There was a barb wire fence but in about 50’ there was an opening. I followed the road a short distance towards a derby basin where I saw a trail coming in from the left. I followed this trail a short distance about 1/10th mile to a gully that ran north/south. The trail continued up the gully to a ridge. I turned right (west) and walked a short distance to the summit. I found a benchmark and a pipe marker on the summit. The views were outstanding. I saw clearly San Jacinto, San Gorgonio, Mt. Baldy, Mt. Russell and Lake Perris. I returned the same way.
Next on the list was Mt. Russell which is located in the Lake Perris State Recreation Area. I continued south on Moreno Beach Drive to Via Del Lago, turned left into the entrance of LPSRA. There is a day use fee to park in this park. In the winter they don’t man the kiosk so you have to drive to the campsite to pay. As soon as I entered the park, I turned left toward Group Camping area and before tuning into the camping area, I turn left and parked in a large parking area. It has a pit toilet. I followed the peak guide instructions, going first north on the road about ¼ mile, then east about 4/10th mike. The road turned north at this point. I followed it a short distance to where it turned east. I actually found a BM right next to the road. At this point I left the road and crossed country to the mouth of the canyon. There is supposed to be a use trail that starts on the left side of the canyon. I couldn’t find it. I just bush wacked my way up to a point where I was even with first of 3 poles that lead to the summit. I crossed the gully and found the use trail on the right side. It was about 100’ below that pole. I followed the use trail as best as possible, heading towards a burnt pole at the base of the peak. The cross beam of the pole is on the ground next to the pole. Here the use trail was a little more obvious to follow to the summit. It switches up and goes out to the furthest bump to the north. I returned the same way except I continued on the use trail almost to the mouth of the canyon where it crossed to the left side. After that it was back to the road and on to the car. On the summit I found a flag pole with a white flag, no register or benchmark. There was a big white cross about 50 yards before the summit.
Next was three Peakbagger peak that where on a mountain range just south of Mt. Russell. There are in the LPSRA. There are probably several ways you could attack these peaks. I started at the parking lot for the amp theater. I followed a trail that went first north then east to southwest finally coming out at a road. I continued on the road in a general southwest direction to first Peak 2413, then Terri Peak. These were easy to summit. The next one, Armada, was more of a challenge. The road ends at Terri. I had to cross country, going first west then southwest, then dropping about 400’ to reach Armada. It involved working my way around brush and boulders, going up and down before reaching the summit. I returned the same way, except when I saw the road, I took a short cut to the road. Going back down the road, I took another short cut, heading straight for the car. I did not find any BM on the summit, but I did find a white cross painted on the summit and lots of graffiti. With all that graffiti it makes me think there is an easier way to this summit.
7:08 am Depart. 1788’
7:30 am Pettit Hill. 2067’
8:06 am Car. 1 mile round trip, 280’ gain, 1 hour.
8:30 am Depart. 1702’
10:06 am Mt. Russell. 2704’
11:35 am Car. 4 miles round trip, 1000’ gain, 3 hours, 5 minutes.
11:50 am Depart. 1746’
12:45 pm Peak 2413
1:15 pm Terri Peak. 2569’
2:10 pm Armada BM. 2220’
3:50 pm Car. 7 miles round trip, 1000’ gain, 4 hours.
Total for the day: 13 miles round trip, 2280’ gain, 8 hours, 5 minutes.
Summary Total Data

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