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Ascent of Russian Peak on 2017-10-03

Climber: Daryn Dodge

Others in Party:Kathy Rich
Date:Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Russian Peak
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:8190 ft / 2496 m

Ascent Trip Report

Used drive approach on SummitPost to get to the Bingham Lake trailhead. The last 1.9 miles of dirt road to the TH was a little rough but most vehicles should make it OK. There's a sign for parking...an large undeveloped flat area with a few primitive campsites. About 100 feet up further up the road is where the road ends and the trail starts. Hiking over the ridge down to Bingham Lake, the trail gradually becomes fainter until there is pretty much no trail left at the lake edge. We hiked around to the north side of the lake and started up the steep slope of Russian Peak. The ground was covered with a large amount of tree dead fall. It reminded me of forests dominated by white fir in which no fire has burned for over 100 years.

We ascended too quickly to the SE ridge and became mired in brush and huge boulders. A light covering of snow on everything from a quickly passing storm overnight did not help. The best approach seems to be staying at least a few hundred feet below the ridge traversing up and across in forest cover. Then ascend to the summit rocks when nearly under them. About 150 feet SE of the summit rocks is a small forested gap in the main rocky ridge. From here, the easiest rock scrambling to the top is on the east side of the ridge. A small class 3 pinnacle is the high point, but the benchmark and register is 15 feet farther north on a flatter part of the summit area. Great views of the Trinity Alps.

Coming down I picked a route that stayed in the trees but did not traverse across to Bingham Lake soon enough and ended up down at the PCT just north of the outlet creek (which was dry and not very obvious) for Bingham Lake. A faint use trail leads up to the lake from the PCT at this creek crossing, where we then circled the lake on the southern shore back to the trail. Much of the snow that had fallen overnight had melted by this time.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1890 ft / 575 m
    Extra Gain:400 ft / 121 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4.2 mi / 6.8 km
    Route:Bingham Lake trail and SW slope
    Trailhead:Bingham Lake trailhead  7100 ft / 2164 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground, Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 



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