Whitney & Russell
At Sierra Mountain Guides we always say,” Why climb one fourteener when you can climb two?” Yes, that’s right we always say that. Mt. Russell is right next door to Mt. Whitney and an amazing way to summit both incredible peaks. The classic combinations are either Mountaineer’s Route & East Ridge or East Face/Buttress & Fishhook Arête, depending on your ability and gumption.
This program is suggested as 4-days and can be arranged on a custom private basis. Chick HERE to request a reservation.
Mt. Whitney (14,505′) and Mt. Russell (14,086′)
Two great 14’ers in one outing. This trip gets the High Sierra Value Award for quality and quantity of perfect granite climbing. “Why just climb one fourteener when you can climb two?” After an outstanding climb of Mt. Whitney’s East Face or East Buttress, consider adding Mt. Russell while you are there. Overshadowed by Mt. Whitney, Mt. Russell often gets overlooked, but this granite giant has dozens of world-class routes to choose from and no hiker’s path to the top. For those that can climb at the 5.9 grade, we recommend the Fishhook Arete, in our opinion without doubt the proudest and most aesthetic line on the peak. First climbed by Norman Clyde in 1926 Mt. Russell was one of the last California Fourteeners to be climbed. In the 1927 Sierra Climb Bulletin Clyde wrote:
Picking my way along the crest, or along shelves a short distance below it, I advanced towards the western eminence, which I reached by hoisting myself over large granite blocks. There was no cairn or evidence of a previous ascent. It was just such an eyrie that delights the heart of a mountaineer.
- 4-Day Itinerary
TRIP ITINERARY: Mt. Whitney and Mt. Russell DAY 1 Meet for a gear check and hike up the adventurous North Fork of Lone Pine Creek. This day is strenuous and passes over the famed Ebersbacher Ledges before ascending to Lower Boy Scout Lake. From there, we continue up past Upper Boy Scout Lake and on to high camp, generally either at Upper Boy Scout Lake for the easier routes and Iceberg Lake for the more technical routes. DAY 2 Climb Mt. Whitney to the summit by either the Mountaineer's Route (class 4), East Face (III, 5.6+) or East Buttress (III, 5.7). Descend via the Mountaineer's Route. Sleep at high camp. DAY 3 Climb Mt. Russell to the summit by either the East Ridge (class 3) or Fishhook Arete (III, 5.9) or another rock climbing route. Descend via the South Couloir back to high camp, or back down the East Ridge to camp at UBS Lake. DAY 4 Hike out feelin' good! If you have the energy, wake up for a sunrise hike to get some photos or for the technical climbers we recommend some high quality climbing at the Whitney Portal.
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