Myself, Skip Anderson, John Butler and Dennis Leisure climbed 14,094' Mt. Russell over Labor Day weekend - September 1-3, 1962.
Mount Russell is a peak in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California, about 0.8 miles north of Mount Whitney. It rises to an elevation of 14,094 feet and is the seventh-highest peak in the state.
Russell is located on the Sierra Crest, which in this area marks the boundary between the John Muir Wilderness, the Inyo National Forest and Sequoia National Park; and the boundary between Inyo County and Tulare County. It rises just southwest of Tulainyo Lake, one of the highest and largest of the high alpine lakes of the southern Sierra.
The Peak was named for Israel Cook Russell, an American geologist who was a member of the Wheeler Survey and who was best known for his explorations in Alaska.
The first ascent of Mount Russell was on June 24, 1926 by famed Sierra mountaineer Norman Clyde. It offers climbers at least a dozen routes, from multiple scrambling routes (class 3) to a serious technical route.
We pioneered a "new" route up the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek to Iceberg Lake .. arriving 5-6 p.m.
From Iceberg Lake we ascended to a pass between Mt. Whitney and Mt. Russell, then climbed Mt. Russell via a Class 3 route (South Face, east chute) taking 4 hours and arriving at noon. After an hour on top took 1-1/2 hours back to camp and moved down to Upper Boy Scout Lake for the night.
Slept in the next morning - then down to Whitney Portal cars via the regular route down the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek arriving at 11:00 a.m. Round trip about 15 miles.
This Mount Whitney Guide (PDF) by SP Parker and Todd Vogel of Sierra Mountain Center guide service provides a great deal of useful information about the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek route and the east side of Mount Whitney. For current information about required permits, contact the Inyo National Forest. Information in various trip reports/documents may be out-of-date.
Great views of the east face of Mt. Whitney and we could see much of the Mt. Whitney Mountaineers Route (PDF). See also this Mountaineers Route trip report and this trip report. Google "Mt. Whitney Mountaineers Route" for more information.
Whitney-Russell Pass from Iceberg Lake - Mt Russell on the right
View of north side of Iceberg Lake
Mt Whitney Mountaineer's Route from Iceberg Lake
Morning light on Whitney Pinnacles
Scene in morning south from Iceberg Lake
Morning light on Mt Whitney - Day and Third Needle on the left
Keeler, Day and Third Needle to left of Mt Whitney
Icebert Lake, Lone Pine Peak from Whitney-Russell pass
Pinnacles, Owens Valley, Iceberg Lake, Lone Pine Peak from Whitney-Russell pass
Bighorn Plateau, Mt Hale from Whitney-Russell pass
Lakes northwest of Whitney-Russell pass
Upper Boy Scout Lake from 'pass' near Whitney-Russell pass
Mt Russell from Whitney-Russell pass
Whitney Russell pass and Mt Whitney from half way up Mt Russell
Mt Whitney and north slopes from half way up Mt Russell
Tunnabora Peak and Tulainyo Lake from ridge near top of Mt Russell
Arctic Lake from half way up Mt Russell
Mt McAdie, Mt Muir, Iceberg Lake, Whitney-Russell pass from top of Mt Russell
Mt Whitney from top of Mt Russell
Arctic Lake, Crabtree Meadow from top of Mt Russell
Wallace Lake from top of Mt Russell
View west to Kern Canyon from top of Mt Russell
East peak of Mt Russell from higher west peak