Mt Russell 14,088', Western Front IV 10c

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Mt Russell 14,088', Western Front IV 10c

Postby teleross » Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:15 am

So, Trish and I got back from the valley sorta late on Sunday night and when I checked my email for my work schedule for the week I found that I worked Monday night but then was off Tue, Wed and Thu! What to do, what to do? Surf forecast was junk for the week, weather was splitter, so that meant head back to the mountains!
I had been talking with a few random people about mid-week climbing and finally one such connection came to fruition. So after a lazy day Tuesday which consisted of a euro-style lunch with red wine and continued straight into dinner with more red wine, I woke up early Wednesday morning with a bit of a hangover and set out for the drive back up the 395 to Lone Pine.
I had never been to Whitney Portal before but it's a pretty awesome place a flat basin in the canyon surrounded by big granite! The road cuts an improbable path up into the canyon ending at campgrounds and a cool store that serves up ENORMOUS breakfasts! So after locating Chris, my random climbing partner for Russell, and stuffing our faces with pancakes of herculean proportions, we sorted our gear and set out for the hike up to Upper Boyscout Lake.

Looking back down towards Whitney Portal with the Alabama Hills and Lone Pine below
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The approach to Upper Boyscout Lake
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The approach is steep but mellow taking a few hours to reach camp at the lake.
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Our bivy was delux, complete with come quite comfy stone chairs, in which I spent the remainder of the day
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Western Front climbs the west (obviously) face of Russell and therefore an early start was not necessary because the climb is in the freezing shade until about 11:30 or so. So, we slept in a bit, and had a mellow hike on the approach

Chris with Whitney and Keeler and Day Needles
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You pass below the Whitney massif and then up to Iceberg Lake and on up to a pass, where we could finally see the S and W faces of Russell

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The west face still being in the shade we posted up at the pass for a nice nap in the sun.
Once it looked like the sun would be finally warming the face in short order, we decided to make our way over to the climb, just a short distance from the pass

South face of Russell
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4 or 5 routes in this pic
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and finally the west face...still freezing in the shade, but not for long
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Western Front takes a prime line up the tallest part of the wall, the highlight being a beautiful soaring corner high on the route
Chris following p2
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The money pitch, p5 is the 200' upper section of the dihedral, this pic is from the top looking down and in no way does it any justice...it is absolutely a beautiful pitch of laybacking, fingers, and hands
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Chris finishing up the corner
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From the top of the corner there's one more pitch and then several hundred feet of simul climbing on terrain varying from scrambling to quite steep cracks.

Whitney from the summit
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Eastside Sierra high country
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The descent follows the east ridge for some time which is fun and exposed with massive drops to both the n and s. And after a while you turn south and down the longest scree slope I've ever seen! Literally thousands of feet of scree skiing all the way to camp at the lake. Wild!
One last look at Whitney and the Needles
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Super fun route and a great trip to the high country!
sorry about the blurry splotch on some of the photos, musta had a fogged up lense
teleross
TeleRoss
 
from on the beach

Re: Mt Russell 14,088', Western Front IV 10c

Postby skykilo » Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:47 pm

Plenty of rock up there!
User avatar
skykilo
olikyks
 
from Santa Fe

Re: Mt Russell 14,088', Western Front IV 10c

Postby teleross » Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:39 pm

Yup...no shortage of big stone around here :)
teleross
TeleRoss
 
from on the beach

Re: Mt Russell 14,088', Western Front IV 10c

Postby DonJuanPakistan » Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:08 pm

Good to Superb.
User avatar
DonJuanPakistan
Trippin' travellin'.
 
from Seattle, Washington


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