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Mt. Russell east ridge descent beta
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crackrn


Mar 2, 2007, 7:25 AM
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Mt. Russell east ridge descent beta  (North_America: United_States: California: Bishop_and_Eastern_Sierra: Mt__Russell)
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We got our permits and are headed to Whitney and Russell late August, yeehaw! Our plans are Mithral fo sho with a possible Keeler Needle, or East face of Whitney. Having already made the death slog up to Iceberg Lake once, we are going to go the wimp's route and camp at Upper Boy Scout. What's the descent like from Russell along the east ridge? Googling gets you minimal info and both Supertopo's and Falcon's guidebook say nothing of substance. Lots of boulder hopping? Scree galore? route finding issues? I want it all (beta, that is)!


bandycoot


Mar 2, 2007, 7:43 AM
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Re: [crackrn] Mt. Russell east ridge descent beta [In reply to]
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I would venture to guess that since the supertopo doesn't say anything of substance, there is no substance to the route. It's "4th class" isn't it? Probably boulder scrambling galore. I find that on such territory comfort level is more important than skill level (although they can be related).

Anyways, how's Flagstaff. This is Josh from Vertical Hold. I heard rumor that Mike hurt his knee again. :(

Josh


crackrn


Mar 2, 2007, 7:50 AM
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Re: [bandycoot] Mt. Russell east ridge descent beta [In reply to]
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Hey, Josh! Flag is good although I didn't know it got into negative temps here...brrrrrr! Teensy bit different from sunny SoCal! Mike's doing well. His knee is doing okay. He did a 20 miler in 5 hours right before our wedding and it was pretty sore for about 3 months but it's okay now *whew*.

Back to the topic...that's pretty much what I was thinking. I was just wondering how no-brainer the route finding is. I read that "in places' you have to drop off the ridge on the north side to avoid 5th class. Guess we'll find out. :)
But still looking for experiences/beta.


alpinismo_flujo


Mar 2, 2007, 8:09 AM
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Re: [crackrn] Mt. Russell east ridge descent beta [In reply to]
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Russell East Ridge aka East Arete? Is that what you need beta on? If so, I googled and came up with all kinds of sites.....this is a classic Sierra scramble. One of the best class 3s anywhere.

Decent is a no brainer and it's a fun route. I did it about 2 years ago.

Here is one site with pics -

http://www.wildernesstrip.com/...d=676&category=2


trenchdigger


Mar 2, 2007, 8:12 AM
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Re: [crackrn] Mt. Russell east ridge descent beta [In reply to]
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Hey, tell Mike I said hello too... I climbed with him one day at Queen Mtn in JTree.

I haven't done Russell, but AFAIK, you don't want to take the East Ridge down if you want to get back to Iceberg Lake. There's a descent that heads slightly East, then drops into a gulley down the South face. Here's a link... http://www.summitpost.org/...face-right-side.html
Check the photos on the page for rough topos of the route.


murf


Mar 2, 2007, 8:50 AM
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Re: [crackrn] Mt. Russell east ridge descent beta [In reply to]
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RE: East Ridge Descent - Its not to bad to puzzle out the East Ridge coming from the summit. You just need to "feel" your way down. My memory...
- Boulder off the summit, feel for the blind step.
- head for the East summit, but aim for the notch below it.
- Head down that notch, don't kick crap on your partner
- wander east, somtimes up, sometimes down.
- After most of the way, you'll actually head to the other side of the ridge for a small bit.
- When you hit the talus valley, take the use trail ESE to a boulder on the horizon.
- Follow the use talus to UBS, emptying shoes periodically.

RE: Keeler - The super hip and fit can power up Keeler no problem. A couple of things that I felt helped our ascent tremendously: We camped above UBS but below Iceberg. There's a site with water about 2/3's the way in between the two, before you start up the slope to Iceberg. Secondly, we fixed a line up the snow the day before we did Keeler. For the alpine start, it was nice to prussic up the slope rather than stress about axes/slipping or the bouldering bergschrund on left.

One other thing on Keeler... when you make the traverse towards the top on the 5.7 shitty flakes, go *farther* than you think. Even though the topo's say go farther, go farther yet. That is, unless, you are looking forward to another 5.10 pitch.

Have fun


(This post was edited by murf on Mar 2, 2007, 8:55 AM)


crackrn


Mar 2, 2007, 9:25 AM
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Re: [alpinismo_flujo] Mt. Russell east ridge descent beta [In reply to]
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Ah, east arete. I was googling east ridge descent and coming up with almost bupkus. Thanks!

Trenchdigger, I'll pass along your hello. We're camping at UBS, not Iceberg so we'll def. want the east ridge (arete) descent.

Murf, thanks for the beta. When you say that after most of the way you head "to the other side" for a bit, do you mean the north side? I laughed when you wrote about pausing periodically to empty your shoes. Did that several times down the Mountaineers route. Good info on Keeler...the husband will be doing that with his good friend so I'll pass that along. I"ll be making my way up Whitney (if I can con someone along with me).


(This post was edited by crackrn on Mar 2, 2007, 9:32 AM)


murf


Mar 2, 2007, 10:42 AM
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Re: [crackrn] Mt. Russell east ridge descent beta [In reply to]
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RE: Keeler - The best topo to be had for Keeler is the naclassics ( www.naclassics.com ). I looked at Crofts, ST's, and this one. All of them were fairly similar for most of the pitches below the "crux", but Croft and ST are pretty indistinct above it. I was talking about when you traverse up and right over the crest to the North face on some pretty bad rock. You get to a ledge system with clean crack upward. These are more 5.10 climbing, and you can avoid them but continuing right, which looks improbable.


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