MT WHITNEY, EAST FACE,vari. MY FIRST ALPINE EXPERIENCE
I remember the date cause it was the same weekend MI-2 movie came out and Plaster Rob also took me up the Fishhook. The face traverse and chimney were def 5.7 for me, the washboard ramp easy 2-3 even though i led that part; missed the golden staircase, went up a 11 foot+, one-move wonder, crack that felt like hard 9 or 10a; then a 5.8 muddy mantle near the top.
Climbed the East Face & Fishhook this weekend and was a tad disappointed in the East Face. Sure, its a classic and I'm glad I have it under my belt, but not so sure about all those stars. And Peter Croft was right, there WERE "hordes of weirdos writhing around in some heinous group hug" atop. Mt. Russell was more secluded and quiet. Also, that descent down the Mountaineer's Route gully sucks. Usually, very judicious, my partner nearly sent a huge rock rolling down on me and I've never run so fast in my life to get out of the way of that thing. Mt. Russell's descent was more sandy, faster and fun.
Of course its hard to compare after such a great route as Fishhook - perhaps if we hadn't done that first, I would be more stoked.