On August 12 it was a pleasure to climb with Betsy on my favorite 3rd class route in the Sierra. Betsy is a lifelong visitor to the Whitney area but had never been up Mt. Russell. We met at the Whitney Portal Hostel and drove to Whitney Portal beginning our hike long before the sun came up. A beautiful, clear, and warm night made the approach to Upper Boyscout Lake a very enjoyable hike. We were treated to a gorgeous sunrise high above Upper Boyscout Lake. We were greeted with superb weather making for another enjoyable ascent of the East Ridge of Mt. Russell. After reaching the summit we descended down the southwest chute, over the Whitney/Russell Col, past Iceberg Lake, and down to Whitney Portal in the afternoon with plenty of time to enjoy bacon cheeseburgers at the Whitney Portal Store. The rest of the pictures are here: http://kurtwedbergphotography.com/Sierra-Trips/2009-Sierra-Trips/Mt-Russell-East-Ridge-August/9259727_M5WTg/1/618536412_RT9J4
Andrew Lewicky from www.sierradescents.com and Eileen Bistrisky from Vancouver joined us for another memorable climb of the East Face of Mt. Whitney. In addition to Kurt’s photos Andy wore a helmet cam for the climb. Some of the video shot includes a great sequence on the Fresh Air Traverse, one of the funnest and most classic alpine climbing pitches in the country! A detailed write up of the climb can be viewed here: http://www.sierradescents.com/climbing/whitney/east-face.html. Video cam footage of the Fresh Air Traverse can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvgzcz45arg.
Kurt’s photo’s of the climb are here: http://kurtwedbergphotography.com/Sierra-Trips/2009-Sierra-Trips/Mt-Whitney-East-Face-August-9/9238581_C9w8F/1/616670270_kfDZd
Norman Clyde Peak is named after the famous Sierra mountaineering pioneer. It is located just north of Middle Palisade Peak (14,040′). It has several high quality routes leading to its lofty summit and has one of the greatest views of any peak in the Sierra. Because this peak gets overlooked by many mountaineers who focus on the California 14ers Norman Clyde Peak remains a hidden gem and one of the all time classic peaks in the Sierra. The NNE Face is an intricate 3rd and 4th class ascent requiring good route finding skills and efficient climbing to make good time over its intricate route.