Mt. Russell, East Ridge (14,086′) September 3-4, 2009

Pleasant temperatures and a forecast for thundershowers greeted us at the start of the Labor Day weekend.  Mt. Russell continues to be overshadowed by its much more popular neighbor Mt. Whitney to the south.  We saw very few people on the entire trip.  The forecast dictated an early start and efficient climbing to get up to the summit and down safely before any potential storm hit.  We hiked up the North Fork Canyon and set up camp at Upper Boyscout Lake.  After dinner we hit the sack early with our rucksacks packed in preparation for a planned early wake up.  The ascent went well as we moved efficiently up the route.  As we descended off the summit storm clouds moved in and we quickly descended off the East Ridge down the Southwest Chute to lower ground.  The storm dropped hail for a short time as it blew through.  We descended back to Upper Boyscout Lake, packed up camp, and returned to Whitney Portal where we enjoyed bacon cheeseburgers from the Whitney Portal Store.

Below are some highlights.  The entire photo gallery is here:  http://kurtwedbergphotography.com/Sierra-Trips/2009-Sierra-Trips/Mt-Russell-East-Ridge-Sept-09/9520818_8AxeF/1/639989408_vF2qH

The team at Whitney Portal saddled up and ready to climb

The team at Whitney Portal saddled up and ready to climb

The Ebersbacher Ledges

The Ebersbacher Ledges

Creek crossing below Upper Boyscout Lake

Creek crossing below Upper Boyscout Lake

The team ready to begin the ascent long before daybreak at camp at Upper Boyscout Lake

The team ready to begin the ascent long before daybreak at camp at Upper Boyscout Lake

The team pausing for a photo in the middle of the East Ridge

The team pausing for a photo in the middle of the East Ridge with Lake Tuleinyo behind

The team negotiating some of the 3rd class moves on the East Ridge

The team negotiating some of the 3rd class moves on the East Ridge

The team taking time out for a quick summit photo before descending ahead of the oncoming storm

The team taking time out for a quick summit photo before descending ahead of the oncoming storm

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