Mt. Russell, East Ridge

At 14,094 feet, Mt. Russell is one of thirteen peaks in the Sierra over 14,000 feet.

Elevation: 14,094/4296m
Difficulty: Beginner
Length of Trip: 2-3 Days
Difficulty Rating: Class 3


Mt. Russell’s East Ridge is a fun route with spectacular views throughout.  The climbing is 3rd class requiring the use of hands and feet but no previous rock climbing skills are required.  The rock is firm white granite with plenty of good hand and footholds.  The ridge has some short sections of exposure while offering an outstanding view of Lake Tulainyo, which at 12,818’/3907m is the highest lake in the Western Hemisphere. The approach takes us up the North Fork of Lone Pine creek offering beautiful scenery throughout.  Sierra mountaineering legend Norman Clyde made the first ascent of this route in 1926.  Today it continues to be a favorite among many Sierra aficionados.  Join us and come learn why!


Day 1: The group meets at the Whitney Portal trailhead at 8365’/2550m. After dividing up group loads we ascend the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek to our camp at Upper Boyscout Lake (11,300’/3444m). There is time in the afternoon to relax and hydrate while enjoying the views of the Owens Valley, the Alabama Hills, Death Valley, and the Inyo Mountains. You may also take a swim in the lake if you want!

Day 2 is summit day. We wake early and get a predawn start. From our camp we ascend the south slope of Mt. Carillon to the Russell-Carillon Col. The route traverses west onto the East Ridge where the terrain becomes more exposed and some hands and feet moves are required.  We use a climbing rope for extra protection on the exposed terrain but no previous rock climbing training or experience is required.  After our summit we descend the SW Chute then over the Whitney/Russell Col and down past Iceberg lake to our camp at Upper Boy Scout Lake.

Day 3 is devoted to packing up and descending back to the cars. We are usually back at lunchtime.


$520 per day guided 1:1
$320 per person per day guided 2:1


Any date between May 1 and October 31.  Book using the button below or contact our office.