Mt Russell East Ridge/SW face + Whitney

25-26 Oct 2003 - by Sid Rao

Participants: Sid Rao, Scott Swaney, Jason Richet, Rudy McEntire, Raymeister 5 of us started from UBS at 4:45am on sunday. Reached Russell-Carrillon saddle at 6:45. This was a scree slog but we were treated with some great sunrise views. Started along the 1/2 mile east ridge at around 7:10 and reached the west peak by 9:15. The views were spectacular. On the way we stopped and shoved some boulders down, it made heart stopping sounds going down 2000' and crashing into the lake. Started down at about 9:45 via SW face. The top 50 ft, from ridge is easy class 4 (or maybe hard class 3, REFER photo marked "Downclimbing") and then its scree. Stick to the sides going down on this field since its very loose. Rudy almost got caught in a rock avalanche. This route dropped us near the notch on NE side 1000' above Iceberg lake. Whitney was about 2.5 hr RT from here. It was 11:00, Scott, Rudy and Jason decided to go to Whitney. You can come down about 300' (no need to come all the way down to Iceberg) and then traverse towards the mountaineers route, from there the peak is about an hr. Ray decided to go back to camp. I had to be back at trailhead by 2pm so Ray and I started towards UBS at 11:30. Others were on Whitney by 12:45. I ran back to UBS packed up and ran down to trailhead reaching at 2pm and reached home just in time to catch my 11:30pm red-eye.