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Ascent of Russian Peak on 2018-06-23

Climber: Andrew Kirmse

Others in Party:Dean Gaudet -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Date:Saturday, June 23, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Russian Peak
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:8190 ft / 2496 m

Ascent Trip Report

On our drive up to the Preston Peak area, Dean and I stopped to get Russian Peak, a relatively short hike up a P2k. The last road in is fairly rough and rocky, so high clearance is a good idea. The first mile of the hike went quickly along a road, slightly uphill to the wilderness boundary. We then descended on a steep, ill-defined use trail down to Bingham Lake, where we ran into a solitary camper who had been up to the peak yesterday. He, like Daryn Dodge’s trip report, advised staying off the obvious ridge due to dense brush. We circled around the lakeshore and then started uphill, angling left so that we’d end up a little below the summit. For the most part this was a steep slog through forest with lots of downed branches and not too much underbrush. But a few hundred vertical feet from the summit, manzanita began to appear, and then got taller and denser. Forest duff turned to larger and larger boulders and our progress slowed. Nearer the summit we wound up crawling through a narrow rock tunnel, and then scrambling the rest of the way to the top. There were excellent views here, especially to the glaciers of the Trinity Alps.

About 0.4 miles from the cars, we found a group of people standing around, including two holding babies. They asked if we had cell reception and could call 911. One of their group was up the hill and had sustained serious injuries by falling from some rock spires off to our left. As we were discussing options, another member of the group reported that she had reached 911 and help was on the way. Back at the cars, we learned that this was part of some kind of camp group. As the counselors were setting up climbing ropes, one of the campers had apparently gone off on his own, unroped, and fallen. I gave them my reflective space blanket to signal a helicopter if one was coming. We encountered 5 or 6 various kinds of emergency vehicles coming in on our drive out.

Photos
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Russian Peak from the start of the descent to Bingham Lake (2018-06-23). Photo by Andrew Kirmse.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1980 ft / 604 m
    Distance:4.3 mi / 6.9 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:1980 ft / 604 m
    Extra Loss:870 ft / 265 m
    Distance:4.3 mi / 6.9 km
    Trailhead:7080 ft / 2157 m
Descent Statistics
    Distance:0 mi / 0 km



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