Ascent of Mount Russell-East Peak on 1988-09-02

Climber: David Olson

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, September 2, 1988
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Russell-East Peak
    Elevation:14042 ft / 4280 m

Ascent Trip Report

Sept 2 1988 Friday. I woke up to the Range of Light and took a P photo. I then packed up and moved camp up to Upper Boy Scout Lake, fighting my way through boulders and willows. At U.B.S. I chatted for an hour with Chuck and Gigi, from Montana. They had climbed the Curved Arete of Mt. Russell and came down the East Arete. After they left I climbed up to the Russell-Carillon saddle, to try the East Arete. For lack of the backpack I had my water bottle in one large pocket of my mtn.-parka, the
camera and snacks in the other, a pair of polypropylene socks in one of the smaller pockets and the map in the other. I had the whole tied about my waist. To climb the East Arete ascend a narrowing boulder-field, pass the first obstacle, several narrow fins crosswise across the ridge, and gain the 8-ft. wide ledge on the north side of the ridge. It is a little like the ledge on Needles-Grizzly, pinnacles and gendarmes above the ledge, slabbing off to a quick 1000 ft. drop like the west face of Capitol below
the ledge. It takes one easily past some awful looking terrain. Then the ledge ends and the ridge becomes an extended sidewalk in the sky. Gad - it is narrower. Gad - I need to climb this this narrow thing straight up - no way around. Gad - it has a smooth 50 inch high block (narrower) which I have to surmount.
I spent 20 minutes reading the register on the East summit, 14076', then went over to the West summit, 14086' and spent 20 minutes reading its register. The connecting ridge requires care, nothing special. One entry in the West summit told of a party coming up a technical route (West?) when they got struck by lightning. Another day they tried again and made the top, and as they took the register in hand their hair flew
straight up. They fled the top, register in hand and brought it back a week later. Of those who expressed an opinion one-half thought the East Arete was a walkup and the other one-half strongly disagreed with the class 3 rating. Was it Russell's register that I saw R.J.Secor's (Mexican Volcanoes) signature? He had been up it 4 times! On the way up I had thought that it was the hardest 14er I had done. On the way down I was willing to consider that one or two other 14ers had been harder. At the last hard
spot the water bottle fell out of my kit and went over the cliff. I went over and climbed Mt. Carillon, 13552 ft. Just below the summit I found a small water bottle. No one had been up there since Aug 21st. I took the bottle.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3707 ft / 1129 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2723 ft / 829 m
    Grade/Class:class 3
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Tent Camp
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3707 ft / 1129 m
    Route:Standard route, east arete
    Start Trailhead:Lower Boy Scout Lake  10335 ft / 3150 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2723 ft / 829 m
    Route:Over to Mt. Russell summit, then to Carillon, then
    End Trailhead:Upper Boy Scout Lake  11319 ft / 3450 m

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