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#53354 - 06/06/18 08:38 PM Mt Whitney (MR), Mt Muir & Mt Russell - looking for advice
wshaynes Offline


Registered: 06/06/18
Posts: 18
Loc: California
I'm part of a group of four fairly experienced climbers (we have several fourteeners between us including Mt Williamson, Mt Langley, Mt Whitney Main Trail, White Mountain, and Middle Palisade). We are doing the Mountaineer's Route about 3 weeks from now and I'm looking for advice on gear, routes, etc... We are doing it as a multi day trip as follows: DAY ONE: Trail head to UBSL. DAY TWO: Summit Mt Whitney via the MR as well as summit Mt. Muir, then head back to UBSL. DAY THREE: Summit Mt Russell via the East Ridge, then back to UBSL. DAY FOUR: Pack out.

Appreciate any tips!


Edited by wshaynes (06/06/18 08:41 PM)

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#53359 - 06/06/18 10:19 PM Re: Mt Whitney (MR), Mt Muir & Mt Russell - looking for advice [Re: wshaynes]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 351
Loc: Reno, Nevada
Your plans sound sensible. I donít think itís common to do the MR, Muir, and back down the MR, but it works really well. Camping at UBSL is fine, but I prefer to camp at Iceberg Lake.

Middle Palisade, Muir, the MR, and the East Ridge on Russell are all classic routes, and they are roughly equal in difficulty. The MR is technically the easiest. Russell doesnít require more skill, but it has more exposure. Whatever gear you brought for Middle Palisade (if any) is probably right for this trip.

You can get better route descriptions than I can give at summitpost.org or R.J. Secorís book.

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#53361 - 06/07/18 06:07 AM Re: Mt Whitney (MR), Mt Muir & Mt Russell - looking for advice [Re: bobpickering]
wshaynes Offline


Registered: 06/06/18
Posts: 18
Loc: California
Thanks for the intel! Couple follow up questions: Would camping at Iceberg Lake also work for accessing Mt Russell? We brought crampons and ice axes for Middle Palisade, planning on doing the same (as you advised) for this trip. We were also considering some climbing gear (30m rope, wired stoppers, quick-draws) in case we need to belay for the summit block of Mt Muir, and/or for roping-up for the knife's edge on Mt Russell. We don't want to haul up a bunch of gear we don't need, but we also want to be prepared to travel safely should the situation call for it. Would love your feedback on this as well... thx again!

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#53363 - 06/07/18 08:43 AM Re: Mt Whitney (MR), Mt Muir & Mt Russell - looking for advice [Re: wshaynes]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7577
Loc: Fresno, CA
If you didn't use a rope on Williamson, I don't think you would need anything on Muir. I've been up and back down Muir several times, with first timers, too, and they all did fine on it.

Iceberg lake is where you would start the southern chute route on Russell. If you wanted to do the east ridge, UBSL would be the right place to start.

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#53365 - 06/07/18 09:13 AM Re: Mt Whitney (MR), Mt Muir & Mt Russell - looking for advice [Re: wshaynes]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 351
Loc: Reno, Nevada
I should have been clearer. I recommend the same ROCK gear (if any) that you brought for Middle Palisade. All of the peaks mentioned in this thread are climbed un-roped all the time, but if you needed a rope on Middle Palisade, you may also want one on Russell and maybe even the others.

I have a little game I sometimes play: How far up a peak can I go without putting my hands on the rock? Leaning on elbows and forearms is OK, just no hands. With careful footwork and route finding (I had been there before), I once got up Muir without using my hands. Itís just not that hard. Besides, it would be awkward to belay from the summit block.

Three weeks from now, Iím confident that you wonít need crampons or an axe for Muir or Russell. The Mountaineersí Route up to the notch might require crampons. Read what you can here and on WPSMB to make a decision on crampons.

Iíve climbed Russell several times from Iceberg Lake. You just walk around the west side of the lake and up to Whitney-Russell Pass. Itís an easy stroll from there to Russell. Unfortunately, I forgot that you want to do the East Ridge, and there is no easy stroll to the East Ridge from there. You could climb the South Face Right Side, also a quality class 3 route. Or you could ignore my questionable advice, camp at UBSL, and enjoy the East Ridge.

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#53368 - 06/08/18 05:25 AM Re: Mt Whitney (MR), Mt Muir & Mt Russell - looking for advice [Re: bobpickering]
wshaynes Offline


Registered: 06/06/18
Posts: 18
Loc: California
Thanks again for the advice. Truly appreciated...

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#53369 - 06/08/18 05:25 AM Re: Mt Whitney (MR), Mt Muir & Mt Russell - looking for advice [Re: Steve C]
wshaynes Offline


Registered: 06/06/18
Posts: 18
Loc: California
Thank you!

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