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#50385 - 06/27/17 09:19 PM north fork of lone pine creek and mt. russell 'trail' cond.
futbol Offline


Registered: 06/27/17
Posts: 12
Loc: San Diego, CA
I'm hiking/climbing Mt. Russell next week via the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek.

Can anyone here describe the trail conditions and how cross-able the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek is or should be?

Our permit is for overnight and I plan to camp between Mt. Whitney and Mt. Russell below the Mountaineers' Route and over the notch between these peaks... above Upper Boy Scout Lake and the unnamed lakes above it.

This is my third time up this route, although the previous hikes have been during the California drought and we used the Russell-Carillon Pass.

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#50396 - 06/28/17 08:37 AM Re: north fork of lone pine creek and mt. russell 'trail' cond. [Re: futbol]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7195
Loc: Fresno, CA

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#50398 - 06/28/17 08:57 AM Re: north fork of lone pine creek and mt. russell 'trail' cond. [Re: Steve C]
futbol Offline


Registered: 06/27/17
Posts: 12
Loc: San Diego, CA
Thanks Steve!

That is good info.

The creek crossing thread is also informative. Good thing we will be crossing that creek in the morning.

Still, I'm predicting the waterfall before the E-ledges will be raging.

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#50635 - 07/06/17 09:37 AM Re: north fork of lone pine creek and mt. russell 'trail' cond. [Re: futbol]
futbol Offline


Registered: 06/27/17
Posts: 12
Loc: San Diego, CA

Just exited the trail yesterday. The water level along Lone Pine Creek is not out-of-control. It is cross-able, at least along the North Fork.

Here are some images to show.

[img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/O6z848...L=w1231-h693-no[/img]

[video:google]https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipNE...TNka2h5R0RpVEJ3[/video]

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#50636 - 07/06/17 09:43 AM Re: north fork of lone pine creek and mt. russell 'trail' cond. [Re: futbol]
futbol Offline


Registered: 06/27/17
Posts: 12
Loc: San Diego, CA
This is the first water crossing along the North Fork trail.



First water crossing.



Below the waterfall near the E-ledges.



Lower Boy Scout Lake.








As you can see in the last picture, there is snow between Lower and Upper Boy Scout Lakes.



Edited by futbol (07/06/17 04:41 PM)

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#50647 - 07/06/17 03:07 PM Re: north fork of lone pine creek and mt. russell 'trail' cond. [Re: futbol]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7195
Loc: Fresno, CA
futbol: I don't know about anyone else, but I cannot access your pictures. They don't show up in the browser window.

Edit: can see them now.


Edited by Steve C (07/06/17 05:10 PM)

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#50650 - 07/06/17 03:54 PM Re: north fork of lone pine creek and mt. russell 'trail' cond. [Re: Steve C]
futbol Offline


Registered: 06/27/17
Posts: 12
Loc: San Diego, CA
Sorry, I'll fix this. I thought they were made public.

edit: Just edited above. I took these pictures just because people (including me) were asking about water levels. Please let me know if they are still un-viewable.

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#50651 - 07/06/17 05:09 PM Re: north fork of lone pine creek and mt. russell 'trail' cond. [Re: futbol]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7195
Loc: Fresno, CA
They ARE viewable now. Thanks!!

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#50899 - 07/13/17 04:19 PM Re: north fork of lone pine creek and mt. russell 'trail' cond. [Re: futbol]
tollermom Offline


Registered: 04/18/14
Posts: 26
Loc: Carson City, NV
Hi, I'm looking at the photos of the first creek crossing. Eek. Since temps have only gotten warmer, do I assume the creek is still quite wide and deep? I am going up July 23. I'm considering the old trail (from reading olds posts) to avoid the first crossing. Does this seem like sage advice...particularly since one in our group doesn't like water crossings? Thanks

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#50911 - 07/13/17 11:13 PM Re: north fork of lone pine creek and mt. russell 'trail' cond. [Re: tollermom]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7195
Loc: Fresno, CA
Yes. I found the old trail to be in pretty bad shape last summer, but others this year say it isn't so bad. It sounds like someone has improved the bad spots a bit.

It is pretty simple to find and follow. If anything, it shortens the distance a little.

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#50912 - 07/14/17 06:30 AM Re: north fork of lone pine creek and mt. russell 'trail' cond. [Re: Steve C]
tollermom Offline


Registered: 04/18/14
Posts: 26
Loc: Carson City, NV
Thanks Steve. We'll give it a shot.

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#50913 - 07/14/17 07:00 AM Re: north fork of lone pine creek and mt. russell 'trail' cond. [Re: tollermom]
Anthony J Offline


Registered: 07/12/17
Posts: 1
Loc: TN
We're going up on the 19th, and that's our strategy as well. If it turns out to be a massive mistake, I'll reply here to share that, but I think it's going to work out well.

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#50915 - 07/14/17 09:31 AM Re: north fork of lone pine creek and mt. russell 'trail' cond. [Re: Anthony J]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 446
Loc: Saugus, CA
Going up this weekend. I think we'll be staying on the N. Side of the Creek all the way up to UBSL.

Either way, we will let you know!
_________________________
@jjoshuagregory (Twitter & Instagram) for landscape and mountain photo spamming...

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#50929 - 07/14/17 10:22 PM Re: north fork of lone pine creek and mt. russell 'trail' cond. [Re: Snacking Bear]
RenoFrank Online


Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 411
Loc: Reno, NV
Originally Posted By: Snacking Bear
I think we'll be staying on the N. Side of the Creek all the way up to UBSL.


You're taking the "Rockwell Shortcut"?

And the "slabs" north of LBSL? Is that considered a short cut? I think I heard that it is shorter when the last FKT was done.

I'm interested in both. If you can supply beta please do (Although I think Steve C has described the first thoroughly)

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#50934 - 07/15/17 11:18 AM Re: north fork of lone pine creek and mt. russell 'trail' cond. [Re: Anthony J]
futbol Offline


Registered: 06/27/17
Posts: 12
Loc: San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: Anthony J
We're going up on the 19th, and that's our strategy as well. If it turns out to be a massive mistake, I'll reply here to share that, but I think it's going to work out well.


Please share either way. I'm curious about this alternative route.

BTW, we made the first water crossing by walking over that thin log and holding onto the branches above it. We were successful but I think also lucky.

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#50974 - 07/17/17 08:10 PM Re: north fork of lone pine creek and mt. russell 'trail' cond. [Re: futbol]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 446
Loc: Saugus, CA
Hey all!

I went up yesterday. We decide to get an extra early start due to the forecast.

We looked for Steve's route, but since we started in the dark we got off route. After thrashing around in the willows and creek for almost 45 minutes we decided to stick with the regular route.

If you hit the creek in the daylight Steve's route becomes pretty clear.

Crossings weren't too bad. With waterproof boots, Dave and I only had to do a wet crossing at LBSL.

Frank: for a description of the slab route read here.

Since we were still in the dark at LBSL we just felt out the regular route, considering the steep cliffs on the slab route, and the route finding we didn't want to waste more time or risk anything without the sun.

We only got to the slabs above LBSL when my buddy got injured.

However, the climb up to the Russell-Carillon Col/Plateau looked mostly melted out, the belly of the slope was still padded with snow. It looked easily bypassable.

I've also browsed the summit photos of recent Whitney Summiteers and the ridge on Russell looks mostly clear.

But as far as that goes that is only speculation.
_________________________
@jjoshuagregory (Twitter & Instagram) for landscape and mountain photo spamming...

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#50987 - 07/17/17 10:36 PM Re: north fork of lone pine creek and mt. russell 'trail' cond. [Re: Snacking Bear]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7195
Loc: Fresno, CA
Dude! Really sorry you missed the Rockwell shortcut! Maybe the hint should be: When in doubt, look up to the right. Those two places to go up are key.

If you take the "slab route", can you get back to the regular route to Upper Boy Scout? It looks interesting.

Sorry your bud got hurt -- how badly?

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#50989 - 07/17/17 10:58 PM Re: north fork of lone pine creek and mt. russell 'trail' cond. [Re: Steve C]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 446
Loc: Saugus, CA
Yeah, it was tough to pick out in the dark. Coming down I was able to note key features in the light of day (on the other side).

As far as the slab, yes you make a beeline for where the MR passes to the south of the Iceberg buttress above UBSL. The way there is Class 2-3, or you can go over a sand hump and end up right at the lake.

My bud is going to be just fine. He stepped on a bad piece of talus and fell ribs first on a boulder. After giving the worst scream I've ever heard, he tested it and thought he would be good to continue.

We pushed a little further to UBSL to have him test how bad it was, (UBSL has cell service and spots where a chopper can land) and once the adrenaline of the fall wore off he realized any strenuous movement on his right side produced a sharp pain where he fell.

We were afraid it might be a broken rib (which can puncture a lung). Going up was out of the question and we debated going down on foot. With the crossings and the E- ledges I decided to call the Sherriff's dept (Not 911, not using my PLB) to see if a busted rib posited a severe danger. They patched us through to Inyo SAR. Upon hearing what happened Cpl. Vaughn thought it would be best to send a chopper to make sure that Dave didn't fall again and make the injury worse.

We waited about 3 hours, Dave got triaged (no clean break) and helivacked to Lone Pine Hospital.

Turns out to be a bad bruise that was causing his big back muscles to spasm painfully. They gave him Vicodin and discharged him upon finishing his X-ray.

I got to hike out.
_________________________
@jjoshuagregory (Twitter & Instagram) for landscape and mountain photo spamming...

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#50990 - 07/17/17 11:00 PM Re: north fork of lone pine creek and mt. russell 'trail' cond. [Re: Snacking Bear]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 446
Loc: Saugus, CA
For chopper footage check out my Instagram @jjoshuagregory
_________________________
@jjoshuagregory (Twitter & Instagram) for landscape and mountain photo spamming...

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#50991 - 07/18/17 01:34 AM Re: north fork of lone pine creek and mt. russell 'trail' cond. [Re: Snacking Bear]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7195
Loc: Fresno, CA
Check it out!! from Instagram



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