American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

United States, California—Sierra Nevada, Mount Russell, West Chimney

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1990

Mount Russell, West Chimney, The west face of Mount Russell is one of the finest big walls in the Sierra Nevada. In early September, after descending from another route on the peak, Steve Porcella and I stood under this face and spotted a steep chimney. It is left of the main west face but right of the west couloir. It was, in fact, the most noticeable unclimbed line on the mountain. Although late in the day, we eagerly started up. We climbed three pitches, including a 5.9 overhang on the second pitch, before traversing left and rappelling into the west couloir in total blackness. The next day, we quickly regained our highpoint and continued for five more pitches of chimneys and sometimes loose, poorly- protected climbing. Steve led the seventh and crux pitch, a shallow dihedral culminating in unprotected 5.10 face moves. (III, 5.10.)

Cameron M. Burns, Los Alamos Mountaineers

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