Mount Russell (California)

Coordinates: 36°35′26″N 118°17′21″W / 36.5906707°N 118.2890359°W / 36.5906707; -118.2890359
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Mount Russell
The south face of Mount Russell viewed from atop Mount Whitney
Highest point
Elevation14,094 ft (4,296 m) NAVD 88[1]
Prominence1,096 ft (334 m)[1]
Parent peakMount Whitney[2]
Coordinates36°35′26″N 118°17′21″W / 36.5906707°N 118.2890359°W / 36.5906707; -118.2890359[6]
Mount Russell is located in California
Mount Russell
Mount Russell
LocationInyo and Tulare counties
California, U.S.
Parent rangeSierra Nevada
Topo mapUSGS Mount Whitney
First ascentJune 24, 1926 by Norman Clyde[7]
Easiest routeExposed Scramble, class 3[7]

Mount Russell is a peak in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the U.S. state of California, about 0.8 miles (1.3 km) north of Mount Whitney. Possessing an elevation of 14,094 feet (4,296 m), it is the seventh-highest peak in the state and one of California's twelve fourteeners.


Mount Russell is located on the Sierra Crest, which in this area marks the boundary between the John Muir Wilderness, the Inyo National Forest and Sequoia National Park; and the boundary between Inyo County and Tulare County. It rises just southwest of Tulainyo Lake, one of the highest and largest of the alpine lakes of the southern Sierra.


The peak was named for Israel Cook Russell, an American geologist who was a member of the Wheeler Survey and who was best known for his explorations in Alaska.[8]


The first ascent of Mount Russell was on June 24, 1926, by famed Sierra mountaineer Norman Clyde. It offers climbers at least a dozen routes, from multiple scrambling routes (class 3) to a serious technical route (Grade IV, 5.10).[7]

Mount Russell sees far less traffic than its much more famous neighbor Mount Whitney. However, since its southern and eastern slopes fall in the Mount Whitney Zone of the Inyo National Forest, these approaches are governed by stricter access limits. From May to October, only ten people per day are permitted to enter the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek for overnight use. Day-use climbers are grouped with the Whitney Main Trail day-use quota. This puts climbers on Russell's most common approaches in competition with climbers on Whitney's popular Mountaineer's Route, and also with the Main Trail users.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Mount Russell, California". Retrieved 2009-01-13.
  2. ^ "Key Col for Mount Russell". Retrieved 2016-03-23.
  3. ^ "California 14,000-foot Peaks". Retrieved 2016-03-23.
  4. ^ "Sierra Peaks Section List" (PDF). Angeles Chapter, Sierra Club. Retrieved 2009-02-10.
  5. ^ "Western States Climbers Qualifying Peak List". Retrieved 2016-03-24.
  6. ^ "Mount Russell". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved 2009-01-13.
  7. ^ a b c Roper, Steve (1976). The Climber's Guide to the High Sierra. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books. p. 305, 367. ISBN 978-0871561473.
  8. ^ Farquhar, Francis P. (1926). Place Names of the High Sierra. San Francisco: Sierra Club. Retrieved 2009-01-13.
  9. ^ "Recreational Activities - Mount Whitney Zone Map". Inyo National Forest website. Archived from the original on 2014-02-03. Retrieved 2014-01-19.

External links[edit]