Climbers who are intent on ascending Mount Whitney often overlook Whitney’s smaller neighbor to the north, Mount Russell. We believe that they are making a mistake. Mt. Russell offers great views and one of the best long rock routes around. As one of the fifteen peaks in California that are over 14,000’ in height, Mt. Russell is popular, but generally via the less-technical route East Ridge. The Fishhook Arête could also be called the South Ridge of Russell. It lives up to its name with a lower aesthetic curving swoop that takes four pitches to climb and then an arête direct to the summit. If you are climbing at a solid 5.8 or 5.9 level, this is assuredly a climb that will both challenge and excite you.

This is our video description of what it is like to climb Fishhook Arete.


high-sierra-climbing-super-topo   good-great-awesoeThe best guidebooks are Supertopo’s “High Sierra Climbing” by Chris McNamara and Peter Croft’s “The Good, The Great, and the Awesome”.

Get them from Maximus Press.

We highly recommend that you spend at least one night at moderate altitude (higher than 8,000′) just prior to the trip. Spending a night at Whitney Portal or the Cottonwood Campground would do the trick. Please refer to our Planning for Success info sheet for more info.

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