Mount Carillon, The Cleaver, Mount Russell, Thor Peak, Tunnabora Peak
By: Sigrid Hutto
R.J Secor kindly assisted me on my provisional lead of this Lone Pine north fork group. We left Whitney Portal on Friday with the group members who could get away early: myself, Tom Sexton, R.J., and Rex Hyon. We were at Upper Boy Scout Lake in a leisurely five hours, with surprisingly little bushwacking. The trail on the north side of the creek was obvious, and above Lower Boy Scout Lake the one of twenty or so trails we settled on, went well. That afternoon myself, R.J., and Rex climbed Thor Peak returning to camp within three hours. Party members arriving that afternoon were Don Tanaka and Kevin Doyle and later that evening, Ed Ross.
The following day we left camp at 7:30 a.m. or so to ascend the Russell-Carillon saddle. We then headed up the infamously exposed ridge of Russell dropping to the north a little bit later than we could have to wind our way up to the summit. From there R.J. took the lead down the North arete to the Tulainyo Lake bowl. We all agreed that given the choice the return to the Russell-Carillon saddle and down would be faster and easier. From there we ascended the easy route up Tunnabora and noting time of day all but R.J. decided against the Cleaver. The main group headed back to the Russell Carillon saddle watching R.J.'s progress. After surmounting the saddle (it's tougher from that side) all but Ed climbed easy Carillon. We were back at camp by 4 p.m. and all but Rex decided to break camp and hike out that night. We were at the cars by 8:00 p.m. Rex and R.J. hiked out the following morning.
Despite the north fork trail difficulties this area has proved itself worth coming back to again and again. Thank you to all the participants who put up with my provisional weekend willies.
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