Correction to Secor, Whitney Russell Saddle

by Steve Eckert
I'm going to suggest to Secor that the traverse from the Whitney Russell (W/R) Saddle to the Russell Carillon (R/C) Saddle be dubbed "The Van Dalsem Traverse", in honor of Dale Van Dalsem who documented it in 1989 and has since passed away. It gets you below the south face of Russell in good style, cutting between 4th and 5th class cliffs with class 2 ease.

When climbing to the W/R pass from the east, you don't go to the true low point because there are nasty cliffs below it. (The pass is south of a cleaver from the saddle.) If you are heading from the W/R saddle to the R/C saddle, use the sandy west side to reach the TRUE low point, then go north down 50' of 2nd class "stairs" to an area of sandy ledges and slab boulders. We had some snow to kick steps in here, but mostly it was melted out. Traversing the ledges is truly easy, but don't look down. You are above many hundred feet of cliffs and below even more of the south face of Russell. Take the very highest (on the left when facing Carillon) chute leading toward the R/C saddle (see waypoints BOTTOM and TOP). The lower chutes will waste your time. The correct chute dumps you onto the east ridge of Russell just as the plateau is narrowing into a true ridge. It's a short walk from there to the R/C saddle, which is steep on the north side but fairly easy 2nd class in spite of how it looks.


The information provided in these pages is provided by interested volunteers and has not been field checked. R.J. Secor, The Mountaineers and the Sierra Club are in no way responsible for the accuracy of any route advice on this web site. Safe climbers must be able to understand the terrain and topography of the area they travel in, and they must make wise route finding choices based their own knowledge, experience and observations.