Submitted By: Dobish on November 14, 2010
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From the summit, cut through the trees to return to the second headwall. At the bottom of the first snowfield/meadow, pick your way through the trees staying left (most people take the gully and cut left) to another prominent meadow. One more group of aspens, and the third meadow becomes apparent. Just beyond the trees at the bottom of the third meadow is the road where you started.
Numerous variations exist into some rather tight trees, but this route is well-traveled enough that you can get pow turns in the meadows and follow tracks through the trees to the next mostly-unskied meadow.
If you are skiing early season, keep in mind there is a lot of deadfall and broken leg potential lurking under shallow snow, especially in the aspen trees.[more]
Russell Peak is easily accessible with a little bit of a hike, but also can be extremely unstable due to a large cornice that forms at the top of the ridge. Attaining Russell Peak will give you access to a ridgeline that can get you to Oatmeal Bowl, No-Name Peak, Stanley Peak, and Moonlight Basin, with much more to explore from there.
There are high winds generally on Russell, and it is often wind scoured. There are some steeper chutes, as well as more open bowls, but be careful of rollovers and terrain traps.
How to Get There
Russell Peak is located on the west side of Berthoud Pass, along the ridge line from Lift Gully, where the old ski resort used to be. It is one of the most visible peaks from the parking lot, and is past the radio tower. It is located just north of No-Name Peak, and 2 peaks north of the prominent Stanley Peak.
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