I stashed my poles, pulled on some work gloves, and began the scramble. For the first part, I trended left until I reached the ridge. It was incredibly loose and at one point I scrambled to my right in an attempt to find more solid ground, but in the end it was worse: loose rock on top of solid rock. Counter-intuitively, it was better to stay on the purely loose stuff.
This short diversion off-route actually helped me because I gained some confidence descending the loose scree as I discovered it was more predictable than I feared. I continued my leftward, upward trend and soon reached the ridge.
The scrambling got a lot easier from that point on and would have been easier still if the wind hadn't been so blustery. I stayed low and used lots of handholds as I made my way ever closer to the top.
Just before the summit, there was a short down-climb and a notch to cross before what appears to be a near-vertical climb. As is so often the case, however, the closer I got, the more doable it appeared.
In short order I was on top! I had climbed into the clouds and was now too high for good views all around, but I got an awesome look down over the impressive Overlord Glacier.
I often forget when solo, but this time I had the presence of mind to remember to take a self-timer summit shot. This pose is a nod to Cody (here he is
on Fissile back in 2014).
The clouds did clear enough for me to get a view back down to Russet Lake...
...but the tops of all the surrounding mountains were cut off.
I was up to the summit in about 1:45 from the lake and was on my way back down after less than 15 min on top. The scramble was actually easier on the way down, but I was still glad to return to my hiking poles and get back on to relatively solid ground.
My total return time from Russet Lake to Fissile was 3 hours, which was nice because I was able to eat dinner and get settled in the tent for the night before dark and before any rain started to fall.
Part 2 of my Russet Lake trip.
Whistler Peak to Russet Lake (one way):
11.6 kms Elevation:
680 m Time:
3 hours 46 minutes
Russet Lake to Fissile Peak (return):
4.6 kms Elevation:
599 m Time:
2 hours 59 minutes