Photographer's Note

Beyond the Alabama Hills, seen here in the foreground, the Whitney Portal Road heads west. At the end of the road, about 10 miles from Highway 395 and Lone Pine, are hiking trails leading into mountains over 14,000 feet above sea level. On the left, Mt. Muir at 14,012', center - Mt. Whitney at 14,494', and Mt. Russell on the right 14,088'.

Mt. Russell was named after the Wheeler Survey; he was a member of, and geology professor from Michigan.
After the Civil War the U.S. turned its attention West. In 1869 the U.S. Congress approved a survey of the West beyond the 100th meridian. From 1869 until 1879, the main goal was to make topographic maps of the southwest, and the leader was First Lieutenant and later Captain George Montague Wheeler.
"In addition he was to ascertain everything related to the physical features of the region; discover the numbers, habits, and disposition of Indians in the section, select sites for future military installations; determine facilities available for making rail or common roads; and note mineral resources, climate, geology, vegetation, water sources, and agricultural potential."

The Wheeler Survey after 1879 evolved into the United States Geological Survey.

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Additional Photos by Ray Anderson (photoray) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1203 W: 1 N: 3169] (13981)
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