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Mount Ritter Climber's Log

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jenarrowRoute Climbed: Southeast Glacier Date Climbed: September 4, 2005  Sucess!

jenarrow

After climbing Banner seven years ago while working at the nearby Red's Meadow Pack Station, I am happy to have finally conquered its superior twin. We started the trip off with the luxury of my mom and friend (our posse) carrying the heaviest of our load (the tent and jam-packed bear canister) by horseback to Lake Ediza. We made it to Ediza in about 3 hours and 45 minutes. We camped above the timberline on the Northwest edge of the lake where we were a little more protected from the wind and closer to Ritter.



We started the summit day at 7:00 AM. We headed up to the Lower Gully and planned to follow Alan Ritter's route description as closely as possible. We ended up doing things a little differently. We shot off of to the right of the Lower Gully just beyond the trees on the Tree Rock and over the ridge that Alan Ritter suggests you go behind. We found a non-challenging route through the grass ledges that led us over to the top of a very loose chute that spit us out onto a steep snow slope well below the snow bowl. Crampons made the slope an easy descent. From here we made a diagonal shot to the windridge, staying in crampons the entire time. We crossed over a 20 foot wide tongue of rock extending from the pinnacle--easily, but carefully crossed in crampons. From here we headed towards the three toed buttress and made our way up an easy Class 3 chute just to the right of the main chute (Owen's). From the top of the chute we crossed the relatively flat snow field and slowly made our way to the summit staying off and to the left of the upper snow field.



The descent was a bit more exciting. After debating, we picked what we thought might be the same chute we ascended. As we descended, we quickly noticed that the chute was much steeper, narrower, and more technical. Although the chute became more intimidating, we kept descending hoping not to have to climb back up it. When we got to the bottom we knew exactly where we were--the Dead End Chute. We had the option of strapping on our crampons and descending a steep finger of the glacier that reached up into the chute and was barely wide enough to stand on with a 15 foot drop on either side. After stepping onto it and slipping, we stepped back onto the rock, took the crampons off, and crossed over a thin, vertical rock wall and climbed back onto the glacial finger that extends up into Secor Chute.



From here, we made a smooth descent down the glacier and over to the SE Pinnacle. I did manage to do one face plant on the SE Glacier. We stayed low on the snow bowl after crossing the rock outcropping and made a diagonal approach to the rock ledges. We went straight for the trees on the Tree Rock and picked our way down the ledges well below our turn-off on the way up the summit. We made it back to camp just before 6:00 PM.



After two hours of rest, we put our headlamps on and headed off on what we thought would be our night journey back to Agnew Meadows. After a wrong turn and 30 minutes of wasted time, we caught back up with the trail that was to take us back around Ediza and onto the main trail. Shortly after getting on the trail, I shined my headlamp right into the eyes of a bear standing directly in our path about 50 to 70 feet ahead of us. The bear stood frozen for a few seconds, as did I, before advancing a few feet our way. We slowly backed up and decided to pull out our sleeping bags for a peaceful night under the stars. Fortunately, it was a warm and still night. We hit the trail at 6:00 the next morning and had a slow 3 hour and 45 minute trip back to the parking lot.



Ritter was a great peak, with routes for all levels of climbers. It helps to have an idea of how to get to the summit, but I don't think that any of the 4 to 6 parties who summited that day took the same route, and most of us came down a different route than we went up.
Posted Sep 6, 2005 8:58 pm

sierramtngoatRoute Climbed: Ediza / North Face (right chute + ramp) Date Climbed: Sep 4, 2005  Sucess!

sierramtngoat

Climbed with Balaji, Raj, and Tau under perfect weather. The snow was hard throughout the day requiring crampons for the ascent and descend; we found ourselves continually taking our crampons off/on because of the large gaps between snow patches. The right chute of the NF is class 2/3, however, the more difficult lines were solid so we stuck to those. The ramp that traverses the NF is worth checking out.
Posted Sep 6, 2005 3:54 pm

Desert SolitaireRoute Climbed: North Face Date Climbed: August 26, 2005  Sucess!

Desert Solitaire

On Jennie's team from below. Great climb from the Ritter/Banner saddle. Forged through the class 2/3 route. Plenty of loose rock. Had an interesting encounter with an Anti-American zealot who tried to pick a fight with a few in our team for wearing an American flag bandana. Beware this guy! Grabbed Banner later in the day.
Posted Sep 5, 2005 5:06 pm

uwjennieRoute Climbed: North Face Date Climbed: 8/26/05  Sucess!

uwjennie

Trip with six participants, lead by Ed C. and Doug M. Hiked in from cars, then up to the Ritter-Banner Saddle. Climbed Ritter, then two of us opted for Banner before returning to camp. Doug and Ed did Banner on Saturday before we all hiked out to the cars. Great climb.
Posted Aug 29, 2005 1:55 am

Matthew HollimanRoute Climbed: SE Glacier Date Climbed: Aug 19, 2005  Sucess!

Matthew Holliman

Nice scrambling around the slabs and grassy benches at the base of the route, but the snow and talus above seemed pretty tedious. Perfect weather. Warm-up day in preparation for a long haul out to Milestone and Midway that same weekend.
Posted Aug 22, 2005 8:16 pm

gordonyeRoute Climbed: Clyde Variation Date Climbed: July 3, 2005

gordonye

Attempted with Hakan and Ayla Yalcin over the three-day weekend. We found typically early May conditions: Ediza Lake's shores were 99% covered with snow, and the lake was mostly frozen. We followed Alan Ritter's route descriptions for the Southeast Glacier route, but at the top of the Lower Gully decided to take the Clyde variation since it was more direct. This was our mistake: as we made it to the top of the chute ready to traverse the Southeast Glacier, a very steep (about 60 degrees) snow ridge blocked our way. While attempting to cross it I took a 50 feet fall down a very steep chute filled with unconsolidated snow. Luckily I came to a stop after my feet (wearing crampons) collided with the rocks twice during the fall. We retreated the same way we came, where the extremely soft snow made for a sketchy descent.
Posted Jul 5, 2005 2:33 pm

plumeRoute Climbed: Route 3 Date Climbed: Aug. 1981  Sucess!

plume

Climbed with Dad and new-found stepmother, Barbara. Good climb.
Posted Feb 13, 2005 2:57 am

Steve LarsonRoute Climbed: North Face Date Climbed: August 1981  Sucess!

Steve Larson

The north face is quite loose, but an enjoyable route. It seems almost unnecessary to remark on the stunning view from the summit. The Minarets are particularly striking.



My friend Christine had some trouble with the snow below the NF, losing her footing at one point and sliding whump, whump, whump over the big suncups before coming to a stop. She was unhurt, luckily. It would have been a good place to have an ice axe and knowledge of its use.
Posted Nov 5, 2004 10:56 pm

derbillyRoute Climbed: Southeast glacier Date Climbed: September 12, 2004  Sucess!

derbilly

Very loose and steep rocky slopes detracted from the fun of this climb. I recommend trying earlier in the season so there's at least a little bit of snow left to walk on.
Posted Sep 13, 2004 6:23 pm

bearbnzRoute Climbed: SE Glacier/Owens Chute, descended the North Face, Classic(?) Chute Date Climbed: August 30, 2004  Sucess!

bearbnz

This peak is a tottering pile of loose junk. I'm crossing it off of my list for good. See the trip report for all of the sordid details.
Posted Sep 2, 2004 10:44 am

ScottySRoute Climbed: Up the SE Glacier, down the N Face Date Climbed: August 30, 2004  Sucess!

ScottyS

After this little hike, I certainly can't recommend Ritter as a "fun" peak --- at least in August. The rock is loose, the ice is hard, and the summit is less-than-inspiring. It certainly falls into the "slog" catagory. The N Face route was incredibly annoying due to the fragile, loose nature of the outcrop and ledges --- no way to make good time when every step and hold must be tested and backed up! Front-pointing with aluminum flexis on tennis approach shoes does not produce a secure feeling, either. The route up Banner, however, was much more enjoyable.



Look for a trip report to come from Barry Beck in the near future.
Posted Sep 1, 2004 4:11 pm

atcRoute Climbed: Southeast Glacier via Owen's chute Date Climbed: September 1, 2002  Sucess!
Used Alan Ritter's excellent route description to climb Mt. Ritter from Lake Ediza.
Posted Aug 31, 2004 3:57 am

rhyangRoute Climbed: SE Glacier (sort of) Date Climbed: 21-August-2004  Sucess!

rhyang

We had intended to do the SE Glacier route, and carried crampons & axes, but the glacier looked way too icy. So we took a rock route, which worked out just as well, only class 2 with a few class easy 3 moves. Incredible views. Travel on the glacier at this time is not recommended.
Posted Aug 23, 2004 2:44 am

PellucidWombatRoute Climbed: North Face (Classic Route) Date Climbed: May 25th, 2004  Sucess!

PellucidWombat

Climbed Ritter right after doing Banner Pk. I ascended the N face via the Classic variation, but ducked into the 2nd class chute on the west rather than taking the ledges, since the traverse looked shaky and I was racing against some incoming storm clouds.



With snow, the entire route was very steep, with some fun intermixed class 3. The snow was shallow (perhaps 1/2 inch) before hardening to an ice-like consistency, which made for good cramponing.



I descended by glissading down the Clyde variation to my camp above Lake Ediza.
Posted May 27, 2004 9:39 pm

RSN473Route Climbed: SE Glacier Date Climbed: Sept. 1999  Sucess!

RSN473

Despite previous reports of routefinding difficulties, we found this to be a straightforward class 2 climb. Had to hussle off of summit to avoid approaching T-storm
Posted Mar 11, 2004 10:27 am

mtnfotoRoute Climbed: North Face up, SE Glacier down Date Climbed: 1976  Sucess!
Climbed this after Banner from the saddle as a day hike from Agnew Meadows.
Posted Jan 23, 2004 3:56 pm

forjanRoute Climbed: North Face Date Climbed: October 11, 2003  Sucess!

forjan

I backpacked in Saturday morning with SP members mdostby and agorokhov. We were to meet SP member kdonaldson at Ediza Lake later that morning. We left Agnew Meadows at 6:00am. We arrived at Ediza Lake at 9:37am where we met up with kdonaldson and began to set the tent up. Alex (a.k.a. agorokhov) drove his car this week since last week I drove mine to Saddlebag Lake where we climbed the right NE Couloir. Anyway, in the transfer of my gear to his trunk I left out my mountaineering boots. So here I was Saturday morning with just my New Balance 803AT running shoes. Luckly for me, kdonaldson had strap-on crampons and I borrowed his while he borrowed my step-ins. We started hiking towards the Ritter/Banner saddle at 10:46am from Ediza Lake. I went at my own pace and by 1:30pm I reached the R/B saddle. Ascending the hard-snow chute was a bit painful with crampons strapped onto my running shoes. I waited 'til 1:47pm for the group but I did not see them at the bottom of the chute. So, I decided I would just go for the North Face of Ritter while they're coming up. Now, I meant to take the Classic Chute up the North Face of Ritter; however, I realized I was off-route when I encountered low 5th class moves and plenty of class 4. I later climbed that day Banner and noticed that I actually climbed the chute immediately left of the Classic Chute. I made the summit of Ritter at 2:33pm (46 minutes from the R/B saddle to summit). I was only on top for a few minutes. I descended via the North Face via the Classic Chute back to the R/B saddle. At the saddle, the group left me a note on my pack (I left my pack at the saddle while I was climbing Ritter) saying that they decided to turn back and return to camp. I rested for a few short minutes at the R/B saddle and then I headed up the Western Slope of Banner at 3:23pm. I made the summit of Banner Peak at 4:00pm. Stayed there 'til 4:15pm and headed back down to the saddle. I put on the strap-on crampons and with ice axe in hand I descended the snow chute, which was a bit icy by now (it was 5:00pm and the chute was totally shadowed). I walked into camp at 6:20pm and Alex was the only one there. mdostby and kdonaldson had left 20 minutes earlier back to Agnew Meadows trailhead. I packed up my things and then Alex and I hiked out from Ediza Lake around 7:00pm. We met up with kdonaldson and mdostby at 9:40pm at the trailhead. We later had a late night dinner (~ 11pm) at the Denny's in Bishop. The group decided to turn back because of the late hour if they had gone for Banner Peak and concerns over the icy chute. All in all, another very long day!
Posted Oct 13, 2003 11:48 pm

darinchadwickRoute Climbed: North Face, Muir route Date Climbed: July 13, 2003  Sucess!

darinchadwick

Climbing up to the saddle was exciting with just light hiking boots and ice axes. But thankfully the final chute to the saddle wasn't as steep as it looked on the approach.

Climbing the right hand chute above the saddle was a breeze, the higher wider chute closer to the top was more consistent third class.

We were so hungry on the summit that we ate a pound of Velveeta cheese with a box of Triscuits. This equals about 6 times the recommended sodium intake, so our climb of Banner afterwards was a thirsty one, but we refuse to eat anything that has the letters BAR on its label.

Thankfully, no one was above us, as there's a fair amount of loose rock. All the ledges are solid though, so it's pretty doable for non-technical hikers.
Posted Aug 30, 2003 3:11 am

Bob BurdRoute Climbed: North Face (ascent), SE Glacier (descent) Date Climbed: Aug 10, 2003  Sucess!

Bob Burd

Day 2 of the 2003 Sierra Challenge. With Michael Graupe and Dan Siebert, reached the summit 2hr after leaving the summit of Banner Peak, 7.5hr after leaving Agnew Meadows. What a fun day. Trip Report
Posted Aug 10, 2003 10:48 pm

Dave KRoute Climbed: Southeast Glacier Date Climbed: July 2002  Sucess!

Dave K

I climbed this with my good friend Samantha. It's a wonderful climb.
Posted Jan 22, 2003 5:41 pm

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