From Silver Lake on the June Lake Loop, follow the Rush Creek Trail over Gem Pass. Proceed to 1,000 Island Lake.
From 1,000 Island Lake, skirt the south shore and hike up to the base of the NE Buttress, which is to the left of the skyline as viewed from 1,000 Island Lake. Start in the first gully left of the prominent tower which can be seen from the ground (see topo.)
See the Topo of the climb as it is encountered in winter conditions.
In the first photo below, the NE Buttress appears almost on the right skyline. In the remainder of the photos, the NE Buttress appears to the left of the skyline, and is is the prominent buttress seen straight-on that "holds up" the right-hand end of Banner Peak's distinct summit ridge.
In the second to last photo the small notch at the top of the third pitch is just to the lower left of the spruce "touching" Banner's skyline.
This is an excellent route.
Alpine rack. See topo.
We climbed this route in winter conditions, skiing in from the June Lake Loop. Under these conditions crampons and ice axe are essential.
It's up to you. but in my opinion on ANY CLIMB in the Minaret range of California's Sierra, a helmet should be considered mandatory for all members of the party. Sometimes the routefinding on these peaks consists of testing various lines, and taking the path with the least loose rock. Your average Sierra granite, THIS AINT! -- Brutus
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