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Western slope from R/B Saddle

Western slope from R/B Saddle

Western slope from R/B Saddle

Page Type: Route

Location: California, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 37.69700°N / 119.194°W

Object Title: Western slope from R/B Saddle

Route Type: rock scramble with snow/ice climb

Time Required: Half a day

Difficulty: class 2/3

Route Quality: 
 - 5 Votes


Page By: zcando

Created/Edited: Oct 22, 2002 / Oct 23, 2002

Object ID: 157200

Hits: 9070 

Page Score: 70.48%  - 2 Votes 

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From Agnew meadows take trail past Shadow Lake to Ediza Lake. Ascent is half day from there or a full day from Agnew Meadows.

Route Description

I'm at work doing this from memory without topos or books in front of me so excuse any errors but the route is straight forward and pretty easy so here it goes. Head West from Ediza Lake past a small tarn and continue towards the Ritter-Banner Saddle. You will come to some cliffs were you will be forced to veer slightly to the North in order to avoid technical climbing. The climbing in here is easy although there is annoying loose rock and sand below you. Once the cliffs are bypassed you come to a permanent snowfield/mini glacier (when I climbed it in mid October the bergschrund was about an inch and a half wide!). Depending on conditions an ice axe may be all you need or crampons may be helpful later in the year (I was glad to have them for the snow was rather firm/icy and suncupped). As you ascend the snowfield you will notice a tongue that ascends to the northwest at a steeper pitch (Class 3 as I have read). Ascend that short pitch to the Saddle. From here you can easily walk to the Western slope of Banner Peak. The ascent from here requires only route finding (somewhat tricky) and stamina. As you climb the Western Face, cheat to the left (North) side. A nice view of Thousand Island Lake from the top. Descend the same way. I have no pictures to upload but there are helpful photos already on the Banner Peak page.

Essential Gear

Ice axe definitely and crampons depending on conditions.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.

Additions and Corrections

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Voted 3/10

The description "straight forward and pretty easy" on this route page is very misleading.

Comments like: "Depending on conditions an ice axe may be all you need or crampons may be helpful later in the year" lead me to believe the route is not very steep. On the contrary, the upper part of the glacier must be at least 50-degrees - and it is exposed. You damn well better have ice ax and crampons with you unless you are roped and placing protection.

I've climbed quite a few glaciers and steep snow routes and expected this to be much easier based on the description in the route page. I attemped this route in hiking boots and strap-on crampons (plus an ice ax) which were woefully inadequate. Don't make the same mistake that I made. The route is straight forward but you definitely need mountaineering boots, crampons and ice ax for the upper part of the glacier.
Posted Aug 22, 2011 11:43 am
zcandoSorry Mister


Hasn't voted

Perhaps conditions were significantly different when you climbed or our perceptions are different. I too climbed the route in hiking boots and an old pair of SMC lace up crampons along with an ice axe. I climbed late in the year (October I think) when it was quite firm and remember about ten yards of the route where the route steepened and I watched my step. I would imagine if conditions were softer you could get by with an axe. My mountaineering exploits are rather modest compared to many SP regulars and I didnt feel especially threatened with my choice of equipment, thus my recommendation. I certainly didn't mean to mislead you.
Posted Sep 1, 2011 6:45 pm

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Gang is climbing up the chute...Sam is assessing the...Downclimbing the East side of...Descending the east side of...Banner Peak\'s upper slopes