Great 3 day trip. First time on this mountain. Weather was perfect! Camped at Lake Ediza with Jay, Tommy and Keith. Had a great summit day. Excellent views in all directions.
Fun day hike
Climbed with Andrew, Sudipta and Tau. Was nice and fun class 2/3 in the chute. Painful part of the whole climb was having to take-off/put-on the crampons a bunch of times.
A great peak with fantastic views in all directions.
climbed the nw face
Day-climbed with Vendulka. My guidebook said it is 9 miles roundtrip. It is 9 miles one-way... which made for a 13 hour day. Good combination of snow and rock climbing. Descended Clyde Variation.
It was a great climb alongwith Basu(balajisv), Andrew(sierramtngoat) and Ritesh (Tau). We started from Lake Ediza at 7.30 AM. The snow in the chute going up to the RB Saddle had softened a little since it was late in the day. From the saddle the snow patch leading to the bottom of the chutes was quite icy. We took the right-hand chute but then took the ramp across the North Face. My best trip in the Sierra Nevadas so far ! The descent was tight as the snow got a lot harder but we made it down to the tree-line as it got dark. I wish the future holds more trips to the Sierras for me - unfortunately its a long long way from North Carolina :(
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Climbed with Dad and new-found stepmother, Barbara. Good climb.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Used Alan Ritter's excellent route description to climb Mt. Ritter from Lake Ediza.
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.