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Lake Catherine TR

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Lake Catherine TR

Postby Shawn » Mon Aug 28, 2006 10:28 pm

This was an attempt at either Banner or Ritter, but I never made it that far. I got to meet Kathy (Wingding) along with Harry L, Peter and Charles. It was great to be among these people in the mountains, I really felt privileged.

http://www.theradioroom.org/LkCatherine/LakeCatherine.htm



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Postby Snow Nymph » Mon Aug 28, 2006 11:24 pm

Good trip report!

We did both Ritter and Banner a month apart, and took 3 days for each trip, but from Ediza.
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


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Postby Lucrativ » Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:41 am

Good effort , good judgement . "next time" :nod:
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Postby Trailtrekker06 » Tue Aug 29, 2006 7:00 pm

Great pics and report! That boulder pile is awful, I made it as far as Lake Catherine, too. whew!
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Postby SSSdave » Tue Aug 29, 2006 7:42 pm

Shawn I quite enjoyed your chronicle and pictures of the trip. You can hike along with me anytime and won't have to worry about running after me as it will likely be the other way around haha. I've been up at the pass a couple times and explored some of the lakes on the backside of Ritter beyond Catherine. Places of talus, snow, shadows, and sky mountaineers like but way too sterile for my preferences. On my recent trip with a friend up in the Shadow and Minaret Creek areas, we did the infamous traverse I'd done before in 1982, carefully making our way across the 800 foot long snowfield beside Iceberg Lake. One slip could have resulted in sliding into the icy lake, so sans crampons, waited till about 3pm when the snowfield had warmed up. Even with the softer surface used my big tripod for stability. Then continued on the tedious route in the talus beside Cecile Lake. We had to climb up an extra 300 feet around another even steeper icy snowfield beside that lake. By time we downclimbed on the steep route to reach Minaret Lake, I was pretty much in wimp mode the rest of that day.

Your picture on the way out with Thousand Island Lake in the background shows a good crop of roseroot glowing red in the backlit light. Its that time of year with salix arctica aka arctic willow, and roseroot adding color to high turfy areas of the Sierra and I am all packed up tonight about ready to leave on a trip with one of my brothers up over Lamarck Col to see just some of that. ...David
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Postby Shawn » Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:29 pm

Thanks all for the comments. No doubt I'll be back.

SSSdave - I literally just popped over here from SummitPost after having voted a "10" on your Isosceles Peak image. You sure have a talent for photography. I did not know the name of those red "roseroot" flowers but I sure admired them along the way.
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Postby wingding » Tue Aug 29, 2006 9:06 pm

Great trip report and pictures Shawn. It was a pleasure hiking with you.

Peter and I thought about waiting until the glacier warmed up a bit, but I was feeling the altitude and knew that I would move really slow on the way up to Banner, which would have us getting back to the trailhead at about 10 pm with a 5 to 6 hour drive ahead of us. I was torn at first about leaving without doing Banner, but by we got back to the trailhead at 4:30 pm I was glad that we decided to head out without attempting the peak and I was really glad we didn't try to follow Harry and Charles to Ritter. I'll go back next year when I have 3-days to do it - that looks like a nice route to Banner.

We took a slightly different route out than in and checked out Garnet Lake, which was very pretty. After Garnet Lake it was a hot, dry, and dusty hike to Agnew Meadows.

Here are some of my pictures:


http://kathywing.smugmug.com/gallery/1827493

I know Harry is going to have a good story and pictures to share too.
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Postby Buck Forester » Wed Aug 30, 2006 11:43 am

Great report, fine pictures! That Catherine Lake is beautiful!
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Postby Ozark Flip » Wed Aug 30, 2006 2:05 pm

Thanks for the TR and pics Shawn. I really enjoyed reading. :nod:

About 4 years ago I camped a few nights on the creek between Shadow and Ediza lakes. We fished Shadow, Ediza, Iceberg, Nydiver and Cabin lakes on that trip. The two peaks (Banner/Ritter) look so peaceful from Ediza but then I read Snownymph's trip report of climbing each.

Snownymph - Didn't Snow Dude get hurt climbing one of the peaks???

BTW - Don't go to Cabin lake unless you want to beat your body to a bloody mess. I was very difficult to get to.
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Postby wingding » Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:20 pm

To me, the trek from Ediza Lake to Banner would be more difficult than getting there from Lake Catherine. It's just that the backpack in to Lake Catherine is long (approximately 13 miles) and then there's the boulder field to cross at North Glacier Pass. I think Ritter climb would be difficult no matter which direction you come from.
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Postby giantbrookie » Wed Aug 30, 2006 8:06 pm

Nice photos and a report. Just a little note on Banner that is not in Secor, to my knowledge (you might call it a "variation" on the glacier route). You can (probably) bypass the glacier entirely when you climb it from Lake Catherine. You have a picture looking toward the glacier in your report--the non glacier route can be seen there. Now this was a long time ago (1973), but I recall skirting the east shore from Glacier Pass, then getting to the top of the rounded rock spur the borders the north side of the glacier. I recall we did a diagonal ramp to surmount this. Atop the spur you continue to where it abuts the main peak then make an ascending traverse on the scree/talus, staying above the glacier. This is the part I can't really be sure of in the photos. It is possible that there is enough snow stuck on the slope above the glacier that you might have to do some of that traverse across snow (to stay below the base of some cliffs) in the conditions I see in the photo--it's hard to tell unless one could really see that part of the slope close up. Once the west slope of Banner looms above you it is time to turn and trudge directly up the slope. This route is class 2 with a fair amount of loose crud doing the diagonal traverse. I remember my bro and I seeing how big rocks we could trundle down onto the glacier (don't worry nobody was climbing on it that day). All I know is that we didn't come close to actually walking on the glacier that day. It was a fairly late trip, however (Labor Day weekend) and 1973 may have been a dry year.

Your photos bring back memories of just how amazingly beautiful those sapphire gems are back there: Lake Catherine and the Ritter Lakes have to rank among the most gorgeous in the Sierra (for years I used to consider the Ritter Lakes my very favorite among all).
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Postby madeintahoe » Wed Aug 30, 2006 9:28 pm

Shawn, Your pictures are beautiful. That is really a beautiful part of the Sierra. I remember a few years ago reading about Anna & Conrad Rittenbacher story. Lake Catherine looks like a jewel. I also really enjoyed your report.

Kahy....Beautiful pictures! Gosh Garnet Lake is really gorgeous.
Looks like you all had a great trip!
Thank you both for posting the pictures :D
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