Conditions Around Mt. Ritter/Banner | High Sierra Topix  

Conditions Around Mt. Ritter/Banner

Topics related to peak bagging, rock climbing and bouldering in the foothills and high country of the Sierra Nevada. Be sure to also check out the Information Booth forum category to learn from / see if you can contribute to a profile for High Sierra 13'ers, 14'ers and cross country passes.

Conditions Around Mt. Ritter/Banner

Postby alpinemike » Thu May 29, 2014 10:38 am

Hi everyone.

I'm setting out on a trip into the Ansel Adams Wilderness this Monday. The trip will be 4 days and I don't have a set itinerary just yet. My plan is to start from Agnew Meadows TH and head up to Ediza. From there I plan on at least day hiking up to Cecile Lake. I'm also thinking about camping at 1000 Island Lake one of the nights. One goal of mine is to try and head up to Mt. Ritter/Banner and that brings up a question of mine for fellow experienced climbers and mountaineers.

I've looked at the TR's from the past Memorial Day Weekend to give me an idea of the conditions I'll be looking at. Looks like the snow is pretty solid above 10,000 Ft. and with some snow melt I'm sure by Monday it will be around 10,500 Ft, but potentially lower. So the question is how icy and serious will the conditions be for an ascent of Mt. Ritter from the Ritter/Banner Saddle? I can make a pretty educated guess and say that there will be very solid snow but later into the afternoon it should turn mushy and potentially very difficult to just move on. Or should I expect more ice up at the saddle?

I'm familiar with self-arrest and mountaineering skills. I'll be carrying an ice ax regardless and will carry microspike type things. I recently summitted Freel Peak in Tahoe with excellent spring conditions. Soft enough snow to walk on, but not so soft you fall through. And soft enough to gliassde on as well.

Any advice on the types of conditions I might expect and what to prepare for will be greatly appreciated. I'll be sure to post the TR when I get back.

Thank you!
Never put off a backpacking trip for tomorrow, if you can do it today...
Alpine Mike-

http://mikhailkorotkinphotography.com/



User avatar
alpinemike
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 276
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:00 am
Location: South Lake Tahoe, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Conditions Around Mt. Ritter/Banner

Postby Shawn » Thu May 29, 2014 4:47 pm

Hi Mike -

From recent TR's posted here it looks like snow coverage from Ediza on up. Frankly speaking, attempting Ritter given the current conditions without crampons (with ice axe and helmet) is a death wish.

Even long before you reach the saddle, you wouldn't want to trust your life to micro spikes in my opinion. When you get close to the saddle, the ascent gets quite steep. While it's likely covered with snow this time of year, it's still deadly if a trip or a fall were to occur unarrested.

Lastly. with the temps warming up and the rapid snow melt, there are hidden crevasses created on either side of the approach to the saddle. Best to be cognizant of these.

No doubt you've done your homework but I felt obliged to add some words of caution given your words about micro spikes.

Good luck, look forward to seeing your TR.
User avatar
Shawn
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 912
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 8:56 pm
Location: Paso Robles, Ca
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Conditions Around Mt. Ritter/Banner

Postby jenreyn » Thu May 29, 2014 4:53 pm

It is clear to Ediza but snow from there on up.....was there the other day. Lots of snow up by Ritter and Banner. I would use caution with the ascent of Banner saddle without crampons. Thousand Island has some snow around it and is still partially frozen. It is supposed to cool off next week a little and temps up high will be freezing at night.
User avatar
jenreyn
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:37 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Conditions Around Mt. Ritter/Banner

Postby maverick » Thu May 29, 2014 5:31 pm

Shawn wrote:
From recent TR's posted here it looks like snow coverage from Ediza on up. Frankly speaking, attempting Ritter given the current conditions without crampons (with ice axe and helmet) is a death wish.

Even long before you reach the saddle, you wouldn't want to trust your life to micro spikes in my opinion. When you get close to the saddle, the ascent gets quite steep. While it's likely covered with snow this time of year, it's still deadly if a trip or a fall were to occur unarrested.

Lastly. with the temps warming up and the rapid snow melt, there are hidden crevasses created on either side of the approach to the saddle. Best to be cognizant of these.


Exactly. Here is a TR from July of last year: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9583&start=0
I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 9176
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Conditions Around Mt. Ritter/Banner

Postby J ney » Fri May 30, 2014 10:05 am

Looking forward to a TR from this trip, Mike!! I'm planning an ascent of Ritter's SE glacier in two weeks and am scouring for beta!
I echo comments regarding crampons rather than microspikes.
Hope you have a great and safe trip!!
J
User avatar
J ney
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:55 pm
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Experience: N/A

Re: Conditions Around Mt. Ritter/Banner

Postby alpinemike » Sat May 31, 2014 1:37 pm

Thank you for everyone's advice.

That TR Maverick was especially helpful.. appreciated it. Due to all of that I'll be playing it on the safe side and won't be attempting a summit Ritter or Banner. I don't own crampons and don't feel like buying or renting them for this trip as I'm already carrying enough camera gear.

I'm still curious as to the conditions so I may check out the area below the saddle and depending on conditions traverse around the Eastern edge of Banner peak from Ediza Lake to get to 1000 Island.

Thanks again everyone.
Never put off a backpacking trip for tomorrow, if you can do it today...
Alpine Mike-

http://mikhailkorotkinphotography.com/
User avatar
alpinemike
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 276
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:00 am
Location: South Lake Tahoe, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Conditions Around Mt. Ritter/Banner

Postby KathyW » Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:43 am

I'm thinking of heading out to Thousand Island Lake, Glacier Pass, Lake Catherine, Banner, and maybe Davis next weekend; so if anyone is up in that area before next Friday I'd love to hear about conditions.
User avatar
KathyW
Founding Member
 
Posts: 351
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:19 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Conditions Around Mt. Ritter/Banner

Postby maverick » Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:16 am

Alpinemike,

The route from Catherine Lake to Banner Peak is much easier and doable without
tech gear, and has a great view from the summit too.
I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 9176
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Conditions Around Mt. Ritter/Banner

Postby Mradford » Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:44 pm

I was actually looking into this route as well. I am heading up to 1,000 island lake in July and was wondering how the approach is from Catherine lake via North Glacier pass.
User avatar
Mradford
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 325
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:03 pm
Location: Irvine
Experience: N/A

Re: Conditions Around Mt. Ritter/Banner

Postby maverick » Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:41 pm

Mradford,

PM sent.
I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 9176
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Next

Return to Peak Bagging / Rock Climbing / Bouldering



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron