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TR: Ritter 1 Russ 0

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TR: Ritter 1 Russ 0

Postby Vaca Russ » Wed Jul 20, 2016 10:35 am

Attempted to summit Mt. Ritter on July 16, 2016. My plan was to follow the Clyde Variation route. My actual route is roughly drawn out on the picture below. It looks like this jay made it to the summit!

1 Jay on Summit.jpg

I began the climb up the snow covered gulley.

2 Gully.jpg

The gulley would go from snow to talus and back to snow. This became the theme of this climb…on with the crampons and then off with the crampons. I hate wearing crampons on talus. I don’t feel as if I have good balance.

3 Theme of On Off.jpg

The snow was very sun cupped. It was really bad here in the upper SE snow bowl and higher.

4 Sun Cupped Snow Fields.jpg

I made the mistake of climbing the rocks to the left of the SE col. The couloir was steep but one slip on these rocks could get you stuck head first in the gap between the rocks and the ice.

5 Upper SE Snowbowl.jpg

There it is, the infamous three toed buttress. All I had to do now, according to Summitpost, was “…Ignore all the steep chutes to the south and west, look instead to the north. Near the upper end, you should see an obvious, wide chute running almost due north towards the summit ridge. Some parties report being confused by several chutes here. The skinny one on the left can be climbed, but is more difficult (class 4). Climb the (much) more obvious wide chute (often called the "Secor Chute") on the right. Others have described this as a "slope" rather than a chute, which is more apparent in the upper stretch.”

6 Toed Buttress.jpg

Unfortunately, I made the mistake of climbing the “skinny one on the left”.

7 Obvious Chute.jpg

To me, I was looking for “Owens chute” and that there my friend is a chute! I should have done better research. This was quite a challenging chute to climb. That should have been my first clue.

Looking up the chute…

8 Up This Steep Chute.jpg

Looking down the chute…

9 Steeper than I thought.jpg

I reached the top of the chute and had a great view of Yose, but no summit view.

10 Nice View but not Owens chute.jpg

I climbed back down and decided one mistake was enough for a soloist so I headed back to camp. The mountain will be there another day.

You know, I do have to go back and summit Ritter now. Who wants to tag along? I now know the route!

Thanks for reading my post.

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"...Or have you only comfort, and the lust for comfort, that stealthy thing that enters the house a guest, and then becomes a host and then a master?"

Kahil Gibran.

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Vaca Russ
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Re: Ritter 1 Russ 0

Postby Jason » Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:42 pm

Holy Cow that looks steep! Looks like a good time though.
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Re: Ritter 1 Russ 0

Postby Teresa Gergen » Wed Jul 20, 2016 3:34 pm

I never could have done that snow. Here's a caltopo link to the line I did a year ago in June. You're welcome to export it to a .gpx file and upload it to your GPS to follow in the field, if you use one. I dug this out of my laptop recycle bin and probably won't keep the link active for too long.
Last edited by Teresa Gergen on Wed Jul 20, 2016 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ritter 1 Russ 0

Postby bbayley80 » Wed Jul 20, 2016 3:50 pm

wow! that IS a chute!
wow.. just got a little more intimidated :paranoid: :eek: ..ha!

thanks for the share.
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Re: Ritter 1 Russ 0

Postby cefire » Wed Jul 20, 2016 5:00 pm

Phew, so close! In answer to your question, I'd love to tag along for part II :)
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Re: Ritter 1 Russ 0

Postby Beantown » Thu Jul 21, 2016 7:56 pm

I did it last year solo although the Owens chute was not filled with snow. Bummer you turned back the summit is an easy hike from there.
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Re: Ritter 1 Russ 0

Postby BufordT » Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:45 pm

Appreciate the honest report!
Celebrate the Trudge at http://enkooth.com
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