Motivated by a read of Muir's first ascent of Mt Ritter and a glimpse from the top of Koip Pk last month, my buddy mfh and I decided to try for Ritter Pk, some 12 miles behind lil' Mammoth Mtn resort.
Muir:Nature's poems carved on tables of stone the simplest and most emphatic of her glacial compositions.
Friday was the long 9+ mile skin to Ediza Lk. View from Minaret lookout, 1 mile in, Ritter is 2nd from right, next to Banner Pk:
Down on the San Joaquin River, the winter's work showed:
Crossing the lakes and meadows as Ritter [L] and Banner drew closer
By camp I was gone, mumbling to myself and ready for food and rest.
7 hours of intense sun and warm temps could do that, I reckon.
Morning brought great light, a breeze, and somewhat rested legs:
False Ritter [L] and Banner in pic above. The route climbs lower snow slopes below/left of Ritter then contours right, before climbing the glacier to small snow lines (1 visible) that take you up to the enormous summit snowfield (out of view).
mfh resting on the traverse:
around noon we were at the top, on an amazing day, Minarets:
mfh starts down the ridge
into the chute b/t the snowfield and the glacier
open cruising on corn. really fine, damn fine corn
sunday we packed up for the long haul out and the drive back home. clouds blew in, but my sunburned reminder was set. don't know if i'll be biting off these long approaches very often, but by far the most rewarding BC trip i've enjoyed to date.
Muir:The peaks marshaled along the summit were in shadow, but through every notch and pass streamed vivid sunfire, soothing and irradiating their rough, black angles, while companies of small luminous clouds hovered above them like very angels of light.
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 10:05 am Posts: 124 Location: North Sierra, West slope
Way to go! Ritter has been on my list of todo's for a long time now. The south face is visible from my area, but the approach looks long.
Looks like you had better spring conditions than we had up near twin peaks.