04 - Ritter & Minarets Rock Climbing
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|Shared By:||Chris Owen on Aug 5, 2015|
|Admins:||Chris Owen, Lurker -, Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer Ski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes|
A distinct metamorphic sub-range within the granite ocean of the High Sierra, the Ritter Range has a completely different feel to the majority of the other areas, mainly due to its different and older rock, it's a very scenic and famous area, with the JMT running on its eastern margin. There are two sub-areas, to the south there are the fantastic Minarets, Clyde and Michael being the stand outs, they have no easy routes to their spectacular summits. To the north lies Mount Ritter and Banner Peak, Ritter is a very big mountain, don't underestimate it, and while Banner has a walk up route there are some more technical climbs on its east face.
There used to be some impressive small glaciers in this area, with real crevasses which lent the area a feel of mountains further north, who knows how they'll fare with Global Warming.
Both The Minarets and Ritter/Banner are mostly accessed from the east, via the Minaret Road from Mammoth Lakes. The trailhead for The Minarets is at Red's Meadow and for Ritter and Banner; Agnew Meadows.
Iceberg Lake and Lake Ediza are the main camping areas for the Minarets, and Ritter and Banner respectively.
From Hwy 395 turn west to Mammoth Lakes and follow signs for Hwy 203 to Minaret Summit, you'll drive past the Mammoth Mountain Ski resort on the way there. Be aware that during summer you'll have to take a shuttle if you don't drive to either of the trailheads "after hours". I usually plan to park at the trailheads in the evening to avoid riding the shuttle.
From Minaret Summit the Minaret Road heads north down the slope, Agnew Meadows trailhead is a turnoff just before the road does a hairpin and heads south the Red's Meadow.
For lightweight backcountry skiers; the Minaret Road if often groomed to Red's Meadow and makes for a wonderful easy run down to Agnew Meadows, with a straightforward skin back out.
Permits for both trailheads can be reserved here.
Classic Climbing Routes at 04 - Ritter & Minarets
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