Type: Trad, Alpine, 1600 ft, Grade III
FA: Jules Eichorn and Robert Underhill, August 3, 1931
Page Views: 3,167 total · 42/month
Shared By: Ian McEleney on Sep 22, 2012
Admins: Chris Owen, Lurker, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin ., Vicki Schwantes

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This route climbs what is essentially the east ridge of Banner Peak. Good ledges can be found for almost all belays.

Gain the ridge by climbing a 4th class chute on the south side a little ways uphill from the toe of the ridge. Follow the chute through a narrow bit (this can be avoided by climbing some low 5th class rock on the right wall) and up some reddish orange rock to the ridge.

Climb the ridge for 3 - 4 pitches of easy 5th class to a steep headwall. There seem to be several ways to go here, but the easiest is to traverse right around the headwall (staying below fixed gear and old tat) to the chute right of the ridge.

Climb this chute for 30 - 40 meters until you can gain the arete that forms the right wall of the chute. Up the crest of this on some steep, fun rock (5.7) to where it rejoins the main ridge.

From here you've got many options. 4 more pitches of right-trending, wandery climbing with big ledges gets you to a class 2 ramp leading to the summit ridge. Once there turn south (toward Ritter) and scramble to the top.


Start at the saddle between Banner and Peak 11440.

To descend head down the southwest slope (class 2) to the Ritter-Banner Saddle. From here turn left (east) and descend a narrow chute (loose rock and snow, class 3) to a bigger snowfield and eventually talus. Down this trending left and hopefully picking up a bit of a trail that will return you to Lake Ediza.

If you're camped at Nydiver Lakes stay high, contouring below the southeast face of Banner before heading down slabs then grass to the lakes.


Alpine rock rack to a #3 Camalot.


Mark P Thomas
Mark P Thomas   Draper
"Climb this chute for 30 - 40 meters until you can gain the arete that forms the right wall of the chute. Up the crest of this on some steep, fun rock (5.7) to where it rejoins the main ridge."

Or stay in the chute for easier climbing, eventually intersecting the left spur before the chute ends. There is then a spicy 5.7 step across protected by a piton that gets you onto the main ridge above where the two ridgelets merge.

The rock on this route was fairly suspect throughout, and was fairly sustained at being steep and staying in the same fall line. So if there is a party already on the route, I would advise against following below!

Research the descent line as while it is not technical, it can be easy to get off route and cliffed out if you are not familiar with it. If you are eager to get down and head straight down after topping out, you will be unhappy. At the end of the long cl. 2 slab heading West at the end of the climb, make sure to hang a left (East) and traverse a few hundred feet over to the summit (second high point away). Descend the chute beneath the actual summit to be sure you are in the right chute. Once down about 200' you should be able to traverse a bit skier's left (East) and then see the entire north face of Mt Ritter. If you can't see this view as you head down, then you are probably in the wrong chute.

Also, beware that the descent to the East from the saddle may be impassable due to a moat (as it was for us, even with an attempt to rappel through it). In this case be ready for a LONG traverse back to camp to the West via Glacier Notch. If you are camped above Lake Ediza, you can traverse high on slopes between Banner & 1,000 Island Lakes/Garnet Lake, and back into the pass beneath the base of the East Corner. You will be cliffed out if you stay high crossing beneath the NE Buttress, but if you drop down 300' or so, you can end run the cliff without much trouble or excessive elevation loss/gain. Sep 18, 2017