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04 - Ritter and the Minarets

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Banner Peak 
Clyde Minaret 
Mt. Ritter 

04 - Ritter and the Minarets Rock Climbing 

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Location: 37.65117, -119.03722 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Chris Owen, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Chris Owen on Aug 5, 2015
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Clyde Minaret and Minaret Lake.


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 the climate change.

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.

Getting There 

Eastern Approaches
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.

Climbing Season

Weather station 4.0 miles from here

6 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',4],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in 04 - Ritter and the Minarets

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for 04 - Ritter and the Minarets:
SE Glacier        Alpine, 3000'   Mt. Ritter
North Face   3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a     Trad, Alpine, 3000'   Mt. Ritter
Starr's Route   4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b     Trad, Alpine, 1000'   Clyde Minaret
East Corner   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Alpine, 1600'   Banner Peak
Southeast Face   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 13 pitches, 1500'   Clyde Minaret
Southeast Face, Direct Start   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, Alpine, 2 pitches   Clyde Minaret
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in 04 - Ritter and the Minarets

Featured Route For 04 - Ritter and the Minarets
Rock Climbing Photo: Direct Start

Southeast Face, Direct Start 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a  California : High Sierra : ... : Clyde Minaret
I believe this to be the most frequently used start for the (sandbagged, imo) 5.8 SE Face Route. While there is a series of easier pitches that traverses in from the left via a series of ramps/ledges, this is a more aesthetic line with reportedly better climbing, more consistent with the difficulties you'll encounter higher up. Corner climbing with some minor overhangs, great jams, and awesome crimps! The SuperTopo book lists the first pitch as being 5.9 and the second being 10a. I found them bo...[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Photos of 04 - Ritter and the Minarets Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Dave V. Finishing the traverse to the chute.
Dave V. Finishing the traverse to the chute.
Rock Climbing Photo: The Minarets, Mt Ritter and Banner from the slopes...
The Minarets, Mt Ritter and Banner from the slopes...
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunrise panoramic shot
Sunrise panoramic shot
Rock Climbing Photo: Banner Peak from Garnet Lake
Banner Peak from Garnet Lake
Rock Climbing Photo: Minarets from Lake Ediza.
Minarets from Lake Ediza.
Rock Climbing Photo: Agnew Meadow in winter with Ritter and Banner behi...
Agnew Meadow in winter with Ritter and Banner behi...
Rock Climbing Photo: Minarets, Ritter and Banner seen in winter from th...
Minarets, Ritter and Banner seen in winter from th...

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