Climb Mt Ritter (13,143ft), the highest mountain in the Ansel Adams Wilderness. Duration: 9 hrs roundtrip from Ediza Lake. Elevation gain: ~4,000 ft. Route ascends Class 3 cliffs and loose rock gullies. Mind-melting views of the Sierra Nevada. Walk in the footsteps of John Muir.

Mt Ritter is a long climb, but it is worth the effort. Start out by establishing camp at Ediza Lake prior to your ascent. The SE Glacier route (first ascent by John Muir) follows the path of least resistance up the SE side of Mt Ritter.

The route first gains a broad bench below Ritter and Banner Pk., then climbs through a band of cliffs, then over ledges and ramps before arriving at the edge of the SE Glacier. By now hours have passed, you are very tired and there is still a long way to go. You now ascend a long, loose rock gully to a talus slope, cross the talus slope to the ridge, follow the ridge to the summit.

So, now that you have a rough idea of what the route entails, if you're still interested, you need to visit for more detailed info.

Do your research, be safe, have fun, bag a summit.

Pack List

  • Pack for a multi-day climbing trip
  • Bring Ice Axe in early-mid season
  • Helmet is MANDATORY
  • Bring topo map, climbing beta, trip report etc.
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Activities Camping, Fishing, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking, Rock Climbing
Skill Level Advanced
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Features
Forest
Lake
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Backpack to Waugh Lake

There are several trailheads you can start at to get to the lake, but we chose the River Trail in Agnew Meadows because it was the only trailhead that hadn't met the quota yet.

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Backpack to Ediza Lake

Start at the Agnew Meadows Trailhead. You will need to arrive before 7:30AM or take the Shuttle from Mammoth Mountain. Start out by heading north on the John Muir Trail.

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Backpack Ansel Adams' Banner Lake

Banner Lake is one of the premier stops along the Pacific Crest Trail.

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