The Quixotic Quest...Climbing Mt. Ritter
Mt. Ritter from the High Trail

Mt. Ritter from the High Trail

Mt. Ritter Trip Reports

At Long Last Success!!...July, 1999
No Rock on Ritter...July, 1998
Weather or not...July, 1997
Christmas in June...1996

The links above point to illustrated reports about my four most recent attempts to climb "my" mountain. The photo link points to a bit of history about Mt. Ritter.

The origins of this quest date back to the fall of 1985, and a first aborted attempt by John Fraser and myself to scale Mt. Ritter via the classic John Muir route. A three-year delay followed my torn Achilles' tendon a few weeks after that trip. In the summer of 1988, we tried again to repeat Muir's feat and were once more cliffed out by rock of singularly dubious quality.

A longer hiatus ensued, as we waited for our sons to grow long enough of leg to make the hike in to base camp above Ediza Lake, and John and I tried via the Southeast Glacier route in 1994. That time, some bad route advice and a failure to identify the correct chute from the Southeast Glacier up to the upper bowl left us stranded in a dead-end gully full of slate possessing the coefficient of friction of well-greased Teflon.

The quest then picks up with our above-documented 1996 and 1997 attempts via the "back" route around Thousand Island Lake and over North Glacier Pass, both of which were aborted due to weather.

1998 saw me trying again via the Southeast Glacier route, up from Ediza Lake, and established the ultimately-successful 1999 route.

If you're curious about the weather at Mt. Ritter, the current conditions at nearby Mammoth Lakes appear below. Click on the icon for a detailed National Weather Service forecast.

Click for Mammoth Yosemite, California Forecast