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Ascent of Banner Peak on 1994-08-19

Climber: Richard Carey

Date:Friday, August 19, 1994
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Banner Peak
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:12936 ft / 3942 m

Ascent Trip Report

The peak was named by Willard D. Johnson, USGS topographer, in 1883, on account of cloud-banners streaming from the summit. (Browning, p. 11) The first ascent was made by Willard D. Johnson and John Miller on August 26, 1883. (Secor, p. 299)

The peak lies on the boundaries of the Sierra and Inyo National Forests and is in the Ansel Adams Wilderness. The usual approach from the east is entirely in the Inyo National Forest. Permits are needed for overnight trips, but not for dayhikes. There is a Forest Service office in Mammoth Lakes on hwy. 203. Address is: Box 148, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546. Phone: (760) 924-5500

Banner Peak can be done as a long dayhike starting from the Agnew Meadows trailhead at the bottom of the grade on highway 203 west of Minaret Summit. This road has restricted travel from 7:30AM to 4:30PM so drive into to the trailhead before or after this time period. Start the hike on the good trail going north along the meadows and valley bottom then go left at a signed junction after about 45 minutes toward Shadow Lake. Cross a bridge and go up switchbacks and pass Shadow Lake on your way toward Ediza Lake. Just before Ediza Lake stay on a use trail on the right (north) side of the stream rather than on the main trail on the south side. This avoids having to cross the stream at the lake outlet which can be difficult. Follow the use trail on the north side of the lake over boulders then climb up slopes at the west end of the lake. After about 4 hours travel reach the alpine valley below Ritter and Banner and continue NW toward the SE face of Banner. Turn west and climb up a snow field to reach the saddle between Ritter and Banner. Go up the loose SW slopes to the summit. Ascent time takes from 6 to 8 hours and the route is about 16 miles round-trip with an elevation gain of 4500 ft. 9/97 RLC
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