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Mount Ritter - Aerial Views timberlinetrails.net
The Banner/Ritter range is located in the Ansel Adams Wilderness. As mentioned on other pages this
area contains some of the most beautiful landscapes in all the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The above
aerial photo was taken from an Ultralight Aircraft at an elevation of about 12,500 ft. Ediza Lake is
used as a launch point for many climbers in this region.
Moving in closer to the peaks gives us a closer view of Mt Ritter and Banner Peak. Also as you can
see beautiful Garnet Lake provides a beautiful foreground in this aerial view. Garnet Lake is the
destination of many backpackers.
Moving further out, and a little to the north, brings Thousand Island Lakes into view. Thousand Island
Lakes is a fisherman's paradise, and during the summer you will see many anglers on it's shores. These
lakes also provide for a beautiful foreground for photographers interested in images of Banner Peak.
Above is an aerial view of the Minerets. These jagged peaks are still the destination of climbers (even
though the rock is not all that solid). Because of this, the Minarets have had there share of tragedies in
the past, and in August 1933 they were much in the news when Walter A . Starr, Jr. was reported
overdue from a trip to the Ritter Range. A search party, made up of some of California's best climbers,
was then called in to search for Starr. This activity went on for several days, but on August 19, the
search was called off. Only Norman Clyde remained and continued the search.
It took some persistent effort on Clyde's part, but after several days of climbing and hiking, Clyde
ended up finding the remains of the fallen climber on a remote ledge in the above Minarets. (The story
ends with Clyde returning a few days latter to bury the remains of Starr Jr, along with the help of Jules
Eichorn, on the ledge where Starr had come to rest).
This story serves as a reminder to the inherent dangers of climbing. The Minarets (along with both
Ritter and Banner) are notorious for loose rock, so extreme care must be taken if you decide to climb in
this area. However, to end on a more positive note, I would just like to say that the Minarets (and their
surrounding areas) are beautiful indeed, and if you ever decide to explore this part of the Sierra Nevada
Mountains, you certainly will not be disappointed.