Sierra Nevada - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Banner Peak

On july 1-4, 1960 I climbed 12,942' Banner Peak with Bill Paine, Dick Pasek, John Paine, John Butler and Don Reed as a part of San Diego Sierra Club party led by Jim Moore.

We left San Diego at 6:30 pm, drove 414 miles to the Agnew Meadow campground for the night. We were on the trail Saturday about 8:45 am. Shadow Creek Falls beautiful. Sunny spots breaking through clouds to brighten Ritter-Banner & Minarets - beautiful from Shadow Lake.

Lunch at Shadow Lake where rest of Sierra Club group caught up with us. Rained, hailed and snowed on us as we hiked to Lake Ediza. Stopped short of cabin below Lake Ediza to warm wet-cold couple in another party - then on 1/4 mile to nice cabin which became base camp.

Up at 5 am Sunday for climb of Banner Peak. Relatively easy climb up long snow field to saddle - arriving 11 am. After snacks and rest scrambled over rocks 945 feet to peak summit. Left summit at 2 pm. Glissaded down snowfield - real wild ride - enjoyable evening in camp.

On the trail at 8 am Monday morning. Hated to leave. Reached cars at 11 am after leisurely hike. Lunch in Bishop. Arrived home by 9 pm.

Banner Peak Route Map from trailhead
Banner Peak Route Map from trailhead
Banner Peak Route Map from Shadow Lake
Banner Peak Route Map from Shadow Lake
Banner Peak is the second tallest peak in the Ritter Range of California's Sierra Nevada. The mountain is 12,942 feet, and there are several glaciers on its slopes.

It lies within the boundaries of the Ansel Adams Wilderness. At the foot of the peak lie Garnet Lake, Lake Ediza, and the famous Thousand Island Lake. Banner Peak is near the town of Mammoth Lakes; from there, climbers can hike to the foot of the mountain where various routes reach the summit. The easiest is a class 2 from the saddle between Banner Peak and the slightly taller Mt. Ritter.

The peak was named in 1883 by USGS topographer Willard D. Johnson who observed a banner cloud streaming from the summit.
Mt. Ritter on left, Banner Peak on right from Shadow Lake - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1960
Mt. Ritter on left, Banner Peak on right from Shadow Lake
Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1960
Minaret Range from Lake Ediza - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1960
Minaret Range from Lake Ediza - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1960

Mt. Ritter on left, Banner Peak on right on the approach from Lake Ediza to the saddle.  The route is on the snow through the notch on the right side of the saddle - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1960
Mt. Ritter on left, Banner Peak on right on the approach from Lake Ediza to the saddle. The route is on the snow through the notch on the right side of the saddle
Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1960
Bill Paine, John Butler, John Paine and the rest of the San Diego Sierra Club group check out the route to Banner Peak - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1960
Bill Paine, John Butler, John Paine and the rest of the San Diego Sierra Club group check out the route to Banner Peak - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1960

San Diego Sierra Club group approaching the Ritter-Banner saddle to climb Banner Peak - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1960
San Diego Sierra Club group approaching the Ritter-Banner saddle to climb Banner Peak
Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1960
San Diego Sierra Club group takes a breather on the way to climb Banner Peak - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1960
San Diego Sierra Club group takes a breather on the way to climb Banner Peak - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1960

John Butler follows John Paine, practicing rope work while climbing Banner Peak - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1960
John Butler follows John Paine, practicing rope work while climbing Banner Peak
Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1960
John Butler follows John Paine, practicing rope work while climbing Banner Peak - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1960
John Butler follows John Paine, practicing rope work while climbing Banner Peak
Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1960

Looking down the north side from the Ritter-Banner saddle at Lake Catherine - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1960
Looking down the north side from the Ritter-Banner saddle at Lake Catherine
Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1960
Mt. Ritter from the top of Banner Peak - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1960
Mt. Ritter from the top of Banner Peak - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1960

Garnet Lake from Banner Peak - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1960
Garnet Lake from Banner Peak - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1960
Thousand Island Lake from Banner Peak - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1960
Thousand Island Lake from Banner Peak - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1960

Nydiver Lakes and Lake Ediza from Banner Peak - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1960
Nydiver Lakes and Lake Ediza from Banner Peak - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1960
Iceberg Lake and the Minaret Range (on the right) from Banner Peak - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1960
Iceberg Lake and the Minaret Range (on the right) from Banner Peak
Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1960

Banner Peak and saddle from top of Mt. Ritter - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1969
Banner Peak and saddle from top of Mt. Ritter - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1969
Banner Peak from the top of Mt. Ritter - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1969
Banner Peak from the top of Mt. Ritter - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1969


Here are pictures of Banner Peak from various locations on other trips.

Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak from near Clark Lakes - Ansel Adams Wilderness - May 1977
Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak from near Clark Lakes - Ansel Adams Wilderness - May 1977
Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak from near Clark Lakes - Ansel Adams Wilderness - May 1977
Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak from near Clark Lakes - Ansel Adams Wilderness - May 1977

Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak from near Clark Lakes - Ansel Adams Wilderness - May 1977
Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak from near Clark Lakes - Ansel Adams Wilderness - May 1977

Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak over a Clark Lake - Ansel Adams Wilderness - May 1977
Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak over a Clark Lake - Ansel Adams Wilderness - May 1977
Banner Peak from below 1000 Island Lake - Ansel Adams Wilderness - May 1977
Banner Peak from below 1000 Island Lake - Ansel Adams Wilderness - May 1977

Banner Peak and Banner/Davis Pass over 1000 Island Lake - Ansel Adams Wilderness - May 1977
Banner Peak and Banner/Davis Pass over 1000 Island Lake
Ansel Adams Wilderness - May 1977
Banner Peak and Banner/Davis Pass over 1000 Island Lake - Ansel Adams Wilderness - May 1977
Banner Peak and Banner/Davis Pass over 1000 Island Lake
Ansel Adams Wilderness - May 1977

Banner Peak, enroute to Banner/Davis Pass - Ansel Adams Wilderness - May 1977
Banner Peak, enroute to Banner/Davis Pass - Ansel Adams Wilderness - May 1977
Banner Peak, saddle, Mt. Ritter and glacier over Lake Catherine, Gordon Lee - Ansel Adams Wilderness - May 1977
Banner Peak, saddle, Mt. Ritter and glacier over Lake Catherine, Gordon Lee
Ansel Adams Wilderness - May 1977

Banner Peak, saddle  and glacier over Lake Catherine - Ansel Adams Wilderness - May 1977
Banner Peak, saddle and glacier over Lake Catherine
Ansel Adams Wilderness - May 1977
Banner Peak and Mt. Ritter from Mulberry Peak - Ansel Adams Wilderness - May 1977
Banner Peak and Mt. Ritter from Mulberry Peak - Ansel Adams Wilderness - May 1977

Banner Peak, Mt. Ritter, Banner/Davis Pass, Mt. Davis - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1958
Banner Peak, Mt. Ritter, Banner/Davis Pass, Mt. Davis
Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1958

Banner Peak and Banner/Davis Pass from the trail below Thousand Island Lake - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Aug 1959
Banner Peak and Banner/Davis Pass from the trail below Thousand Island Lake
Ansel Adams Wilderness - Aug 1959
Banner Peak from Lake Catherine - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1958
Banner Peak from Lake Catherine - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jul 1958

Banner Peak, Banner/Davis Pass, Mt. Davis, 1000 Island Lake - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Aug 1959
Banner Peak, Banner/Davis Pass, Mt. Davis, 1000 Island Lake
Ansel Adams Wilderness - Aug 1959
Mt. Ritter, Banner Peak over Garnet Lake - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Aug 1966
Mt. Ritter, Banner Peak over Garnet Lake - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Aug 1966

Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jan 1971
Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jan 1971
Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jan 1971
Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Jan 1971

Mt. Ritter, Banner Peak from trail to Lake Ediza - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Dec 1973
Mt. Ritter, Banner Peak from trail to Lake Ediza - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Dec 1973
Mt. Ritter, Banner Peak from trail to Lake Ediza - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Dec 1973
Mt. Ritter, Banner Peak from trail to Lake Ediza - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Dec 1973

Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak on the way to saddle - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Dec 1973
Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak on the way to saddle - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Dec 1973
Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak on the way to saddle - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Dec 1973
Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak on the way to saddle - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Dec 1973

Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak on the way to saddle - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Dec 1973
Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak on the way to saddle - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Dec 1973
Banner Peak on the way to saddle - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Dec 1973
Banner Peak on the way to saddle - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Dec 1973

Looking back at Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak as we headed for Minaret Creek - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Dec 1973
Looking back at Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak as we headed for Minaret Creek
Ansel Adams Wilderness - Dec 1973
Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak as we headed for Minaret Creek - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Dec 1973
Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak as we headed for Minaret Creek
Ansel Adams Wilderness - Dec 1973

Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak as we headed for Minaret Creek - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Dec 1973
Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak as we headed for Minaret Creek
Ansel Adams Wilderness - Dec 1973
Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak from below Iceberg Lake - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Dec 1973
Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak from below Iceberg Lake
Ansel Adams Wilderness - Dec 1973

Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak from slopes leading up to Mammoth Pass - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Dec 1973
Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak from slopes leading up to Mammoth Pass
Ansel Adams Wilderness - Dec 1973

Minarets, Mt. Ritter, Banner Peak from slopes leading up to Mammoth Pass - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Dec 1973
Minarets, Mt. Ritter, Banner Peak from slopes leading up to Mammoth Pass - Ansel Adams Wilderness - Dec 1973

On August 14-15, 1976 myself, Randy Stevenson, Al & wife, Marty, Ralph, Frankie and Niki Nikolaus (to celebrate Marty's 18th Birthday) set out to climb Banner Peak.

Al, wife and Niki left about 4:30 p.m., Marty, Ralph, Frankie and I about 5:30 p.m. from Independence - drove to Crestview to pick up Randy. Al, wife & Niki drove to roadhead at Agnew Meadows and hiked in about 2-1/2 miles, the rest of us got a Wilderness Permit and hiked in about 2 miles to the trail junction for Shadow Lake and crossing of San Joaquin River. (Also had dog Lucky along).

Saturday morning about 6 a.m. it started raining. We decided to abandon climbing Banner Peak. Don, Marty, Randy, Frankie & dog stayed put to see what weather was going to do. Ralph left to find Al, etc. and they all ended up at Thousand Island Lake. At 4 p.m. the lazy ones returned to the car at Agnew Meadows for the night.

It rained, sleeted, hailed and snowed - 2-3 inches at 10,000 feet. Al, etc. arrived back at the car about 2 p.m. Sunday and we all headed home. The weather was clearing and snow covered mountains were beautiful.