Mount Ritter

19-Jun-99 (Or Third Time Is the Charm)

By: Larry Tidball, Barbee Tidball

In 6/24/89 I was chased off Mt. Ritter by a thunder and lightening storm, then on 6/26/93 the mountain kept dropping avalanches despite Jack Wickel and my desire to climb.....1999 had to be the year for success, I "needed" the peak!

The weather was perfect on Saturday and a group of seven climbers left Agnew Meadows trailhead just after 7:00 am for Lake Ediza. Our party included Larry, Nile Sorenson Ken Wagner, Mars Bonfire Joanne Andrew, Tom McDonnell, and myself. We camped above the lake with some of our tents on dry ground and others on the snow and settled in for a lazy afternoon napping, reading or hiking around the lake area. This was starting out as a very tough SPS trip. Sunday morning we were up before the sun and heading towards the mountain. We put our crampons on as soon as we reached the major snowfield and headed up the southeastern route towards the summit. Climbing was steady and clean across firm snow to the upper gully. There we removed our crampons to climb over talus rock. The final approach was made without crampons on softening snow as we watched two climbers who had summitted earlier glissade down past us.

Register signed and snacks consumed and we were ready to begin our glissade descent. Everyone was looking forward to some fast and fun sliding - even I who prefer to glissade slower. The trip back to camp was spent 2/3 of the time sitting down and riding the snow home!

We packed up and headed back to Agnew Meadows mid-afternoon. Once back to the meadow the mosquitoes were ferocious! Larry and I quickly said good-bye to everyone and after all cars were running we raced out of Agnew Mosquidow land. It was great trip with good climbing companions -- despite the bloodsuckers at the cars and while hiking.

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