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#41626 - 01/29/15 10:52 AM Mineral King to Horseshoe Meadows
SanGorgonioHiker Offline


Registered: 03/24/14
Posts: 66
Loc: Southern CA
Hello forum, I am starting to piece together a Sierra trip for this summer (I did Whitney last), and I am just wondering if anyone has ever done this trip or something like it:

Mineral King up to Farewell Gap to Coyote Pass to the Kern River up to Tunnel/Mulkey Meadows to Horseshoe Meadows Trailhead.
I'm guessing its like 45 miles?


Any thoughts on this or alternatives for favorite 4-6 day trips south of Tioga Pass would help.
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"Come and Let Us Climb the Lord's Mountain!" -Isaiah 2:5

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#41627 - 01/29/15 11:38 AM Re: Mineral King to Horseshoe Meadows [Re: SanGorgonioHiker]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7228
Loc: Fresno, CA
I did this last year: Mineral King to Whitney

Transportation into Mineral King is a major issue for a one-way trip. The HST (High Sierra Trail) is a classic crossing, and you can take public transportation to Crescent Meadow. TSX Challenge people guide groups from Horse Corral Meadow across to Whitney or Horseshoe Meadow. I've made the crossing from Onion Valley to Roads End in Kings Canyon as a day hike.

All the Sierra Crossings are special hikes to me. It gives me a unique sense of satisfaction to start on one side and finish on the other.

Looking at the trails of your initial proposed hike, it looks like a lot more than 45 miles. Lots of miles in gentle terrain east of the Kern. Tunnel Meadow even has an abandoned air strip.

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#41634 - 01/30/15 08:18 AM Re: Mineral King to Horseshoe Meadows [Re: Steve C]
SanGorgonioHiker Offline


Registered: 03/24/14
Posts: 66
Loc: Southern CA
Thanks Steve! Another question...has anyone ever been up Mt. Ritter or Banner Peak via their simplest routes? Which is easier?
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"Come and Let Us Climb the Lord's Mountain!" -Isaiah 2:5

www.hikinginsocal.blogspot.com

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#41989 - 03/20/15 01:57 PM Re: Mineral King to Horseshoe Meadows [Re: SanGorgonioHiker]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 446
Loc: Saugus, CA
I've never been up myself, but here is what I could find...

There are multiple routes listed as Class 3, but most of them involve glacier travel. The West Slope is listed as Class 2, technically easier but I prefer Class 3 as opposed to Class 2. Here's what Secor says:

"West Slope. Class 2. First ascent and Floyd Burnette. Go south from Lake Catherine to the outlet of the southernmost lake of the Ritter Lakes. Follow the eastern shore of this lake toward the south, past the first talus fan and around a low buttress to the second talus fan. Ascend this fan (a real slog) to the upper bowl. Traverse right to a chute; be sure to enter the chute about halfway up, and not from its bottom. This chute leads to another talus fan, which leads to another chute. Climb this chute until about you are 5075 feet below its top. Traverse left and up to the top of the ridge, which is followed to the summit. The top of this upper chute is difficult to find during descent." - High Sierra Peaks, Passes, and Trails RJ Secor

Here is an image of the West Slope, image taken from this Stanford EDU source.



And Secor says of Banner:

"From Ritter-Banner Saddle. Class 2. First ascent August 26, 1883, by Willard D. Johnson and John Miller. First winter ascent March 1, 1939, by Chester L. Errett, Bob Brinton, and Lloyd Warner. This route is class 2 from Lake Catherine; there is a class 3 section when approaching the saddle from the east. Banner Peak is a talus slog from the saddle." - High Sierra Peaks, Passes, and Trails RJ Secor

Secor also lists a viable Class 3 route up Ritter from Ritter-Banner Saddle. Might be a more natural route if you're fine on Class 3
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#41991 - 03/20/15 07:21 PM Re: Mineral King to Horseshoe Meadows [Re: Snacking Bear]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7228
Loc: Fresno, CA
Sorry about the late reply...

I climbed Ritter from Lake Catherine many years ago, climbing to the Ritter/Banner saddle, then up a really steep chute. Would not recommend the route. I think Muir himself described it as hairy scary.

Several years ago, I climbed Banner from the same saddle, and it was more fun. Like the above says, class 2, with maybe a little bit of 3. Skirting the S. side of Catherine Lk was more "interesting". I recall I had crampons for that section as well as the long snow tongue from Catherine up to the saddle.

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#42079 - 04/01/15 03:06 PM Re: Mineral King to Horseshoe Meadows [Re: Steve C]
SanGorgonioHiker Offline


Registered: 03/24/14
Posts: 66
Loc: Southern CA
Thanks for the info...just read today. I think I'm leaning towards Banner in June/July ish.
_________________________
"Come and Let Us Climb the Lord's Mountain!" -Isaiah 2:5

www.hikinginsocal.blogspot.com

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