Bela G. Vadasz
Technical Director
IFMGA Internationally Licensed
Mountain Guide

The Sierra Classics

The region from South Lake, north of the Palisades to June Lake is a large section of the Sierra Crest which contains many of the Sierra's greatest climbs.

Our Most Popular Climbs

Mt. Humphreys (13,986'), East ArÍte, III 5.5

Bear Creek Spire (13,713'), NE Ridge, Class 4

Bear Creek Spire, North ArÍte, III 5.8

Clyde Minaret (12,281'), Southeast Face, IV 5.8

ASI & The Sierra Classics

ASI's history in the region stems long here too. In 1963, the Vadasz family made an important trip beginning in Touolomne Meadows near Tioga Pass, traveling a section of the Muir Trail and ending at Devil's Post Pile near mammoth Mountain Ski Resort. The 11 day trip provided plenty of summit-seeking side trips from Mt. Lyell to Mt. Davis and with visits of high passages among Mt. Ritter, Banner Peak and the Minarets. This study of the Minarets and the Ritter Range left an ever lasting impression with young Vadasz.

The Sierra Classics History

The Minarets add an incredible section to the history of climbing in the High Sierra. The almost sinister group of atypical peaks have lured many climbers since the beginning of the Sierra's climbing history. Important events include the teaching of modern rope technique at a Sierra Club outing camp by Robert Underhill and the famous search for lost climber, Walter Starr Jr., whose body was found by Norman Clyde.

Other Quality Climbs offered by ASI

Charlotte Dome, South Face, III 5.7   3 days
Probably one of the best rock climbs in its class anywhere. This historic route was first climbed "clean" without the use of a hammer and pitons and is an absolute joy to climb with exceptional, high quality rock that is pleasantly featured knob-covered granite offering moderate climbing on a big face.

Michael Minaret (12,240'), Class 4-5    2 days
This obscure route is one of the toughest summits to obtain in the Minarets. It is set back from the peaks in line with the crest and has no easy approach or easy-to-follow route. It is the site of the fall of Walter Starr Jr. and this historical account of the search for him by the legendary climbers of the day.

Mt. Ritter (13,157'), North Face, Class 3    2 days
From the Ritter Banner saddle, John Muir made the first ascent of this route which was daring for its time. It presents good climbing with a long round about descent back to Thousand Island Lake, providing a spectacular day.

Banner Peak (12,945'), East Corner, III 5.7    2 days
This "no easy" route was first climbed by Jules Eichorn and Robert Underhill in 1931. It's a testiment to the saying, "Never underestimate the routes done by the boys of the 30's". The route requires careful climbing, route finding and good rope mangement to keep the rope away from the sharp edged igneous rock. High on the route, a shallow, slanting overhang needs to be passed and a steep polished slab ascended diagonally up and right to near the summit.

Minarets Traverse, VI 5.9    6 days
This enchainment of all the Minarets provides exciting and provacative strategies on how to best link these spectacular peaks. It's a long, hard and committing project that is best done as a six-day guided traverse with high bivouacs en route.

*The above climbs can be combined and/or scheduled through Private Arrangement

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