It's not that anybody straight out said we couldn't do it
Snow team rider Gabe Taylor dares to climb and ride Mt Ritter in a day.
He tells the story:
It's not that anybody straight out said we couldn't do it. It was the sound of total skepticism and look of complete doubt when I told them we were going to climb and ride Mt. Ritter in one day that made me think they might as well have. I've wanted to climb Ritter for years and have been enamored with the peak since I first saw it. It towers over the skyline of Mammoth and with its brother, Mt. Banner, to the north, and it's little kids the Minarets to the south makes up the iconic view we all see when the sunsets.
Imagine my surprise when six of my friends were down to get after it. We rode our snowmobiles down to Agnew Meadow early in the morning and began hiking at 4AM. 16 miles, 6,000 vertical feet, snow, dirt, ice, rocks, creeks, lakes, clouds, sun, blisters, aches and pains awaited us on our summit attempt. The veritable bible of backcountry skiing around the Sierra's states that, "A trip to Mt. Ritter usually involves at least 2 days…." I like big days and think they're cool but mostly I just hate sleeping in the cold, trying to sleep in your wet, sweaty gear and waiting for your boots to freeze does not entice me. So Ritter in a day was the plan.
Travel was super smooth under a cloudy sky all morning with firm, fast snow. We were standing at the lower benches of the mountain around 8:30AM. Other then the fact that summit was totally in clouds, we were in great spirits. There was even talk about making it to happy hour back in Mammoth.