Mount Ritter and Banner Peak in Mammoth Lakes dominate the northern Sierra skyline. This area offers a perfect introduction to the pleasures of Sierra peak climbing as the terrain does not exceed third class. John Muir first ventured here in 1872 and we follow his footsteps into mountains little changed since his days here.

Mules will carry our gear to our beautiful camp near Thousand Island Lake while we strike a leisurely and comfortable hiking pace, carrying only day packs with about 15 pounds of gear. We spend the second day getting our skills in order and then tackle our main goal on the third day: an ascent of Mt. Banner. Along with climbing, we include plenty of instruction as well as some time to relax and enjoy one of the most beautiful areas of the Sierra Nevada.

Mules are a traditional way of accessing the Sierra backcountry. They make the mountains accessible to a wider range of people, both young and old while enabling us to take along some extras to make camp life more relaxed and easy.


Price includes guiding, pack stock support, permits, tents, kitchen gear, breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. We bring delicious, fresh and healthy meals on all of our mule supported trips!


No prior mountaineering experience is required but you should have some backpacking and hiking experience. You should be in good physical condition, ready to hike up to 8 miles off trail with a day pack at altitude. Review our Fitness, Training, and Acclimatization Tips in the “Resources” tab.

Acclimatization & Physical Training

For proper acclimatization, we suggest spending at least one night at a moderate altitude, higher than 8,000 feet, just prior to the start of the journey. See our detailed tips on acclimatizing an physical training in the “Resources” tab.