Kids enjoy the outdoors – once they get there! But organizing the logistics and getting them enthused can be difficult. So we have put together this trip, which removes the planning headaches from the parents and also gives kids a safe environment to discover the high Sierra, climb a few peaks, do a little rock climbing or to simply sit in the sun and relax. The Ritter Range area north of Mammoth is an ideal location for a basecamp. The approach to our basecamp is around 8 miles with a total elevation gain of about 2200 feet. But we ease the effort required to get to camp by using pack stock to carry the heavy items and we hike easily with a daypack. This leaves us most of the day to get to camp near Thousand Island Lake.
Behind camp are the stunning peaks of Mt. Ritter and Mt. Banner; these give us the opportunity to ascend to around 13,000 feet and gain spectacular views of the Yosemite high country. If parents want to relax in camp, we will take the kids out and work on getting them tired but fulfilled.
Guidebooks include Secor’s “The High Sierra; Peaks, Passes and Trails”.
Since camp during the trip is over 9,000’ we highly recommend that you spend at least one night at moderate altitude (higher than 8,000’) just prior to the trip. Though you will not be carrying a heavy pack during the trip, you will still be working hard hiking and climbing every day. Spending a night in Mammoth, either camping or in a hotel, would do it. Please refer to our Planning for Success info sheet for more info.
Mules have been a traditional way of accessing the Sierra backcountry. They make the mountains accessible to a wider range of people, both young and old. They do enable us to take along some extras to make camp life more relaxed and easy. But we do need to limit people to a 20 pounds per person (this does not include tents). We do weigh the duffle bags.
We have scheduled dates for climbing these peaks but also undertake it as a custom ascent. Contact us to set this up. On a custom trip we can vary the group size depending upon the number of people who wish to do some climbing. Some family members might just want to stay in camp, hike or do some top roping. If we are doing peak ascents however we want to keep the ratio to a maximum ratio of 1:5 but it is also possible for us to have a second guide to join us just for these climbs.