Banner Peak and a family trip to Mammoth

I had two fun weekends stacked pretty closely - Kevin and I attempted Banner Peak the weekend of July 18th and Katherine, Alex, Kimy, and I went out to Mammoth to see Devil's Postpile and do some hiking in Tuolumne in early August. 

I documented these more extensively on Facebook, found here and here

Our base camp. We attempted Banner (peak on the right) via a Class 2 route that goes around the back. It wasn't too hard (though this "Class 2" had some vertical climbing and somewhat scary sections), but it was just way too long. I think the Class 3 that goes up from Ediza would be much more doable.

Our base camp. We attempted Banner (peak on the right) via a Class 2 route that goes around the back. It wasn't too hard (though this "Class 2" had some vertical climbing and somewhat scary sections), but it was just way too long. I think the Class 3 that goes up from Ediza would be much more doable.

Heading up the talus field. I really need a smaller pack.

Heading up the talus field. I really need a smaller pack.

Lake Catherine! Incredibly deep and blue.

Lake Catherine! Incredibly deep and blue.

Coming down the Class 2 snowfield, our new friend Chris is the photographer. After 5.5 hrs going up, with 1600 vertical ft to go, we decided we had to call it and go down. The 30% chance of thunderstorms was definitely a factor as well.

Coming down the Class 2 snowfield, our new friend Chris is the photographer. After 5.5 hrs going up, with 1600 vertical ft to go, we decided we had to call it and go down. The 30% chance of thunderstorms was definitely a factor as well.

Banner Peak and Thousand Island Lake. Gorgeous.

Banner Peak and Thousand Island Lake. Gorgeous.

A few weekends later it was hotels and eating out for a bit easier adventure. We still saw some awesome stuff, and Alex and I hiked Cloud's Rest from Tenaya Lake, which may be my favorite hike of all time.

Devil's Postpile, with Alex and Kimy.

Devil's Postpile, with Alex and Kimy.

They form these crazy Hexagons at the top.

They form these crazy Hexagons at the top.

Rainbow Falls is a short hike away, though it felt like it took forever for some reason.

Rainbow Falls is a short hike away, though it felt like it took forever for some reason.

We also saw the otherworldly tufas of Mono Lake. Really work the visit.

We also saw the otherworldly tufas of Mono Lake. Really work the visit.

I love the east side.

I love the east side.

Sunday Alex and I hiked Cloud's Rest, hitting the summit in 2:40 without breaking a sweat. It's probably my favorite hike. 

Sunday Alex and I hiked Cloud's Rest, hitting the summit in 2:40 without breaking a sweat. It's probably my favorite hike.