Mt. Bancroft, East Ridge, Early Spring Conditions

Mt. Bancroft, East Ridge, Early Spring Conditions

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Location Lat/Lon: 39.79874°N / 105.6705°W
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: May 14, 2016
Activities Activities: Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Spring

Mt. Bancroft, East Ridge, Early Spring Conditions (with maps and climbing diagram)

Climb of Mt. Bancroft on Sat 2016/05/14, based on the description in Dave Cooper's 2007 CO Snow Climbs book. The route follows a ridge to the east of the summit, starting between lake Caroline and loch Lomond.

One shortcoming of the description in the book is the description of the rappel/climb. It is located about 1/3 of the way up along the ridge at N39.83795 W105.68877 at 12,371'. It is not located at the higher spire close to the summit that is more obvious from the approach. We found a shovel was very helpful on our early season climb - because we had to dig out the anchor for rappeling. A 50m rope would be sufficient for the rappel, plenty left over from our 60m rope. We found that crampons were not helpful from the rappel onwards and would recommend taking them off before rappeling (unless you intend to downclimb the north gully below the rappel to avoid the climbing section). Maybe also helpful after a big Front Range snow storm (before it blows away or consolidates). 

The rock climb is not substantial - the entire rock face is show in the photo in Cooper's book. We started by clipping to a nut that seemed to be stuck low down on the face. Then a single set of cams was quite sufficient to protect the climb and anchor to the rock above for belaying.

The steepest parts of the snow on the approach to the ridge were 37 degrees. We glissaded down the longest snow field continuous with the summit, which briefly approached 40 degrees. 

In ''early'' season, we had to park at the junction of Stewart and Alice roads. We found the road snowpacked, even before the first gate, which is signed to open on June 15th. The weather that morning featured Front range fog. We found warm isothermal conditions (and mushy snow) in the fog, but very hard frozen snow when we walked out of the fog at ~10,2000'. 

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