Mt. Bancroft  
Condition Updates  
 
Route: East ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-14, By: jtfoss1
Info: No snow of any consequence requiring traction or axe. Fun little route with a lot of good scrambling. Several of our group climbed the 5.2 pitch without pro but we setup an anchor for two who weren't comfortable on one move. Tat in decent condition. 
 
Route: East ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-12, By: Agstrohmeier
Info: Fun ridge climb, snow free. There are two rappel stations set up right now, the upper one two loops of webbing and a cord all through two rap rings, all in good shape. We used this one. 
 
Route: SE Ridge
Posted On: 2020-06-15, By: nedryarson
Info: Climbed Bancroft SE Ridge from Loch Lomond. Road is still closed at the second gate about a mile below the lake. Road is pretty rough above the first gate and most people parked down there. Very limited parking at the second gate but was able to get a spot around 6:15am. A few easy snow crossings approaching the lake and then a lengthy crossing on the way up to the ridge from the lake. Spikes were very nice to have on this crossing. The ridge itself is easy, straightforward, and almost entirely dry. There is a steep ski line in from the summit to Lake Caroline but I didn't feel comfortable doing it without a partner. 
 
Route: SE slopes
Posted On: 2020-05-31, By: Agstrohmeier
Info: Road is dry until the upper gate. Today the lower gate was closed, but the seasonal closure ends tomorrow so that may not be relevant for long. Patchy snow to lake Caroline. Low angle ski line from the summit is in to lake caroline, but not continuous to loch lomond below. Steep ski line from the NE summit is full of avy debris. We turned around around 12,900 with the awful freezes we've had lately. Minor freeze overnight on top of soft snow, we were boot deep in the snow at 7:15am. We figured it would happen with the recent reports but still decided to give it a shot. Somehow I didn't take a single decent photo of the upper mountain, but this one shows the 'general' conditions 
1
 
Route: Traverse from Flora to James
Posted On: 2019-10-01, By: Ptglhs
Info: Class 1 tundra walking or class 2 no trail with some talus for most of the route. Bancroft -> James gets a bit spicy after the saddle. You can either stay to the climbers right (east) and keep it at difficult 2 or easy 3. After dropping off to the right there's a steep and loose talus/scree slope to ascend for 200' to regain easier terrain. If you stay more on the ridge there are a couple gendarmes and it's class 3 or 4. There are occasional cairns along the easy parts between Flora and James, CDT construction I think as they are much bigger than scrambling cairns. The difficult part described above has a few more frequent, and smaller cairns. 1st pic is just after saddle, veer right around obstacles then regain ridge via slope 2nd is view of saddle between Bancroft and James while enroute to Bancroft 3rd is view of Eva, Parry, Bancroft, with james in the far background, left of Bancroft, as seen from Flora. 
3
 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2019-07-09, By: mtnrgr275
Info: Stuart Rd is rough and has some large washes. High Clearance 4x4 required, subarus are a no-go. Second Gate is still closed. East Ridge is snow free and in summer conditions. South East Ridge is snow free, and so is the West Ridge towards Parry. The tundra is still pretty wet in low areas and there are a few pockets of snow left, so waterproof boots were nice to have. Skiing the East Face of Bancroft is still doable in the steeper couloirs. There is still skiable snow above Ice Lake. 
 
Route: SE ridge
Posted On: 2019-06-09, By: Kitten
Info: Went up Parry Peak from Fall River Reservoir. Descended SE ridge, you can avoid all the snow in this ridge, except for the last part in the trees back to the Reservoir. 
 
Route: bancroft bowl
Posted On: 2019-06-03, By: brech
Info: Stewart Rd still closed at first gate, clear of snow most of the way to the upper gate and creek crossing. Started about 5:45 on top by 9:30 snow had a decent freeze and very supportive, skied down around 10 am top 1-2" was softened nice corn. Everything was consolidated from previous snow the week before. Sweet Caroline had a couple of good size wet slides from the rocks above on previous days, but the bowl was great. Skied past Lomond up the the bench to Lake Caroline then up the bowl to the summit, skied straight down non-stop to Lake Caroline about 1400 vf, walked 50' then skied down to Lomond 
 
Route: From Berthoud pass
Posted On: 2019-05-30, By: jbealer
Info: Climbed from Bethoud Pass to Colorado Mines Peak to Flora to Eva to Perry to Bancroft and then down towards Lake Caroline to the road. We packed snowshoes and spikes but never took them out. Snow was firm for the most part all day on the ridge, never sinking past top of boot. We did sink more on the decent off Bancroft but not enough to put our SS on. Great one way trip. 
4
 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2019-04-26, By: polar
Info: Not a whole lot has changed since nickle's report, so I'll just add a couple of things. First of all, we parked right at the start of Steuart Road at the junction with Alice Road. Even though there's a "no parking" sign there, we didn't have any trouble. But there's only space for one vehicle here without blocking the road. The rap anchor mentioned by nickle is indeed in very good shape, but is set a little back from the edge. I didn't want to pull my rope over the edge, so I used a lower rap anchor, that's in decent shape and can be accessed by some easy downclimbing. From this lower anchor, it is only a 20 feet, maybe 30 feet max rappel to the notch, possibly due to a high snow ramp? Had I known this, I would not have hauled a 60m rope up there... combined with the fact that we did the class 4 bypass out of the notch, it was a long way to haul that much rope for such a short rappel. A 30m rope is probably sufficient from the lower anchor, unless the snow ramp melts out. The weather forecast for today wasn't the best, so I was keeping my eyes out for possible bailing points along the route. Previous TR has indicated that you can bail from the notch by downclimbing the couloir, but no other bailing point is mentioned anywhere. About 2/3 way up the ridge, there is a saddle covered in dirt instead of the usual rock. It looks possible to downclimb this saddle into the steep snow field below. Probably not a good option in the summer, but may be a good exit point with snow if bad weather moves in. Bailing between the notch and this dirt saddle would be very tricky. After the dirt saddle the route doesn't stay scrambly for long, so it may be quicker just to go to the top. 
4
 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2019-04-20, By: nickle
Info: Bancroft via the east ridge is looking great. Snow is firm enough to support but soft enough to kick good steps. No cornices on the east ridge, decent coverage up until approx 100 yards past the notch, past that it is mostly dry. The 5.easy headwall out of the notch is free of snow. The rap anchor into the notch is bomber - 2 good looking pieces of webbing, each with a burly rap ring. Get out there early! Once past 10am or 11am the snow starts getting soft enough to worry about. Photo #1: The 5.easy headwall Photo #2: Snow ridge heading towards the second crux Photo #3: Shot showing most of the snow coverage on the ridge. Looking east towards the notch. 
3 2
 
Route: From Parry Peak
Posted On: 2018-09-03, By: supranihilest
Info: The easiest of the five 13ers on the south-to-north James Peak 13er traverse, Bancroft is a Class 2 talus hop down and up. It's also the rockiest to this point, and care should be taken to not dislodge the loose, jagged rocks you have to scramble down and up to reach the summit. It's easy, you just need to give it the attention it deserves. 
 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2018-06-28, By: Monster5
Info: Did a quick lap before work. Steven's/Loch Lomond Road (4WD or AWD with good traction) closed about a mile short of the loch. Some wet spots on trail but mostly dry. Opted to downclimb the notch rather than rappel. Brief stiff 4th or 5.easy below the lower rap station with a couple subtle variations possible. No harder than the headwall, though going down rather than up. Descended SE ridge - avoidable patches. Mostly class 2 tundra talus. 
 
Route: Bancroft Bowl
Posted On: 2018-06-03, By: AlexeyD
Info: Climbed and skied Mt. Bancroft via the east-facing bowl above Lake Caroline this morning. Start time around 7 from the closed upper gate (~10.8k), summit 9:30 and began descent around 9:45. The bowl is getting pretty thin/rocky in the middle, but I was still able to ski all the way down to the lake by cutting hard left across a thin, rocky traverse for about 100 feet (see photos #2 and 4). Best to think of it as 2 nice, consistent but distinct pitches of about 600-700 feet each, mid-high 30s angle. From Lake Caroline I had to briefly remove skis to find a couple of short exit chutes that led from around the base of Bancroft's east ridge down to Loch Lomond (photo #5 looks back up on one of the chutes), which can be skied around on the west shoreline (the chutes are hidden from view on the way up). Then another couple minutes of walking, after which I was able to ski to within about 1/4 mile of the car (~11,000'). Snow was perfect corn on the descent with a hard freeze, then a couple hours of sunshine to soften things up just enough, followed by increasing clouds which kept the surface from getting too mushy. On the way up I skinned from about 11K to 11.6k, then hiked, then used an ice axe and crampons from about 12,250' all the way to the summit. The road seems to be rougher than I last remember, was pretty close to the limits of what a 2016 Forester can handle. Surprisingly fun day out with probably about 2000 (albeit not continuous) feet of skiing...not bad for June in a lackluster season! 
8
 
Route: From Parry
Posted On: 2018-06-02, By: cougar
Info: Most snow on ridge can be avoided or isn't an issue. Small snowfield below Parry summit the exception. Last pic is a view of James Peak. 
3
 
Route: Saddle from James Peak
Posted On: 2017-07-01, By: MC.Ikema
Info: A few snowfields on the saddle between James and Bancroft that might hide easier lines across the saddle. Traction not used. No snow on Bancroft. 
 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2016-11-09, By: tjf242424
Info: Basically summer conditions. There are a few patches of snow on the ridge, but none that pose any problems. All of the harder sections are totally dry. No need for traction at any point. Rappel anchor is solid and in great condition. When the scrambling ends, there's some shin deep snow to the summit. The upper gate is closed, but we made it there in a 2011 Outback with no issues. 
 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2015-07-24, By: GregMiller
Info: Two good loops of webbing on the rappel anchor, only some minor wear on one of them, and a good quality rap ring on each. Took a 50m double rope, was comfortably long enough for the rap, and more than enough to climb out of the notch (leader tied into both ends and belayed as twins). Two other guys on the route down climbed into the notch on climber's left side of the ridge, and climbed out left side of the ridge, looked like both went at ~4th class. Also, if anyone is headed up that way, mind taking a nut tool? Had to leave a BD #8 stopper at the bottom of the notch after I got it stuck (and forgot to bring a nut tool like a muppet) - I‘ll gladly trade good beer for it. 
 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2014-08-18, By: AlexeyD
Info: The notch rappel currently has a fully redundant anchor, with two independent pieces of red webbing (good condition) and two beefy rap rings. There‘s also a second anchor (a slung block on a small ledge about 15‘ below the edge of the main drop-off), but there seems no logical reason to use it (rope pull out of the notch was not an issue at all). We mostly stayed on the ridge, and belayed two sections - the short headwall right after the notch, and the second, longer headwall after the "knife edge" after the first headwall. While the "knife edge" did not feel all that exposed, it‘s so close to the second second headwall that we kept the rope out, since we planned to use it there. From the top of the first crux, it‘s about a rope length along the ridge to a convenient belay spot (slingable block) for the second crux. For the second crux, while we belayed all the way to the top of the gendarme (which has a perfect anchor block for a belay), the upper half of the headwall is pretty much third or easy fourth class, and if we were to do it again we‘d probably belay lower down to avoid rope drag. 
 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2014-06-15, By: GregMiller
Info: Climbed Mt. Bancroft's East Ridge today, we were in mountaineering boots but never felt the need to use crampons or axes. We only had to cross snow once, microspikes would do you just fine if you were wearing softer shoes. We got a good freeze, and snow was good all the way in and out. There was snow in the notch, but we just stayed on rappel until we crossed it, and the far wall took a couple cams easily enough. Anchor had a good sling and a good cord, and a semi ratty sling (black one in photo 3) that we replaced. Was able to get a Subaru Outback to about a 1/4 mi down from the second gate. Left the car at ~4:30, got to the lake at about 5:15, waited there until sunrise at ~5:30, hit the notch at 7, finished cleaning up the climbing gear at 8, summitted Bancroft at 10:15, back at the car at 12:05. See more pictures here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10100693630051731.1073741876.12002257&type=1&l=46e3e432a1 

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