Easy 5th YDS 1+ French 3 Ewbanks I UIAA 5 ZA M 1c British PG13
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|Shared By:||Chris Deuto on Jul 25, 2022|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC|
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Mount Bancroft’s classic East Ridge is far and away the most prominent feature of the peak, and it is a great, short outing with minimal shenanigans.
The route begins from Loch Lomond Lake, which can only be accessed with a 4WD vehicle. Otherwise, hike up the 2.1 mile Stuart Road on foot. From Loch Lomond, head immediately south towards Bancroft. Hike steeply up the grassy hillside, gaining 700 feet of elevation pretty quickly until reaching Lake Caroline below the ridge’s start. This is a good spot to hang out for a bit and consider weather. Fast climbers will take about an hour to summit and slower climbers two.
From the lake’s old dam, begin climbing the ridge on steep Class 2+ talus. The ridge will slowly narrow as you ascend and reach a more level aspect. As the ridge becomes more exposed, Class 3 moves will start to become the norm while approaching the first crux: a 50 foot deep notch about halfway through the climb. Either rappel into the notch via some fixed slings (check these), or downclimb the 30 foot headwall on fair to solid rock with plentiful edges (5.4). This crux can be kept at 4th Class by staying low on the south (left) side of the ridge. Once in the notch, climb steeply up once again as you encounter mostly exposed 4th Class terrain with a few low 5th class sections. Staying as close to the ridge crest as possible almost always yields the best rock and the easiest climbing/route finding. Slowly the technicality will ease off to 3rd Class once again as you reach a flat bench with pink rock and elaborate views of Ice Lake on the right. In an emergency, it would be quick and easy to bail down scree to Ice Lake from here. The rest of the ridge climbs steep Class 2+ talus once again until reaching the East Face saddle at 13,000 feet. Walk happily across the saddle and hike up Bancroft’s 250 foot summit pyramid.
Descend the much easier and quick Southeast Ridge to meet an old road grade which leads right back to Loch Lomond Lake.
This is a great introduction to hard alpine scrambling, as the outing is quite short and the rock quite solid (by alpine standards).
The East Ridge of Bancroft starts and finishes from Loch Lomond Lake. The feature is visible proudly on the way up.