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Mt. Bancroft
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Bankrupt T 
East Ridge Direct T 

East Ridge Direct 

YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a M2-3 R

   
Type:  Trad, Mixed, Alpine, 4 pitches, 3000', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a M2-3 Steep Snow R [details]
FA: ????
Season: All
Page Views: 7,368
Submitted By: J. Fox on Feb 2, 2009

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Swirly rock on the approach.

Description 

The direct E. Ridge of Mt. Bancroft is accessed from just above Loch Lomond. The route is a sustained class 4 ridge scramble with a 60' rappel required in the middle, and several places of low 5th class climbing, especially out of the notch you rap into.

There is a harder variation to this route which goes straight up the headwall of the NE buttress. In winter, the climbing on this variation is rather difficult, though low 5th class, due to the snow/ice on all the ledges and the lack of suitable protection. Choose your line of ascent wisely.

Winter conditions gives this route full value. It is mostly a sustained ridge climb up over gendarmes, across knife-edge snow aretes, scrambling over loose rock and a rappel. Do not underestimate the size of this climb! By adding the headwall pitches, it took us 7 hours to climb the route. We had high 40+ mph winds and negative digit wind chill, dropped/lost gloves and not much beta.

While the climbing on the headwall at the beginning wasn't very aestethic, it was challenging and I learned a lot.

Location 

This is the East ridge of Mt. Bancroft above Loch Lomond.

Protection 

I used cams C4 #0.4 - #2, and nuts BD #7 - #12 but most of this gear was too big. I had one piton and used it. Small cams/nuts best, knifeblades would be helpful too.


Photos of East Ridge Direct Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Eddie traversing one of the narrower sections of s...
Eddie traversing one of the narrower sections of s...
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing one of the steeper sections of the ridge....
Climbing one of the steeper sections of the ridge....
Rock Climbing Photo: Knife edge snow crossing.  Click to enlarge and se...
BETA PHOTO: Knife edge snow crossing. Click to enlarge and se...
Rock Climbing Photo: Eddie coming up the first section of headwall befo...
Eddie coming up the first section of headwall befo...
Rock Climbing Photo: Eddie traversing the first section of ridge.
Eddie traversing the first section of ridge.
Rock Climbing Photo: White-tailed ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura), camo vie...
White-tailed ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura), camo vie...
Rock Climbing Photo: Reynolds and Stewart Lakes.
Reynolds and Stewart Lakes.
Rock Climbing Photo: Fall River Reservoir (notch on the left is the cru...
Fall River Reservoir (notch on the left is the cru...
Rock Climbing Photo: The glissade.
The glissade.
Rock Climbing Photo: Rappelling into the notch.
Rappelling into the notch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Part of my anchor atop P1.  I used a piton and my ...
BETA PHOTO: Part of my anchor atop P1. I used a piton and my ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Fall River Reservoir.
Fall River Reservoir.
Rock Climbing Photo: Getting closer.
Getting closer.
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing out of the notch.
Climbing out of the notch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Erick on the approach.
Erick on the approach.
Rock Climbing Photo: Enjoying some exposure.
Enjoying some exposure.
Rock Climbing Photo: Brett high on the ridge.
Brett high on the ridge.
Rock Climbing Photo: Low on the NE headwall, gaining some rock to begin...
Low on the NE headwall, gaining some rock to begin...
Rock Climbing Photo: Look for this sign on Alice Rd. and park here!
BETA PHOTO: Look for this sign on Alice Rd. and park here!
Rock Climbing Photo: James Peak.
James Peak.
Rock Climbing Photo: Beginning the lead on P1.
Beginning the lead on P1.
Rock Climbing Photo: James Peak from the summit of Bancroft.
James Peak from the summit of Bancroft.
Rock Climbing Photo: Gearing up to lead P1.
Gearing up to lead P1.
Rock Climbing Photo: View from atop our P1 looking down the route.  Sco...
View from atop our P1 looking down the route. Sco...

Show All 48 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on East Ridge Direct Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 17, 2016
By Kirk Ranney
Feb 2, 2009

Thanks for posting this. I have been meaning to do this route for a while now. Dave Cooper gives a great description of the route as a summer climb in his book 50 Classic Colorado Scrambles, I believe the pitch climbing out of the notch is rated 5.2 under less serious conditions (I don't know for sure as I have not actually climbed the route though). Did you guys ski in or snowshoe? I have been ski touring up there alot this winter and wondered what the route would be like in winter conditions. Thanks again for the info.
Kirk
By Dougald MacDonald
Feb 3, 2009

Paul Gagner and I did this route in early January. We did three long pitches on the northeast buttress, including the lowest rock band. We thought it was great fun, with the bonus that you can easily avoid any potential avalanche danger. It's a cold place, though! See more photos at:

themountainworld.blogspot.com/...
By J. Fox
From: Black Hawk, CO
Feb 3, 2009

Yeah thanks for the tip Dougald, your blog is where I learned of this route. It was a big full-on day for sure. The damned wind never ceased!

Kirk, we snowshoed in and it was an easy approach. The climb outta the notch, while short, was definitely harder than 5.2 IMHO. I climbed it with hands in wet liner gloves and wet mountaineering boots so I don't know how to rate it.

I put up a TR on my blog, just click my profile, the link is in there.
By Kirk Ranney
Feb 5, 2009

I was up there the same day. I was touring in the trees off the road at about 3-3:30. I heard some people talking on the road on my way in, I am wondering if that was you? It was a great day to be out and about. The TR was pretty cool, nice pictures!
Kirk
By J. Fox
From: Black Hawk, CO
Feb 9, 2009

At 3/3:30 we were just nearing the summit, so it wasn't us.
By Chris Plesko
From: Westminster, CO
Jan 16, 2010

Notes apply to headwall variation:
Head straight to the Loch then to the lake above it. If you try to cut up the hill early, you'll just have to give back the elevation you gained and might fall in some tree wells to your partner's amusement. If you wish to protect this with even sort of reasonable runouts, bring lots of small gear and some pitons. A #1 C4 was the biggest we used along with a full set of C3s (and little nuts of course). Protecting the top headwall pitch without pins is well, really really hard. It's good fun in winter with all the turf sections and scattered ice patches though. One ice tool is handy and we used crampons. We did another variation on the headwall, starting far right to get some rock pro above a suspect snow band, P2 climbed a very steep narrow gully and P3 probably joined somewhere near the drawings on the beta photos at the top out spot. Choose your own alpine adventure and have fun!
By Krister Sorensen
From: Centennial, CO
Apr 12, 2010
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a M2-3 Steep Snow R

Climbed the ridge with the direct start yesterday. The direct start really adds to the route and I highly recommend it. Pick your route on the face....anything goes. Climbing is no harder than 5.4 - 5.5 with very solid rock, but very run out. Only one peice of pro in each pitch. The rest of the ridge was great climing. Climb out of notch I'd say is 5.4, very positive holds and very short. Exposure might make it feel harder. Amazing route. Can't belive I just heard about this thing. Highly recommend!
By Alan Stevens
From: Sargents, CO
Nov 21, 2010

Climbed this route yesterday, Nov, 20. Snowshoes would make the approach much easier. While the road appears to be fairly clear, you'll wish you brought the snowshoes when you start post-holing for the last mile. Also, the snow on the ridge line is still soft and fairly insecure. With the early winter conditions, it took just under 10 hours car to car. I highly recommend this route as a more technical and less crowded alternative to the popular climbs in the area. Also a lot of ski potential near Loch Lomond.
By fossana
From: leeds, ut
Jun 3, 2012

The road to Loch Lomond is open all the way for those fortunate to have high-clearance vehicles and despite what the sign before the second gate says. I like the route better with snow, but the views are still spectacular later in the season.
By Ryan-T
From: Edgewater, CO
Sep 29, 2015

I have done this route twice, both times in June. It is one of my favorites and a great climb to get a little taste of everything mountaineering has to offer. The first time I climbed it, we skirted around the ridge where the climb normally starts, to the west, and climbed a couloir to a notch in the ridge before the rappel and then continued on. The second time we did the normal start. Both fun options!

I carried a 30 meter 9.2 rope and a small rack of nuts and cams, a few slings and a cord, plus ice axe, crampons and helmet.

My biggest suggestion for this route is to very carefully check and liberally replace the webbing for the rappel. After rappelling into the notch, we saw one of the obese Marmots up there proceed to chow down on the webbing for as long as we could see him. I guess I did not realize they'll eat webbing....
By Alex Vidal
From: Boulder, CO
May 17, 2016

Tons of tat. If I had a knife, I would have cleaned up. Also, with skis, this appears to be pretty reasonable in sub 5 hours. The crux is super brief, but there is some other pretty cool mixed climbing on route if you seek it out. Super fun!