Kingston Peak/St Mary Glacier

Information on peaks other than the CO 14ers and 13ers.
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Re: Kingston Peak/St Mary Glacier

Postby glacierPaul » Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:08 am

Hello all,
To get to Bancroft, you will turn left at the mailboxes, Alice Rd, go to your third right, Steuart Rd, has a sign posted for Loch Lomond the lake beneath Bancroft. The forest service has put up 2 seasonal gates. The first one is at the boundry of our sub-division, the second is clear back , just before the creek crossing. The gates open either July 15 or if ALL of the snow is off the road. I am pretty sure they get closed as soon as snow starts falling, but a call to the ranger station in Idaho Springs 303-567-3000 would verify. As for parking, technically the USFS parking is between and after the gates, it is illegal to park on any county roads in Clear Creek, so try not to park on Alice, especially if they need to plow, get onto Steuart Rd it is a private sub-division road (still illegal) but for now the property owners must not mind if you park in front of their (vacant) lots, just do not block the road completely. That road is gnarly for vehicles, but an easy hike. Mt. Bancroft was named after the man who made the "lakes" or at least built the dams.
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Re: Kingston Peak/St Mary Glacier

Postby glacierPaul » Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:17 am

Hey vertical-pimp,
The lot is accessible for your caddy, if you can get up the switchbacks, and you won't have to pay extra for the size of your ride, unless you bring up a pimped out bus!! :mrgreen:
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Re: Kingston Peak/St Mary Glacier

Postby TomPierce » Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:02 am

Following up on Chris' post above, I should stress that the notch is down-climable by a solid climber (IMO) in good conditions, but as Chris' photo I hope makes clear it's definitely very exposed and a slip there would be very nasty, if not fatal. I just recall rapping down (a few good blocks to rap off of, btw...) and looking up and seeing a very straightforward downclimb sequence. But if you've humped a rope up, no reason at all not to play it safe and rap, esp. since the notch tends to be pretty windy (I've been up there 3 times). Be safe!

Nice photos, Chris.
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Re: Kingston Peak/St Mary Glacier

Postby jjust » Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:22 am

I would not recommend down-climbing into the notch on Mount Bancroft's east ridge regardless of whether you're a "solid" climber or not. But that's just me. Everything looks like "it will go" from the safety of the ground or a rappel as opposed to being 20 feet off the deck looking for your next hold or move.

Mount Bancroft (05-04-2008)
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Re: Kingston Peak/St Mary Glacier

Postby vertical-pimp » Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:33 pm

the pimp thanks you very much for the information on the route and the parking

the pimp had forgotten that the trailhead for bancroft is different than it is for st mary's even though they are next to each other (the mountains)

//peace out

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Re: Kingston Peak/St Mary Glacier

Postby Mindy » Tue May 14, 2013 3:38 pm

jjust wrote:I did this hike several years ago. Here's a short trip report.

Kingston Peak/Fox Mountain


Has anyone been up these recently? Conditions?

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Re: Kingston Peak/St Mary Glacier

Postby winmag4582001 » Tue May 14, 2013 4:38 pm

I haven't been up there in a few months but, all the years I've been going up St. Mary's Glacier and to the flats, it's usually wind blown. I've used snowshoes in the past but it has never been too bad going up to Kingston. Also, there is a marker in top and a wind break.
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Re: Kingston Peak/St Mary Glacier

Postby CORed » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:12 pm

When I was younger and stronger, I used to ski James Peak via St. Mary's glacier almost every year in March or April, on tele gear and skins. I also went up from the old ski area a few times, before the property owner started chasing people away, but the route down the glacier is better skiing anyway. The drainage leading to the ski area has a lot of sidehill. Conditions were generally better in March. On several occasions I had solid windpack from the summit all the way down to the trailhead, almost like ski area conditions. I was never lucky enough to find powder (doesn't last long with the wind up there. It would make the climb a lot harder, unless somebody has broken trail, anyway). In April I sometimes ran into breaking crust or mashed potato snow, which made the descent a lot harder. The key is finding a clear day when the wind isn't blowing too hard (you will almost never get a no wind day that time of year).

Sometimes the flats between the peak and the glacier will be blown bare, so you may have to carry skis across, but usually you can find enough snow to keep the skis on.

The top is the steepest part, but I don't think there's anyting much more than 30 degrees on the whole route. Stay to climbers right/skiers left on the glacier, as there is some avalanche terrain on the other side.

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