Peak(s):  Bancroft, Mt  -  13,250 feet
Post Date:  05/25/2009
Date Climbed:   05/22/2009
Posted By:  doubleA

 Ski descent- Mt Bancroft   

On Friday we decided to hit Mt Bancroft for a ski descent. On the way up to the Alice turn off we noticed that it had been raining in the area quite a bit the night prior- so we were hoping for fresh snow once we gained elevation.
Four unlucky locals....
We hit Stewart Rd at around 5:30am, and were only able to drive to the first gate. The road is snow free up passed the second gate, but we were heard that it still won't open late June or July. Our guess is that there is still alot of run off trickling down the road and they might want to keep tire ruts to a minimum.
Anyway, we walked the 2 or so miles until we could get our skins on. We started skinning about 1/4 mile from the dam.
Kevin skinning up with Bancroft in the background.
A view down to Loch Lomond
We started heading west from Loch Lomond before we hit the dam. This proved troublesome because we had to take the skins off and start booting across the tundra to get to the bottom of the peak. In hindsight, we should have kept skinning towards the west side of the lake because there was more snow in that area that leads up to the lake directly below Bancroft.
Getting our skis back on our feet. This was the lower section of the mountain. From here we were able to skin up the steep bowl, then break north to the summit.
Kevin skinning up the final pitch
Summit shot
A view down to Lake Caroline and Loch Lomond. The front range was sopped in with clouds. We didn't expect to get blue skies, but sometimes you get lucky.
Skiing from the rocks below the summit
The top half of the bowl was great- 2 to 4 inches of well bonded snow on top of a firm layer. Kevin laced my tracks up until we hit the lower section. The lower section didn't freeze well overnight and was a little soft for our liking.
The lake systems in this area are very aesthetic
Our last tracks with the southeast ridge in the background
Looking back at Bancroft. Fun ski descent, but we should have hit this one a few weeks ago. We did way too much walking on dry ground with ski boots on for my taste- I prefer to skin. I'm thinking you could have skinned this one from the first gate all the way to the summit in early April.
It is evident that the nightly cloud cover has not been allowing a good freeze in this area. We summited at 8:45am- per our plan. I don't think any earlier would have mattered. Alot of these front range peaks are melting fast- get out while you can!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

4 heads     05/26/2009 04:06
looks like something out of a Rob Zombie movie. Are they trying to scare people ouf of driving up that road?

I hear ya about skinning vs. hiking. Have had way too many outings where I‘m constantly taking mine off and putting them back on due to variable snow conditions.


Looks Like Fun     05/26/2009 04:16
Heading up there this Sunday. Thanks for the photos.


The heads     05/26/2009 11:19
The funny thing is, I‘ve been going up there for about 20 years and never noticed the heads. My friend pointed them out to me this last outing. Usually I‘m up there in the winter when the road is an adventure in itself and I don‘t want to take my eyes off of it.
Thanks for the comments

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