Spring is here! Warmer temps all this week have set up up for good early spring conditions on Mt. Bancroft.
Our anti alpine (7:30) start was not entirely due to sloth.
Casual 7:30 start. No need to rush.Hoping to find corn/hero snow conditions was a bit optimistic, but we reasoned that giving the SE face a bit more time in the sun would serve us well.
The east ridge was fun but cumbersome with skis.
More scrambling.. One mountain axe was nice to have sometimes on exposed traverses. The rap was almost unnecessary, as you can scramble down almost to the snow with some easy 5th class moves, but I'm guessing the snow has drifted a bit higher than normal, making the rock section shorter.
At the notch. We brought harnesses and a 6 mil rap line- we could have probably done without both. I ended up just downclimbing the whole thing. The climb out of the notch didn't seem to exceed class 4 as well, as we sneaked around to the right.
and more scrambling...
We found no need for any pro or crampons throughout the ridge.
The ski down was a blast.
Makin it look easy! Wind slab crust at top, but it started to soften down low. Our late start served us well! Off of the summit it was wind blown and crusty, but softened as we got lower- about halfway down it turned to corn. We managed to ski almost back down to the car, the only thing preventing us were the barren spots along the road.
Overall the S/ SE face of Bancroft is a beauty! Definitely a classic descent that rivals some of the classics in the front range.