Peak(s):  Bancroft, Mt  -  13,250 feet
Parry Pk A  -  13,391 feet
Eva, Mt  -  13,130 feet
Date Posted:  09/04/2020
Date Climbed:   07/26/2020
Author:  CaptainSuburbia
 3 Peaks from Loch Lomond  

The Berthoud Pass peaks run from Mt Flora to James Peak and are often done with a car shuttle. I had done both these bookend peaks on separate winter outings and still needed the middle 3 peaks, Eva, Parry and Bancroft. After some research, Loch Lomond looked like the perfect trailhead to hit these peaks with an easy out and back.

Day: Sunday July 26th, 2020

Trailhead: Loch Lomond

Peaks: Eva, Parry and Bancroft

Mileage/Elevation Gain: 7.03 miles and 3233 feet of gain.

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We arrived late at Loch Lomond the night before our climb. The last 2.3 miles to the lake was a rough 4WD road and I definitely recommend a vehicle with clearance here.There was a large parking area below the lake where we parked for a few hours of restless truck sleep. The lot was empty and when we awoke there was just one additional vehicle. However, after our climb, we saw 20 to 25 trucks, SUV's and jeeps scattered about. We also noticed, on our drive out, there were many cars lined up along the road at the bottom of the 4WD section and hikers walking up. This was a popular trailhead, but we were the only ones climbing the peaks. We began our climb around 6 am and headed SW up an old mining road with a locked gate.

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Leo heading towards Bancroft on the mining road
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Almost to the ridge

The road led us to a small, grassy saddle on the SE Ridge of Bancroft and ended there, just shy of 12,000 feet. From here, we headed Northwest towards the summit of Bancroft. At first, the wide ridge was mostly grass with a moderate incline. Later we came across several talus fields that weren't too difficult to cross. To our right the dramatic class 5 East Ridge could be seen. There was also a nice snowfield below it with fresh ski tracks as this, apparently, was a popular late season skiing spot. In fact, on our way down the 4WD road, after our climb, we saw 2 hikers going up the road carry skis.

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Heading Northwest up ridge
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Nice grassy slope
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First of several talus slopes
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East Ridge
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Leo patiently waiting for us.
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Approaching the first bump on the ridge
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A good view of the ski slope and the class 5 notch on the East Ridge

At 12,500 feet the ridge flattened out a bit as we turned in a more northerly direction. The ridge remained wide as it would all the way to the summit. We could now see the false summit of Bancroft at the top of one last talus slope. As we approached, it looked intimidating, but it never went beyond class 2 and the talus was easy to negotiate. The actual summit of Bancroft was just a short distance ahead from here, and we were quickly our first summit of the day.

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Approaching talus climb to false summit
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Beginning talus climb to false summit
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False summit
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Final easy slope to summit
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Summit - James Peak in background
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Looking over at Parry
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Traverse to James Peak looks easier than I've heard

The summit views were nice in all directions, especially with all the low clouds passing through. James Peak was not far to the north, and one could easily traverse over there and loop back to Loch Lomond on the CDT. Our next peak was Parry to the west, so we started in that direction. Parry was not far, maybe 3/4 of a mile from Bancroft, and the terrain was easy. There was a small bump on the saddle that we sidehilled a bit. The climb to Parrys summit was a mostly grassy, moderate slope and just over 300 vertical feet from the saddle.

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Parry on right, Eva on left
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Leo is not so sure about the low clouds
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Sidehilling the saddle bump
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A cairn in case you couldn't tell which way to go
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Sonia on the final easy climb to Parrys summit
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Leo is always first to summit
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Looking back at Bancroft and James Peak

Parry had a nice spacious summit with more nice views, and was the highest peak of the day. Next up was Eva to the south-southwest. Eva, the lowest peak of the day, was another ranked peak with a saddle nearly 700 feet below Parry. The cloud inversion made Eva difficult to see, but the terrain down to the saddle was easy and quickly covered.

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Eva through the mist as we head down
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Almost to saddle

Once at the saddle the easy terrain ended. Evas North Ridge was very rocky most of the way up although never went beyond class 2. There was plenty of talus hopping as we climbed the approximately 400+ vertical feet to the summit.

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Beginning the climb up the North Ridge of Eva
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Leo surveying the talus slope
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More talus
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Looking back on Parry
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False summit
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Finally some grass as we near the summit.
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Eva summit - Looking at Parry and Bancroft

After only a few minutes on the summit we headed back down Eva towards Parry. We were able to sidehill under Parry a bit, and then worked our way over to the false summit of Bancroft. We then descended back down the SE ridge back to Loch Lomond and our truck.




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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 Comments or Questions
supranihilest

Leo
09/04/2020 15:20
I love Leo, he cracks me up. I'll have to meet him on one of our climbs sometime. He's probably the most enthusiastic member of any climbing party!



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