Mt. Bancroft  
Condition Updates  
Route: South ridge
Posted On: 2022-06-21, By: Codyhill1991
Info: Went up Bancroft, Parry, and Eva from Loch Lomond. A few stretches of snow to cross but nothing to slow you down, no traction or anything required. Very muddy on the descent since everything is melting fast. East ridge is totally dry. 
Route: Berthoud Pass to Loch Lomond
Posted On: 2022-05-28, By: Carl_Healy
Info: Shuttle hiked across the Continental Divide from Berthoud Pass (Colorado Mines Peak) to Loch Lomond (Mt. Bancroft). For conditions between the other peaks see those respective updates. A note for all legs is that we carried spikes, snowshoes, crampons, and ice axes the whole way but never *really* needed them. Also gnarly cornices everywhere, and weather was surprisingly nice: temps in the 40s and winds often below 10 MPH until at least Parry Peak. The last leg of today's journey, Parry Peak A to Bancroft and down the Southeast Ridge to the Loch Lomond Trailhead, is where the excitement began. First a lot of snow on Parry Peak summit but seemingly no cornices to worry about, at least the way we went. A good bit of postholing, or at least plunge stepping, most of the ridge down. On particularly un-fun section was a 30 deg portion of the ridge with plenty of boulders and talus and deep snow (trapdoors abounded). Closer to the Loch Lomond reservoir we found an old 4WD road but descending to the reservoir proper the road disappeared in a slope of steep wet snow. Tried our best to avoid that but all below the ridge and around the reservoir was pretty deep snow with short trees and willows. We still didn't opt to put snowshoes on as there were dry sections here and there. On the road from the reservoir the snow was deep but there was enough of a boot pack that we didn't have any real postholing problems (even at 2 PM). Between the first and second seasonal closure gates the road dried up and we no longer had any problems. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-05-05, By: 123tqb
Info: The entire approach would've been nice with snowshoes at first, but most of the snow below treeline completely melted. Route is well filled-in. 
Route: East ridge
Posted On: 2021-08-22, By: Alpinefroggy
Info: No snow, anchor in good condition. Lots of orographic clouds around and little convection. Road to the upper lake is pretty bad, need high clearance. Otherwise a really nice relatively short and stellar route. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-03-08, By: Thevirtualsherpa
Info: Summited Bancroft via the east ridge on a beautiful day. -Parking options are rough, ended up parking in a closed road and walking an extra mile to the closed 4x4 approach -Nice snowmobile track to follow up to Loch Lomond -Lots of postholing, bushwacking and sugar snow to gain upper lake -Ridge is very mixed conditions with sugar snow, bulletproof snow, ice and rock -Rap station is in great condition, we used 60m rope with plenty to spare -Cross over to climb is a bit sketchy as its mostly a firm cornice with relatively little room to spare if you have more than 2 in your party. -Ended up placing one piece of pro for climb, very short pitch (20-25ft) but we felt like it was needed. -Rest of ridge has mix of class 3+ (sections of high 4 and low 5 if you want it) and mostly mixed climbing. A few cornices we were very careful to cross but no issues. -After gaining false summit we skirted around to the west ridge to avoid the southern facing slopes to gain the summit as they looked extremely faceted and wind blown and we did not want to chance any avi risk. -Descent was choose your own adventure but we choose a more direct line as snow levels were mostly low to avoid any avi risk. We followed old 4x4 road before having to bushwhack to again avoid heavily avi prone slopes. Other Notes -My partner used crampons for the whole ridge and descent, I did not - don't think that either option was the "right" decision as both had their pros and cons. Certainly helpful on descent though. -Carried but didn't use snowshoes, although we probably could have popped them on in a few places, but wasn't worth the hassle. Will be posting a full trail guide and video in the coming weeks. 
Route: East ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-14, By: jtfoss1
Info: No snow of any consequence requiring traction or axe. Fun little route with a lot of good scrambling. Several of our group climbed the 5.2 pitch without pro but we setup an anchor for two who weren't comfortable on one move. Tat in decent condition. 
Route: East ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-12, By: Agstrohmeier
Info: Fun ridge climb, snow free. There are two rappel stations set up right now, the upper one two loops of webbing and a cord all through two rap rings, all in good shape. We used this one. 
Route: SE Ridge
Posted On: 2020-06-15, By: nedryarson
Info: Climbed Bancroft SE Ridge from Loch Lomond. Road is still closed at the second gate about a mile below the lake. Road is pretty rough above the first gate and most people parked down there. Very limited parking at the second gate but was able to get a spot around 6:15am. A few easy snow crossings approaching the lake and then a lengthy crossing on the way up to the ridge from the lake. Spikes were very nice to have on this crossing. The ridge itself is easy, straightforward, and almost entirely dry. There is a steep ski line in from the summit to Lake Caroline but I didn't feel comfortable doing it without a partner. 
Route: SE slopes
Posted On: 2020-05-31, By: Agstrohmeier
Info: Road is dry until the upper gate. Today the lower gate was closed, but the seasonal closure ends tomorrow so that may not be relevant for long. Patchy snow to lake Caroline. Low angle ski line from the summit is in to lake caroline, but not continuous to loch lomond below. Steep ski line from the NE summit is full of avy debris. We turned around around 12,900 with the awful freezes we've had lately. Minor freeze overnight on top of soft snow, we were boot deep in the snow at 7:15am. We figured it would happen with the recent reports but still decided to give it a shot. Somehow I didn't take a single decent photo of the upper mountain, but this one shows the 'general' conditions 
Route: Traverse from Flora to James
Posted On: 2019-10-01, By: Ptglhs
Info: Class 1 tundra walking or class 2 no trail with some talus for most of the route. Bancroft -> James gets a bit spicy after the saddle. You can either stay to the climbers right (east) and keep it at difficult 2 or easy 3. After dropping off to the right there's a steep and loose talus/scree slope to ascend for 200' to regain easier terrain. If you stay more on the ridge there are a couple gendarmes and it's class 3 or 4. There are occasional cairns along the easy parts between Flora and James, CDT construction I think as they are much bigger than scrambling cairns. The difficult part described above has a few more frequent, and smaller cairns. 1st pic is just after saddle, veer right around obstacles then regain ridge via slope 2nd is view of saddle between Bancroft and James while enroute to Bancroft 3rd is view of Eva, Parry, Bancroft, with james in the far background, left of Bancroft, as seen from Flora. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2019-07-09, By: mtnrgr275
Info: Stuart Rd is rough and has some large washes. High Clearance 4x4 required, subarus are a no-go. Second Gate is still closed. East Ridge is snow free and in summer conditions. South East Ridge is snow free, and so is the West Ridge towards Parry. The tundra is still pretty wet in low areas and there are a few pockets of snow left, so waterproof boots were nice to have. Skiing the East Face of Bancroft is still doable in the steeper couloirs. There is still skiable snow above Ice Lake. 
Route: SE ridge
Posted On: 2019-06-09, By: Kitten
Info: Went up Parry Peak from Fall River Reservoir. Descended SE ridge, you can avoid all the snow in this ridge, except for the last part in the trees back to the Reservoir. 
Route: bancroft bowl
Posted On: 2019-06-03, By: brech
Info: Stewart Rd still closed at first gate, clear of snow most of the way to the upper gate and creek crossing. Started about 5:45 on top by 9:30 snow had a decent freeze and very supportive, skied down around 10 am top 1-2" was softened nice corn. Everything was consolidated from previous snow the week before. Sweet Caroline had a couple of good size wet slides from the rocks above on previous days, but the bowl was great. Skied past Lomond up the the bench to Lake Caroline then up the bowl to the summit, skied straight down non-stop to Lake Caroline about 1400 vf, walked 50' then skied down to Lomond 
Route: From Berthoud pass
Posted On: 2019-05-30, By: jbealer
Info: Climbed from Bethoud Pass to Colorado Mines Peak to Flora to Eva to Perry to Bancroft and then down towards Lake Caroline to the road. We packed snowshoes and spikes but never took them out. Snow was firm for the most part all day on the ridge, never sinking past top of boot. We did sink more on the decent off Bancroft but not enough to put our SS on. Great one way trip. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2019-04-26, By: polar
Info: Not a whole lot has changed since nickle's report, so I'll just add a couple of things. First of all, we parked right at the start of Steuart Road at the junction with Alice Road. Even though there's a "no parking" sign there, we didn't have any trouble. But there's only space for one vehicle here without blocking the road. The rap anchor mentioned by nickle is indeed in very good shape, but is set a little back from the edge. I didn't want to pull my rope over the edge, so I used a lower rap anchor, that's in decent shape and can be accessed by some easy downclimbing. From this lower anchor, it is only a 20 feet, maybe 30 feet max rappel to the notch, possibly due to a high snow ramp? Had I known this, I would not have hauled a 60m rope up there... combined with the fact that we did the class 4 bypass out of the notch, it was a long way to haul that much rope for such a short rappel. A 30m rope is probably sufficient from the lower anchor, unless the snow ramp melts out. The weather forecast for today wasn't the best, so I was keeping my eyes out for possible bailing points along the route. Previous TR has indicated that you can bail from the notch by downclimbing the couloir, but no other bailing point is mentioned anywhere. About 2/3 way up the ridge, there is a saddle covered in dirt instead of the usual rock. It looks possible to downclimb this saddle into the steep snow field below. Probably not a good option in the summer, but may be a good exit point with snow if bad weather moves in. Bailing between the notch and this dirt saddle would be very tricky. After the dirt saddle the route doesn't stay scrambly for long, so it may be quicker just to go to the top. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2019-04-20, By: nickle
Info: Bancroft via the east ridge is looking great. Snow is firm enough to support but soft enough to kick good steps. No cornices on the east ridge, decent coverage up until approx 100 yards past the notch, past that it is mostly dry. The 5.easy headwall out of the notch is free of snow. The rap anchor into the notch is bomber - 2 good looking pieces of webbing, each with a burly rap ring. Get out there early! Once past 10am or 11am the snow starts getting soft enough to worry about. Photo #1: The 5.easy headwall Photo #2: Snow ridge heading towards the second crux Photo #3: Shot showing most of the snow coverage on the ridge. Looking east towards the notch. 
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Route: From Parry Peak
Posted On: 2018-09-03, By: supranihilest
Info: The easiest of the five 13ers on the south-to-north James Peak 13er traverse, Bancroft is a Class 2 talus hop down and up. It's also the rockiest to this point, and care should be taken to not dislodge the loose, jagged rocks you have to scramble down and up to reach the summit. It's easy, you just need to give it the attention it deserves. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2018-06-28, By: Monster5
Info: Did a quick lap before work. Steven's/Loch Lomond Road (4WD or AWD with good traction) closed about a mile short of the loch. Some wet spots on trail but mostly dry. Opted to downclimb the notch rather than rappel. Brief stiff 4th or 5.easy below the lower rap station with a couple subtle variations possible. No harder than the headwall, though going down rather than up. Descended SE ridge - avoidable patches. Mostly class 2 tundra talus. 
Route: Bancroft Bowl
Posted On: 2018-06-03, By: AlexeyD
Info: Climbed and skied Mt. Bancroft via the east-facing bowl above Lake Caroline this morning. Start time around 7 from the closed upper gate (~10.8k), summit 9:30 and began descent around 9:45. The bowl is getting pretty thin/rocky in the middle, but I was still able to ski all the way down to the lake by cutting hard left across a thin, rocky traverse for about 100 feet (see photos #2 and 4). Best to think of it as 2 nice, consistent but distinct pitches of about 600-700 feet each, mid-high 30s angle. From Lake Caroline I had to briefly remove skis to find a couple of short exit chutes that led from around the base of Bancroft's east ridge down to Loch Lomond (photo #5 looks back up on one of the chutes), which can be skied around on the west shoreline (the chutes are hidden from view on the way up). Then another couple minutes of walking, after which I was able to ski to within about 1/4 mile of the car (~11,000'). Snow was perfect corn on the descent with a hard freeze, then a couple hours of sunshine to soften things up just enough, followed by increasing clouds which kept the surface from getting too mushy. On the way up I skinned from about 11K to 11.6k, then hiked, then used an ice axe and crampons from about 12,250' all the way to the summit. The road seems to be rougher than I last remember, was pretty close to the limits of what a 2016 Forester can handle. Surprisingly fun day out with probably about 2000 (albeit not continuous) feet of skiing...not bad for June in a lackluster season! 
Route: From Parry
Posted On: 2018-06-02, By: cougar
Info: Most snow on ridge can be avoided or isn't an issue. Small snowfield below Parry summit the exception. Last pic is a view of James Peak. 

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