Mount Bancroft 13,250′ East Bowl 12/13/2011 and an Idiots Bonus

I’ve been busy writing a lot lately and haven’t been too inspired by the lack of snow. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and get outside for some exercise. I figured that with all the high pressure things would be safe. I was hoping that there would be some enough snow to ski aline, but it didn’t really matter, I was after a little time outside and up high and if I got some skiing in great. I enlisted Brian as a partner the night before, we planned to meet up at the Fall River Rd exit on I-70. We then headed up to the Loch Lomond trailhead and got ready. With a start at the crack of 10:30 we were off. The road was only partially covered with snow so we ended up booting up a lot of the road to treeline. Once there we made for a steep shoulder leading to the East Ridge. This is when the wind started. For the next 3 hours or so we were battling 40-50 mph sustained head winds. It was like climbing a mountain while doing a tire pull, you know those track and football drills where you wear a harness and drag a tire behind you until you fail. After the last hump on the ridge the winds stepped up to the 70mph sustained range. We were leaning into it at close to a 45° angle and every step was tenuous. It was a hard won summit. After spending 5 minutes trying to fold my skins we dropped in from the top. We then traversed over to the East Bowl, finding some really nice blown in snow along the way. A short rock walk had us in the line and enjoying some 35° chalky snow with blown in patches. It was skiing really nice. After the 1st section we traversed over some cliffs to another section that looked really nice. It was good, with some of the nicest snow of the day. We got 3 more nice sections and skied down to the lower lake.

The next day I headed up to Loveland Pass and met up with Bill. We did some quick road laps then headed out to Idiots. We found really nice snow in the lookers right line. It’s unusual to get into steeper zones this early and I’m especially hesitant after the Grizzly incident, however things seem to be holding in place nicely in some of the higher and steeper east facing zones.

Great couple of days guys. Looking forward to next time. Perhaps there is something to be excited about.

The view from I-70 in Genesee
A closer look at Bancroft. Looking a bit thin.
Fun looking zones off Fall River Road.
Another option
Thin skinned. Photo by Brian Lindahl.
Heading into the wind. Photo by Brian Lindahl.
Where's Waldo
Witter Peak has a nice technical line.
The East Bowl of Bancroft. Photo by Brian Lindahl.
Hard won summit shot.
Parry Peak needs some more snow for spring
Brian skis.
The snow wasn't too bad.
There were some really nice, soft pockets.
In the second zone after a traverse we found great snow.
It was soft
Really soft
Brian skis fast.
My turn. It was too cold to wear my helmet.
Really nice snow here.
Not to bad and way better than expected. Photo by Brian Lindahl
We skied all the wat to Loch Lomond. Photo by Brian Lindahl.
Now get me out of this wind already.
The weather the next day was far nicer.
No Name starting to fill in.
"Golden Bear" and Hagar have enough snow for some fun.
These are the days that bring a smile.
Dropping in to Half Wit
Git some Bill
Sweet line man.
Entering the choke
Far better than expected
Another fine day in the hills once again.



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