Lauren and I took off Friday afternoon to avenge Mt. Bancroft. Read Lauren’s account of our failed attempt from a couple weeks ago.
As discovered by our previous trip, the 4×4 trail is pretty rough. This time we planned to park at the first gate, and backpack in. We went a little further past the first gate, looking for parking, and things got a bit hairy. I was about to turn around, and some guy drove up next to me and said, “Your rig will be fine”. Lessons learned:
- Honda CRVs (“My Rig”) are not off-road machines.
- Don’t trust creepy guys that use the word Rig to describe your vehicle (his wife was following behind his truck on a 4-wheeler).
Thanks second guy who didn’t really want to help us, but saved our vehicle from rolling off a drop-off while we were turning around (note back wheel that is off the ground)!
Finally we made it back to a safe place to park, and backpacked in.
We found a lovely camping spot, despite the bounty of rednecks around. The jeep trail to Mt. Bancroft comes directly out of a scene from my past (I’m from West Virginia, Alabama, & Tennessee). The loud music, gun shots, camo ATVs, drinking, dirt bikes, and yelling made us feel right at home. We assume the area’s popularity stems from the fishing lakes, free camping, accessibility to large redneck vehicles, and proximity to Denver.
The next morning we woke at 5:30 to start our climb. After some hot tea and a bite to eat, we were off. There were low-lying clouds all around, making it feel really foggy. By the time we climbed to 11,000 feet, the sun was shining on us, and everything beneath us was engulfed in a sea of clouds. It was breathtaking and a good reminder of how incredible our Creator is.
By 8:00 we had reached our route, the East Ridge of Mt. Bancroft. The ridge offered several hours of really fun class 3 & 4 climbing, one 80-foot rappel, and lots of great views of the Front Range, including Mt. Evans, Gray & Torreys, etc. By 10:30, in complete solitude, we stood on 13,200 ft. summit of Mt. Bancroft.