It's starting to look like the weather is stabilizing and acting more like Summer and less like Winter. Let's go get Bancroft's East Ridge before all the snow melts off it.
The East Ridge is known for having a short rappel, a short technical rock climbing section, and many stretches of knife edged snow, giving it a real mountaineering feel. With the amount of snow in the mountains right now, I am sure that all the snow ridges will be very much "in" and a lot of fun.
This is not a hike by any means. You will be required to scramble exposed, snowy class 3 and class 4 terrain, sometimes wearing crampons, usually without a rope. We will belay the headwall and possibly some of the snow crossings because they are so exposed. If we have too many people, we will probably just fix ropes wherever we need them. That said, this is a great beginner mountaineering route, so if you want to push your abilities under the guidance of some more experienced mountaineers I hope you can make it out.
Crampons are optional, but everyone must have rigid mountaineering boots. Soft soled hiking boots are not OK on this route! If anyone shows up with soft soled boots they will be sent packing! Below is a list of other mandatory gear.
- Full shank mountaineering boots
- Mountaineering axe
- Rappel device and two locking carabiners
- Your winter layering and dayhiking arsenal
- Extra gloves (they will probably get wet)
- Snowshoes (deep snow pack, will determine at trailhead)
- Crampons (recommended if you have them, if you don't you can climb in the back and take advantage of everyone ahead of you kicking steps)