Sunday, June 27, 2010

Will-J's first backpack - Lake Lomond and Mt. Bancroft

We escaped the Denver heat, and USA's poor World Cup performance, to camp at the headwaters of Fall River. Photos here. It's a quick drive - paved up from I-70 to Alice, a neighborhood of summer homes, and then a pretty rough road up from Alice. Only Will-J likes Jeeping, so we left the car and started hiking. He hiked part of the way to "Loch Lomond" himself, making this his first real backpack. Lomond and the other lakes in the area are actually reservoirs. I was pretty surprised/impressed to see a small concrete arch dam at a little lake at almost 12,000 feet: It rained in the afternoon and Will-J got this picture of a rainbow: In the morning, I tried my hand at the Mt. Bancroft East Ridge, which is listed (No. 48) in the book "Colorado Scrambles: A Guide to 50 Select Climbs in Colorado's Mountains." I found Cooper's description apt - it's a pleasant climb on good rock, with a difficult notch along the way. Contrary to his directions, however, I found a way around the notch to climber's right rather than climber's left, and then crossed a steep snow col to continue: Past the notch, I saw something I've never seen during any climb, which was a couple having relations. I felt bad and moved past as fast as I could, but in retrospect it was somewhat foolish for them to disrobe right on a popular route (assuming they didn't want to be seen, which by their reaction was the case). The most pleasant part of the route was that you just walk off - no downclimbing at all. Back at camp, Will-J explored all over and then directed me back to the car: