| Nice spring day on Mount Bross and "South Bross"
Mount Bross (14,172') and "South Bross" (14,020')
Partner(s): Susan Paul
Trailhead: Winter Closure to Kite Lake
Distance: Approx. 9.50 miles
Elevation Gain: Approx. 3,400'
In working on a number of lists this year – county highpoints, summits, etc. - we'd somehow gotten behind on the unranked 14ers list, so we decided it was time to give South Bross a go, even though the forecast was sure to make it a memorable day.
We parked at the Kite Lake winter closure, about 2 ¾ miles up Kite Road from Hwy 9, and snow-shoed up the road. It was overcast and there were a few random snowflakes falling – nothing like the high winds, snow and low visibility we were expecting. But it was still early. We hiked toward Kite Lake and about 30 minutes into the hike another guy came up from behind – turned out to be Baumgara, a fellow 14ers.com member – and after a short conversation he easily blasted on past us.
Baumgara's destination Mount Democrat. Do you see it? Neither could we.
Just east of Kite Lake we left the road and headed northeast into the basin toward the Cameron/Bross saddle. Visibility dropped to virtually nothing, so I kept my map handy and Susan kept her compass out, and each time we got a glimpse of anything I checked it against the map and Susan took a quick bearing. This kept us on route.
We're going up there. Somewhere.
The few times we separated – for bathroom breaks – I realized that bringing all the avy gear, especially the beacons, was probably a good idea: there wasn't really any avy danger on our route, but we could easily lose each other up here in the fog. If Susan took longer than usual, I could always switch to "search mode" and relocate her that way, and vice versa!
Good thing I brought my bathroom beacon.
Below and just east of the Cameron/Bross saddle we stopped and removed snowshoes, then climbed up some steep snow and scree, and eventually located the summer trail and took it northwest to the top of the ridge.
Hiking up the ridge toward Cameron/Bross saddle.
From the saddle we headed southeast along on much easier terrain and within minutes reached the summit of Mount Bross.
Looking southeast at Mount Bross from the saddle.
My 3rd time on Mount Bross.
After guzzling down a pint of hot chocolate and snacking on bagel sandwiches, we took a bearing from the Bross summit to "South Bross," set the compass on that bearing, checked the map to make sure we weren't heading off anything steep, and marched on.
Approaching the summit of "South Bross".
About .6 miles later, we hit the summit.
Susan on her 8th unranked 14er – just 14 to go!!
Me on "South Bross" summit. I can't believe we've both done Bross 3 times now and have never hit this stupid summit!!
It was great to get this second summit, today, but I was still a little bummed as I hadn't gotten any really pictures all day, in all the snow and fog.
As I was swapping out water bottles for the descent, Susan wandered off to look out over the west ridge, and then she started yelling, "panos! panos!" I wondered what the heck she was yelling about so I looked up and – amazingly – the clouds were breaking, exposing gorgeous views all around! That made my day!!
Like magic, Mother Nature lifted her skirts and showed us the goods.
Looking south at Pennsylvania Mountain (13,006' – center) and Mount Sherman (14,036' – right).
Looking southwest at Pennsylvania Mountain (13,006' – left), Mount Sherman (14,036' – second from left), Dyer Mountain (13,855' – center), Mount Evans B (13,577' – just right of Dyer), and Loveland Mountain (13,692' – center in foreground).
Looking west at Mount Buckskin (13,865' – center in foreground) and Mount Arkansas (13,795' – right).
Looking northwest at Mount Democrat (14,148' – left) and Traver Peak (13,852' – right of center).
Looking north at Traver Peak (13,852' – left), Mount Cameron (14,238' – center) and Mount Lincoln (14,286' – far right).
After taking some nice panoramic photos we hiked back northeast along the ridge toward Mount Bross and gained the southwest ridge of Bross just as the weather moved back in with a vengeance.
Spring time in the Rockies.
We descended the south ridge several hundred feet before we decided the rock and snow was too tedious so we dropped down into a consolidated snow gully and followed that all the way to the bottom.
At this point we dropped off the ridge to the east and followed the snow gully on left. We couldn't help thinking what a nice snow climb this would've been on the way in. Anyone for a four-peat?
Descending the couloir, the sun burst through the clouds just for a moment and we were treated to great views to the southwest.
From there we snow-shoed south, and reconnected with Kite Road to get back to the truck. What a fantastic day!!!
Imagine the views if the power lines were not there.
The easy hike out.
Thanks again Susan for joining me on yet another trip since I greatly enjoyed your company and looking forward to the next outing, hopefully soon
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):