Peak(s):  Boreas Mtn  -  13,082 feet
Date Posted:  01/22/2012
Date Climbed:   01/20/2012
Author:  piper14er
 Boreas Mountain - Winter  

My GPS died at 12,400 and with the high winds and snow I did not hear the low battery "warning". It is another 0.5-0.6 miles to the summit

"get your ass up the pass"

Winter Road Closure for Boreas Pass Road

(see Bill's on this site under the links for an excellent route report)

It is 6.5 miles from the parking to the pass and approximately 1200 feet up so a very gentle climb along the road. This is a mild pass compared to say more rockier, steeper Mosquito Pass, Hermit Pass or a number of others... but it makes for a good winter 13er. It took me about 2 hours 15 minutes up so while not super fast it was steady.

I pulled out the skis for this one with the longer road approach. I have a pair of backcountry skis (clipped toe only). The descent could have been much quicker, not a lot of glide on the low % slope with these skis but not too bad overall.

It is a 3 mile roundtrip from the cabins at the top of the pass to Boreas Mountain and 1700 feet.

Total 16 miles
2800 feet
8 hours including stops at the cabins, a few chats with people at the cabins or on their way up for an overnight and the less than nice weather fom 12,000 feet to summit and descent to cabins.

Rocky Point

Boreas Pass Road

Faint sun showing through trees


I think someone wants us to go left here

Okay I will



...and like "the Secret Garden" the color shines through from a black and white world at Bakers Tank


Sun shining through at the moment...

heading under the power line...

...the long and winding road...

bare and frosty at times

Boreas Mountain with some blue skies...
Image this could be alright, weather predictions of snow and high winds not exactly correct

Boreas Mountain with not so blue skies...

...working those skis...

darn the gate is closed, now what?

Careful Railroad Crossing

They forgot the boxcar on the last railroad run

Cabins and the snow setting in

Farther up the slope above the drifts through the sage and trees

looking back down at the road, cabins and the 12er beyond

the weather cleared for a short time allowing a snapshot of the ridge ahead


...and now the weather returns with renewed enthusiam...

that was the last of the pictures up high as the frozen rain/sleet, wind and adverse conditions did not allow for any

the ski and photo descent


the trail on the way down and my truck at the parking had received about 3 inches of snow from the time I left to the time I returned

My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

 Comments or Questions

The Dark Side
01/22/2012 20:40
Al has taken up skiing to peaks. Oh. My. Gawd.
I had no idea you were recruited to the other side!


Bakers Tank...
01/22/2012 21:33
is definitely the highlight of that road. I think the lack of vertical is what did us in last April. My ass was sore for two days.

Good to see you and the hound continuing to knock out the 13ers...


That road
01/23/2012 02:38
Damn, hiking that road is brutal. Had I known you were going up the other day, I could have pulled you up there with the sled, in a matter of minutes. I know, that takes the ”fun” out of Boreas Pass road...


01/23/2012 03:12
...what's with the skis?? I mean you haven't lived until you've snowshoed up that road. As Papi said, the gradual nature of the ascent seems like a positive but ends up being a pain in the arse.

Great report and nice work battling the elements...


”That road”
01/23/2012 13:43
Darin and Wooderson I doubt that I will get too many peaks on skis as I am probably faster on snowshoes, which only highlights my lack of skiing skills.

Papillon I thought I might be a little more sore than I ended up but not too bad, a different set of muscles skiing. A road like that needs some wax. If it wasn't for the tank there would have been a lot less color cause even some of the color pics looked black and white.

Bill I actually was thinking about you on the way up, knowing you were probably hanging around with the snowmobile just looking for something to do. I just got a smart phone and had the phone with me too. I could have sent an urgent message... stop - skier needs help... stop - bring snowmobile... stop bring beer...


01/23/2012 13:54
”skier needs help... stop - bring snowmobile... stop bring beer...”

That message would have had me speeding through Breck with trailer in tow.


Been there ... done that ..
01/23/2012 17:56
And, with Atomics no less. Looks like typical Boreas Pass weather to me. I swear, I look forward to getting a little speed up on the way down, then it snows just enough to make me work just as hard as I did on the way up. So, is the dog's name really Billie Jean? Thanks for posting. Happy trails, Al!


Billie Jean
01/23/2012 18:11
yes that is her name

Gwen has retired from ”winter” activities, she gets cold now. How time flies, she was 18 months when she started hiking and is now 8 or 9. She always had a short coat.

Merlin is on Injured Reserve, chased one too many rabbits...

Billie Jean has a long coat and the cold has not bothered her so far - plus she can find her way back in a snow storm.

”then it snows just enough to make me work just as hard as I did on the way up” - I think sub-Atomics is more like it


Thanks, Al ...
01/23/2012 19:31
For the dog update. You must have read my mind as I was going to ask about both Gwen and Merlin. My Atomics (back in early 1980's) were fluorescent orange/pink with metal edges, but way too thin and skinny (not heavy enough for my taste). I've upgraded to Kneissl ... much wider and heavier ... maybe I should venture back up there ... it's been a few years.

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