Peak(s):  Mt. Bross  -  14,172 feet
Date Posted:  05/21/2008
Modified:  05/22/2008
Date Climbed:   05/21/2008
Author:  BeefCake
 Bross summit ski? Please pass the shovel   

Arggghhh, who the heck is calling me during American Idol? It was Sir Lancelot and he was looking to ski something the next morning. I suppose I could get out of the house for something short – Mt. Bross maybe?

We met at 5:30am and drove over to Placerville to attempt the climb and ski of the century (well, day). Here's an overview of our route, as seen from Highway 9 above Placerville Valley (the climb in blue, ski in orange):

(Click on the photos for larger versions)

We parked at the junction of Quartzville and Zinc road and started up a small drainage just north of Moose Creek. Nearly 45 minutes later we reached steeper terrain on the east side of the mountain:

Instead of skinning into the gully to the west, we opted for a boot-pack up the ridge on the right side:

The ridge turned out to be rather unpleasant due to the long stretches of scree near all of the old mining locations, but we had a good view to our left during the ascent:

After crossing the road near 13,600', the scree became harsh enough to force us back to the snow on the north side of the gully. This actually worked out well because the snow was firm enough to expedite the ascent.

In no time we were approaching the top of the upper snow field:

And to our surprise, there was snow covering large portions of the summit area. Shocked by the view, Sir Lancelot blazed over to the true summit:

Woo Hoo! Bross just got more interesting.

After hiding from the wind and stripping skins, Sir Lancelot barked out his first order of the morning…
"Hey, how 'bout shoveling snow onto the dry patch between here and that glorious snow field!"
"Yes, Sir! Right away, Sir!," I replied, and quickly got to work.
Shovel, shovel, tamp, tamp, shovel, tamp. Done
"BeefCake, you missed a spot!!"
"I'm on it, Sir!"

With the "bridge" in place, Sir Lancelot embarks on the elusive Mt. Bross summit ski descent:

Oh crap, the snow isn't continuous to the top of the gully on the east side. Oh well, a short walk through the rocks and we were at the upper snow field.

Notice: If you don't like ski photos, this might be a good time to hit your "Back" button.

Sir Lancelot:


In the Moose Creek drainage, reviewing the descent:

A closer look from Highway 9, later in the morning:


 Comments or Questions
Sir Lancelot

05/22/2008 15:07
For putting in the backwork.

Layne Bracy

Love the artificial snow bridge!
05/24/2008 02:20
I wonder if that topic has been covered in the ”ethics of ski descents”!?


05/24/2008 14:37
The sad part is... If we were up there a few days earlier, the whole summit area was covered with snow from the last storm. I haven‘t seen a May like this in a long time!


05/24/2008 16:41
There shouldn‘t have been much ‘work‘ involved if BeefCake was shoveling! Weightgain 2000. Nice ski guys.


05/24/2008 19:29
All I had to do was look at that snow and it formed an orderly line!


Just saw this excellent year late...
04/08/2009 23:36
BeefCake, Lancelot, great ski fellas! Hey, I thought the second half of the common understanding we all had was ”don‘t tell”, I sure didn‘t . Nice ski and thanks for giving me a laugh at work.

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