Peak(s):  Mt. Bross  -  14,172 feet
"South Bross" - 14,020 feet
Date Posted:  04/12/2009
Date Climbed:   04/11/2009
Author:  DHatfield

 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 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):

 Comments or Questions
Kevin Baker

nice effort for S. Bross
02/05/2011 00:22
Who the heck would climb Bross 3 times? You must hold the record, Doug! I guess Bross is a good one to hike with limited views since it is probably the ugliest 14er. Nice work!


Three-peater with a Bonus
11/30/2010 17:28
^^^^^ This from a guy who's done Pikes Peak TWELVE times! C'mon Kevin, give us a break – they may not sell doughnuts on the top of Bross, but that extra credit summit was just as tasty ;-)

Doug - Another great day getting high in Colorado – thanks for letting me tag along… it sure felt good to spend a couple hours above 14,000 feet again.


What time?
04/13/2009 02:17
What time did ya‘ll get down? By the looks of the pictures it looks like I made it down before you. I was back at the car at 4:30.
Oh and the pictures are much better than mine, helps to have a partner.


11/30/2010 17:28
Kevin - Kevin I'm sure someone has done it more then us. I may run up there a few more times as that's one of my favorite 14ers now I'm with Susan you did Pikes 12 times and giving me a hard time about doing Bross 3 times.

Susan - My pleasure it was great having you along. Yes indeed it was great to finally get above 14,000 again after such a long break.

Baumgara - I'm a pretty slow hiker so we didn't get back down until around 7:00pm. I'm just glad Susan is very patient. Partners are good, but I don't have alot of room to talk since I do my fair share of hiking solo, however days like this it always a good to have someone else along.


Older than Gladbach
02/05/2011 00:22
Ryan – I’m sure you got out before we did…. To put things into perspective: I’m short, fat, and older than Gladbach. In fact, if you had picked up the road that runs on top of the saddle, instead of dropping down, you probably would have run right into us and summited Bross at the same time - after doing Democrat and Cameron!

It is nice having a partner along… I have a “photo diary" of just about every peak I’ve done over the past few years. It’s also a good motivator – when that little voice in my head starts to whisper “What the hell are you doing up here at your age? You should be at home knitting a sweater!" that other voice says, “Tough shit. Your partner has the keys to the truck."


Older than Gladbach ...........
11/30/2010 17:28
So that's a signifiant bechmark upon which one can base their level of progression toward "decrepit?" I think not. Just because all my joints hurt all the time, I can't remember my own address, and need the magic blue pill to perform doesn't mean I'm old! Wait, maybe it does. Susan, you only have a few months on me, which makes me much older in "man years".

I was unsuccessful when I set out Sunday for my 17th ascent of Bross(all snow season), but gave up in 40 mph winds while still in downtown Alma. Three members of the party were unable to get into South Park via Wilkerson Pass. I twice came close to losing it on Hwy 9 between Canon and Hartsel. Peed my pants.

A quick decision to use the snow route on Sherman gave enough protection from the wind that allowed two Texans, the dog, and I to summit in nasty conditions. The drive home?: a blizzard.

Great job to all those over 40. Baumgara: 28 year-olds should climb their peaks with 40-lb ankle weights.


16 times
04/14/2009 01:18
WOW, heading to Bross for your 17th time. Now I knew someone had to have climbed Bross more then us.

Steve congrats on Sherman in what probably was some horrible conditions on Sunday.


04/17/2009 12:50
3 times! Man, I don‘t even know what to say about that. Prolly cause I‘ve done the same...something‘s wrong with us Doug!
You know, for some reason despite the weather, it looks & feels like you and Susan had a good time up there. The pictures are awesome! I love seeing pics dressed up in winter white with bad weather.
There‘s just something about that area and bad weather. Good thing there‘s no trailer park on the summit.
Thanks for posting! Good read!


04/18/2009 13:51
for reading Kiefer and glad you liked the report and the pictures. Yea there probably is something wrong with us, but I think that is a good kind!! We enjoy weather like that and actually do it quite frequently. Even though we meet Ryan it still seemed like we had the mountain to ourselves. Or donuts and summit house either is good too!!

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