Bald Mountain A
Southwest Couloirs
print
Difficulty:
 Class 3 
Snow Steepness: Steep  
Trailhead:Boreas Pass
Start:10,350 feet
Summit:13,684 feet
Total Gain:3,400 feet
RT Length:11.0 miles
Author:BillMiddlebrook
Updated:5/2016
Weather:NOAA Forecast
Conditions:32 reports
Downloads:Log In to Download
Photo
Show More

Trailhead

Drive to the south end of Breckenridge and turn east onto Boreas Pass road. Drive about 3.5 miles up Boreas Pass Road to a parking area where the road turns to dirt. The road is closed here in winter. In summer, continue 6.5 more miles up the 2WD, dirt road to Boreas Pass. There are some signs, a few small buildings, and an old boxcar. This is the trailhead and there is ample parking.

Route

The southwest couloirs provide over 2,500 feet of snow with relatively easy access compared to the northern aspects of Bald. If you're looking for a spring snow climb on the windward side of the mountain, this is a good one. Taken from 14er Quandary Peak, 1 shows the southwest-facing couloirs which run between the Boreas Pass road and the summit ridge. The most direct line is the looker-left branch of a Y-shaped snow formation which is seen when the southwest couloirs are full - 2. From the Boreas Pass winter closure in Breckenridge, walk or skin approximately 3.8 miles up the Boreas Pass road - 3, 4, 5 and 6. Stop at a spot where the road turns right (11,000' and Coordinates: 39.435°N, 105.991°W) and a stream/gully comes down from the left. Through the trees, you'll be able to see the summit and upper route - 8. 9 was taken from a different location but it but it's a better look at the remaining route.

Leave the road and start up through the forest, along the left side of the stream. Zig zag up through the trees for 300' of vertical to reach a patch of younger trees, where avalanches have terminated in the past - 10. Continue through the remaining trees to approx. 11,500' and angle into the couloir to see the remaining route - 11 and 12. Ascend easy terrain ( 13) to reach the couloir's branch, above 12,500' - 14 and 15. Take the left branch, toward the summit - 16. The remaining route may be cross-loaded with snow and this is a good point to determine if it's safe to take the couloir itself or adjust your route to ascend a ridge between couloirs. If you're sticking to the left branch of the main couloir, continue up to 13,100' to reach steeper terrain - 17. Pick your line and climb steepening snow ( 18 and 19) to reach the final pitch - 20 and 21. The angle will exceed 40° here and may hit 45° depending on how much snow has accumulated at the very top. Just after the angle eases, you'll pop out at the summit - 22.

Skiing?

This is an excellent way to ski Bald but it's usually starting to melt out once the road is open and you don't want to climb it if sections are melted out. From the summit, it's a 2,675-foot ski down to the Boreas Pass road and you might even be able to ski the road back to the trailhead.
Difficulty Rating: Advanced, D8/R2/II

Notes

None
#1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15 #16 #17 #18 #19 #20 #21 #22
Topo

The route Google Map can only be accessed by registered, 14ers.com users. If you don't have an account, you can register in the forum.

Log In

Caution: The information contained in this route description may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. 14ers.com and the author(s) of this route description provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless 14ers.com and the route description author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the 14ers.com Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.



© 2020 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.