Peak(s):  Boreas Mtn - 13,082 feet
Date Posted:  07/15/2021
Date Climbed:   06/30/2021
Author:  petal53run
 Meeting the Boreas Relatives   

Meeting the Boreas Relatives

After finishing my trip report for Boreas & Bald MountainA(2020), I wanted to complete my research at the Roundhouse town of Como(pic1). Going climbing or returning home on 285, Como was always in the dark. Returning home from Durango (biked Ride the Rockies), clear blue skies hung over the sunny afternoon. Excellent; I finalized the historical connection to the railroad(RR)industry which included driving the S section of the Pass road(pic2) up to Boreas(pic3 mountain upper right).

During supper that eve, my kids politely asked about my vacation. I abbreviated details but piqued their interest for driving the dirt road. To shorten the paragraph, the next week was a family outing to Boreas(pic4-5-6), the ghost town, in a Jeep. Knowledge was a glaring badge under my tshirt. So part tour guide and part Mom, I pointed them to Black Powder Pass Trail(pic7) while I became part mountain goat to top Boreas Mountain for the 2nd time.

The elevation is 11482 at the traintracks(pic8) and the beginning trail is about 50ft E between the buildings(pic9). I remembered to stay right of stump field(pic10 looking N at BaldMountainA)while drawing a line to Boreas. After crossing a trickling stream(pic11), I saw a new addition to the landscape: a cairn toward my upper left(pic12). My guess, it was pointing toward a smoother slope. Longer in distance but easier on the feet, I chose the path of least resistance. There was a hint of trail through the willows(pic13) and I spotted encouragement: another cairn(pic14). Since my last climb, a string of cairns(pic15) had been built up the grassy/rock ascent ridge to the scree line(pic16). I hoofed it up.

Then turn right onto a discreet path(pic17 above my hat), which hugs the first hill on W side and catch an obvious flat path(pic18), marked with cairns. I crossed a snow watermelon to path(pic19) in upper right that lead to summit(13085). Its marked by a wind shelter(pic20) AND a log(pic21), on which I signed my name. Boreas, the N wind Greek God and the local namesake, was cold, windy and wet so I blew kisses to all the 13ers&14ers I could see. At the base of Boreas, I imagined a straight line to the cairn above the willows, made a triangular short cut across the rocks(pic22) and sprinted (safely) down under a thick gray cloud. At the stream crossing, it was clear blue skies and I could see the kids anticipating my return. I admired the pretty flowers(pic23-24-25), scenery and opportunity to climb and hiked down the hill into the old RR town(pic26). We high5ed our successful hikes and headed to Breckenridge so the jeep owner could experience the rockyN drive segment to Rotary Snowplow Park. The locomotive there was from Alaska but machines like this moved snow off the Denver South Park&Pacific (DSP&P) tracks along Boreas Pass.

And Como? Most ghost towns quietly crumble into a pile of debris that archeologists someday sift thru. Como maintains its RR image as the turning point for the DSP&P RR steam engines 1879-1939. The Como Project is restoring the train depot, RR stock, hotel(pic27) and roundhouse (pic28). An extensive and expensive dream, plans are to replicate the original railyard that once chugged mining goods, mail and brave passengers to&fro Breckenridge&Denver as the highest RR in the US.

In sum, Boreas Mountain is a class 1-2, 2 ½ hour roundtrip hike. Bushwhacking is the primary method on its fairly comfortable grades except the middle, which is the steepest section. Hints of trail exist up to the scree line but from there, a cairned marked path is evident to the summit. Going through Como (via 285) or Breckenridge (via 170, CO9), Boreas is a short 2 hour W drive from Denver. Thanks to the DSP&P RR for formally opening this pass, climbing opportunities exist for hikers of Boreas and neighboring Bald MountainA, and Black Powder Pass intersects the 2 mountains as a flatter option. It was worth being bumped around while riding up the dirt road(pic29) to hear the quiet, see wildlife(pic30 pheasant-31 deer), enjoy mountainous views and to again stand atop Boreas(pic32).








Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
outdoor50rock
interesting history
07/15/2021 14:41
Thats the fun part about climbing; learning and seeing who and what made these passes and trails possible for us today. Nice to have family fun too



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