Boreas Mountain (13,082′) | CO Rank: 583/637
Front Range | Pike National Forest | Como, CO
08/01/20 | 4.08 miles | 1,747′ gain | Class 2
Boreas Mountain is a low 13er above Boreas Pass. At only 4 miles and 1700′ round trip, it would make for a very quick hike and a wonderfully easy morning. Tori and I made it to Boreas Pass at 8am after a scenic drive up the 2wd dirt road. I was surprised that there were only a few cars in the parking lot, though that didn’t last long. We hiked east past a number of historic buildings that once housed rail workers (Boreas Pass Road used to be a rail line). The buildings have been restored and are typically open to the public but they were closed due to Covid during our visit.
Past the buildings, we hiked northeast across grassy terrain. Hundreds of stumps indicated this area was once forested.
Instead of aiming directly for the summit, we needed to gain the ridge to the north near PT 12815. This route would avoid the steepest and loosest terrain. There were some areas of willows to navigate but they were sparse enough that we were able to find a way through without willow bashing.
We crossed a flat area before starting up the west slope. We aimed roughly for PT 12815, linking up grassy sections where possible. Toby is going blind and the talus proved to be difficult for him to navigate so we maintained a slow pace.
We skirted just beneath PT 12815, angling towards the ridge. The talus occurs in strips here so we were never on it for too long.
We eventually topped out on the ridge and could see most of our remaining route. The views were awesome in all directions.
The ridge was nice and gradual with just a few bumps to hike up and over. As we approached the summit, it became increasingly apparent that Toby wouldn’t be able to make it. The last 300′ or so is pure talus so Tori and I decided to take turns summiting. I went first while she waited with Toby. We were around 12,800′, at the base of the trough that leads to the summit. I picked up and followed a faint trail through the talus.
Boreas is one of the stranger summits I’ve been on. The trough leads to a bowl pockmarked with prospects. It looks as if the entire summit was excavated, though this is apparently it’s natural shape.
The trail continued through the bowl and up the last hump to the summit. I really wanted to hang out longer since it was such a beautiful day, but of course Tori was patiently waiting her turn.
To save time, I began a slow descent with the dogs while Tori summited. She met back up with us before we left the ridge, just as planned.
Our descent off the ridge was painfully slow as Toby had to test each rock three or four times before he could proceed. Eventually we made it back down to the grassy meadow where we could pick up the pace.
Boreas Pass was crazy busy with tourists by the time to made it back to the car. On our way home, we continued up Boreas Pass Road to finish the scenic drive. Poor Toby passed out immediately. No more rocky hikes for that boy!