- Date Hiked: February 19, 2005
- Miles Hiked: 7.7
- Elevation Gain: 3,172'
- Hiking Partner(s): 12
- Kane Engelbert
- Jeremy (F Bomb)
- Peter (pksanders)
- Gary Haass
- Amy Haass
- Alan Ellis
- Scott Peterson
- Jackie Ellis
- Fabio (Brentna)
- Mount Bross is an easy 14er? Not always. This trip was the
second annual Rockies Winter Gathering for Summitpost.com members.
The group generally tries to select a mountain climbable by all types of
people. This year Mount Bross appeared to be a reasonable
candidate, but the mountain tried its best to deny everyone the summit. Several members stayed in
Breckenridge the night before, one camped near Kite Lake, and others
drove to Alma, CO early Saturday morning. After a quick group
photo at the trailhead, we were hiking around 6:30 am.
- The team stuck together for much of the hike to the Kite Lake
area. I decided not to start with snowshoes, but was required to
put them on approximately one mile up the road. Once near Kite
Lake we picked a line to the southwest gully of Bross. At this
point, the team began to spread out a bit and of course, I was the first
one to drop the snowshoes once on the rock and scree in the gully.
Progress was adequate and about one-third of the way up the gully, I
thought I saw a trail continue on the north slopes. I crossed the
narrow snow field and began struggling up the loose scree. Kane on
the other hand, quickly picked up a strong climbers trail that remains
on the south side of the gully.
- The weather remained tolerable, but it wasn't exactly the perfect day
we were hoping for. I was able to stay with Kane for a while, but
two-thirds of the way up to the saddle between Bross and South Bross I
was unable to keep up with his progress. The unstable footing,
scree, snow, and fatigue was setting in on me as Kane followed the
climbers trail all the way to the saddle. He disappeared on the
ridge and I pressed on having to break frequently. As I rounded a
small false summit, the wind took me by surprise. I could see the
large rock shelter on Bross across it's broad summit, and Kane was
standing below it to the west. He pointed me in the direction of
the cairn and dropped towards the saddle of Cameron and Bross.
- It didn't take long to reach the summit, but the weather was
deteriorating rapidly. It had taken me 3 hours and 55 minutes to
climb Mount Bross. I estimate than Kane likely preceded me by at
least 25 minutes. I threw on another layer, snapped some photos,
took a drink of water, and ate some rock hard gummy bears. The
snow was blowing, the wind was strong, and I was getting cold.
Kane returned to the cairn after deciding not to attempt Cameron, it
simply wasn't worth it in the conditions we were experiencing. He
also hydrated, pulled on his overmitts, and after 10 minutes we decided
to get the heck out of Dodge. We still didn't see anyone come over
the ridge and were getting too cold to wait any longer.
- As we started back south, the wind and blowing snow was nearly unbearable. It was difficult to breath and I pulled my balaclava
off of my nose to make it easier. I actually ran into Kane a couple of times not
paying attention to were I was going. We quickly dropped off the
saddle and saw some of the other climbers. I must have had a lot of rime
ice built up on my nose, because they immediately told me to clear it
off and cover my nose. I
told them what conditions were like on the saddle and cautioned them about
continuing. Easy for me to say since I already tagged the summit.
- Kane and I discussed conditions with other hikers as we passed
them. The primary advice was that if they were warm and didn't
have too much exposed skin they could still summit. Since I had a
curfew to return to Denver, I
continued down the mountain. I picked up my snowshoes, but refused
to put them back on. I didn't find the trail we had made on the
way up, so I post-holed miserably for quite some time before making it
back to the road. I finally returned to my vehicle after 6 hours
and 25 minutes. We added approximately 5 miles and 1,000' to
Roach's West Slopes Route.
- It was nice to meet many other Summitpost.com Members. I would
have liked to stay out and socialize with them after the climb, but the
only way I was even able to attend was if I was back at a reasonable
time. I can't say how everyone's experience was, but I have to
admit that Bross worked me over. I was pretty tired at the end of
the day. It was good to get another winter 14er even though I had
been on top of this one before.
- Click here to view a 2D
map of the area where this hike is located.