Boreas Mountain - West Slope

Difficulty:  Class 2 
Ski: Intermediate
Ski "D System": D4 / R2 / III  
Summit Elevation: 13,082 feet
Trailhead Elevation: 11,480 feet
Elevation Gain:1,700 feet
Round-trip Length: 3.00 miles
Trailhead: Boreas Pass
Author: BillMiddlebrook
Route Added: 07/12/2005
Last Updated: 08/11/2012


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.


Photo #1, Photo #2, and Photo #3 show the route from several angles. Leave the trailhead and walk past a building - Photo #4. Look for a small trail that heads east behind the building. Hike east/northeast up across the easy terrain. Even if you started on a trail, it probably won’t last long. Stumps and grass cover the hillside. Near 11,900’, the terrain flattens out and you may drop down a few feet depending on your chosen route. Continue toward the West Slope. Look up on the North Ridge for a distinct point (12,815’) at the top - north of the summit block. As you approach, study the west slope to find a suitable ascent route that leads toward that point or a little to the left (north). Some of the terrain directly below this point is undesirable. Reach the base of the slope at 12,000’ - Photo #5.

Begin your ascent of the West Slope. It becomes steeper near the middle. The lower half is covered by grass and there are willow patches. The higher you go, the more talus you will encounter. Weave your way up while aiming for the point on the ridge. Photo #6 was taken near 12,400’ and shows the point above. Gain the grassy North Ridge and turn right (south). If you hit the ridge north of the point, pass the point the left (east) side.

The remaining hike is visible to the south. Follow the ridge over a talus hump and down to a small dirt saddle. There are two small ridges that run south, forming a large trough in the top of Boreas. Climb dinner-plate, loose rock up the left side onto the left (east) of the two summit ridges. Photo #7 shows the area. Follow this small ridge south, drop a bit, and then up to the summit. Photo #8 was taken between the two summit ridges. Photo #9 looks back along the summit ridge.

This is an odd summit. The north-south trough looks man-made. For the descent, it is fairly easy to drop west into the trough (Photo #10) and follow it back to the North Ridge. Photo #11 looks west from the highest point.


Boreas Pass road gets a lot of traffic but it’s easy to pass other cars. When wet, the muddy road can become quite slick.


Photo #1 Photo #2 Photo #3 Photo #4 Photo #5 Photo #6 Photo #7 Photo #8 Photo #9 Photo #10 Photo #11