Peak(s):  Boreas Mountain  -  13,082 feet
Date Posted:  01/14/2021
Date Climbed:   08/01/2020
Author:  Chelsea
Additional Members:   torimeri
 Easy Boreas   

Boreas Mountain (13,082′)

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.

The Section House on Boreas Pass
Looking back at Boreas Pass

Past the buildings, we hiked northeast across grassy terrain. Hundreds of stumps indicated this area was once forested.

Boreas Mountain is the hump on the right

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.

Views to the west
Starting up the slope

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.

Toby is wishing he was in that big grassy area over on Bald Mountain A (13,684′)

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.

Tori & Otis
The summit of Boreas is coming into view

We eventually topped out on the ridge and could see most of our remaining route. The views were awesome in all directions.

Approaching the summit
Views to the west – me with Otis & Toby
Views to the east – Can you see Otis on the snow?
A cool rock formation on the eastern side of Boreas

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.

Up the trough

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 summit bowl, the farthest hump is the summit

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.

The summit ridge – the small bump is a wind shelter

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.

Sky Pilot
Mountain goats!

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!

My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
The trough
01/25/2021 18:12
I remember this section even in winter conditions and stepping on the talus sounded like breaking porcelain plates. I felt like I was breaking the mountain. Did you experience the same sounds? Boreas is a nice gentle peak. Thanks for sharing!

01/26/2021 14:35
@blazintoes: Yes you're right! I'd completely forgotten but now that you mention it I do remember the talus being quite noisy.

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