28 October 2015

Stardate 2015.822

Boreas Pass II

Hi folks, snow finally arrived in the high country this past Thursday. Thus, Snowcatcher and I made a Saturday foray back to Breckenridge and Boreas Pass to polish off some unfinished two-wheeled business. Most of the trail riding in this area probably is done for the season. The lower elevations of Boreas Pass road were wet and muddy but almost melted-off, whereas the pass proper was blanketed with 7 or 8 inches. Closer to the pass, there had been enough auto traffic to pack down the snow into ice; this made for a very slippery decent. I may have descended the upper mile slower than I ascended it.

Boreas Pass sits at 11,482 feet above sea level. It's seen life as a mining, wagon, railroad and auto track. During the warm season, it's an easy drive for most high-clearance vehicles. However, once the snow starts to fall, the road is gated shut, and cross-country skiers take over. Two drafty late 1800s cabins sit at the top of the pass. During the winter, the cabins are rented out to travelers donning skies and snowshoes. Here are some pics from our two-wheeled day.

Snow highlights the midsection of the Tenmile Range.

13,684 foot Bald Mountain (state rank #156) towers above Boreas Pass Road.

Point 12,331 is a weathered bump on Hoosier Ridge (12,331 is the elevation of the bump).

The Denver, South Park and Pacific narrow gauge railroad crossed Boreas Pass. Trains filled up with water at Bakers Tank, several miles below the pass on the north side.

Bakers Tank signage

Approaching treeline, the road surface went from wet, muddy muck, to icier slush and snow-packed conditions.

At the 11,482-foot pass, Section House was built in 1882 and refurbished in 1996. The cabin holds 12 guests. Its original function was to house a resident family who took care of a section of the rail line. Rail workers and other guests would seek shelter here as well.

Ken's Cabin sits at the 11,482-foot level of the pass as well. This quaint, one-room, minimalist cabin was built in the 1860s and refurbished in 1996. Ken's Cabin only holds 2-3 people and is not reserved for multiple groups. It costs $75 (for 2 to 3 people) per night. Sorry, Valentine's Day has already been booked. Section House and most other backcountry cabins rent out per head and are a bit too communal for my liking. On a side note, ghosts also are claimed to reside here.

The Black Pearl likes to ham it up a bit.

The packed snow/slush made for a very slippery descent for a mile or so.

Here's another angle of Bald Mountain basking in the sun.

Look, it's one of those Snowcatcher types.

As we descended, late afternoon shade began to dominate the valley.

Not too terrible for as mucky as it was.

That's it for now. I'm not sure what's on the docket yet...


1 comment:

  1. That truly was a great ride, Lizard, even though it was a bit muddy. I'd do it again with you in a heartbeat!


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