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Route #4) Mt. Bross - "Dolly Varden Gully"  


  • Notice! The summit of Mt. Bross is currently closed as the Colorado Mountain Club (CMC), Colorado Fourteeners Initiative (CFI) and other organizations work with private landowners to obtain access to the summit. If you decide climb all the way to the summit please understand that you could jeopardize the opening of the summit.


Difficulty: Class 2, Easy Snow
Ski: Novice, D2 / R1 / II
Exposure: Mild exposure in the area but not along the immediate route.
Summit Elev.: 14,172 feet
Trailhead Elev.: 11,400 feet
Elevation Gain: 2,900 feet
RT Length: 4.00 miles
Trailhead: Mineral Park
Quad. Maps: Log in to view 
Author: BillMiddlebrook
Last Updated: 11/2014
 
Weather Info: NOAA Link
Condition Reports:  View (10 reports)
Cell Reception?:  View (5 reports) 
County Sheriff: Park: 719-836-2494
National Forest:  Pike
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Trip Reports (176)
Ski/Snowboard Trip Reports (14)
14erology
 

TH:  

Take Colorado 9 to the town of Alma. In the middle of town, look for a small sign for the road to Kite Lake. Turn here and drive a bit through a residential area. Drive just under 3 miles up towards Kite Lake and take a hard right onto Forest Road 415. Drive 2.75 miles to a parking lot near the Mineral Park mine in Dolly Varden Gulch. This is a large, open gravel area with plenty of parking.

Route:

See Photo #1 for an overview of the route. The winter (and usually spring) closure for the road to the Mineral Park trailhead is 3 miles below the trailhead at the Paris Mill location. Walk, ski or drive to the Mineral Park trailhead parking area. Continue northwest up the road, pass the mining area. After a short distance, reach a road junction that may not be visible due to snow. The main road goes off to the right and climbs to the Bristlecone Pine Scenic Area and is the road used on Mt. Bross Route #1. Continue straight to enter the "Dolly Varden Gully" (Photo #2) which is really the upper portions of Dolly Varden Gulch and is a major drainage for Mt. Bross and "South Bross."

If the gully is not fully covered with snow, the climb may not be worth it or very much fun. Also, water can flow under the snow, so it's important make a safety decision if water can be seen or heard. Begin your ascent! The route is obvious - Photo #3; Just follow the gully towards Bross. Ascend a few hundred feet and the gully turns slightly left near 12,000' - Photo #4. Continue straight up the gully to see a right turn in the gully near 12,800' - Photo #5. Once you reach the turn, most of the remaining route comes into view - Photo #6. The gully continues up to about 13,600' and usually does not hold snow to the ridge between "South Bross" (left) and Mt. Bross (right).

Taken from just above the turn and south of the gully, Photo #7 is a good look at the remaining route. Near 13,400', there's a road that crosses the gully. Above here, the gully gets a bit steeper and the snow may not last much longer. You can either leave the right side of the gully and climb directly up the slope below the summit or continue to the top of the gully before angling towards the summit. The best way to the summit is usually to pick the most continuous snow you can see and keep climbing north-northwest towards the top. Photo #8 and Photo #9 provide another look at the options. Generally, the direct route up the slope has snow higher up. Photo #10, Photo #11 and Photo #12 were taken on the slope just below the summit. After finally topping out near 14,100', the summit comes into view - Photo #13. Walk across the broad summit to reach the high point.

Skiing?:

Photo #14 and Photo #15 look down the gully. It holds continuous snow well into May and is usually an easy climb using crampons, snowshoes or skis with skins. If the snow is good, you may be able to ski from the summit all the way down to the Mineral Park trailhead.

Notes:   

None

 

Photo #1Photo #2Photo #3Photo #4Photo #5Photo #6Photo #7Photo #8Photo #9Photo #10Photo #11Photo #12Photo #13Photo #14Photo #15

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