Boreas Pass closes to vehicles once winter really gets rolling (mid/late Nov). Since the road is still open, we had 4WD vehicles packing the snow for us - this helped keep the 6-18 inches from melting too fast (and made for nice "groomed trail") while we only had 2 encounters with cars.
The first outing: a 9.7 mile roundtrip from the Boreas Pass Winter Trailhead, up Boreas Pass Rd and back down to the trailhead (4.85 miles each way).
Duration: 2 hours (70 min up, 5 min break at the high point, 45 min down); 5.1 MPH moving average.
Elevation Gain: ~1000 feet (10,360 ft at trailhead, ~11,360 ft at turn around point).
The Route is shown on the map below (click to enlarge): BOREASHEAD is the trailhead; SKI1 is our turnaround point; for those familiar with Boreas Pass, BSUMMIT is the pass summit (at Section House). Boreas Pass Rd is, of course, the dirt road connecting BOREASHEAD to SKI1.
The Conditions (we started at 9:15am, ended at 11:15am): packed snow and ice when starting at the trailhead; packed snow and 6+ inch powder on the shoulders at the higher elevations; packed snow, ice and developing slush when arriving back at the trailhead. I had to hold back on the downhill leg as going "husky full speed" on intermittent ice was too much for me! NOTE: by Saturday (Oct 30th) the lower sections of Boreas Pass Rd will no longer be ski-able.
Despite the degrading conditions as the temperatures rose, a WONDERFUL first outing of the season. Everyone was in perfect form, despite the 5 month break from the snow.
|The Route: BOREASHEAD to SKI1 and back (click to enlarge)|