Boreas Mtn, 13082'
Bald Mtn, 13684'
Mt Guyot, 13370'
Boreas Pass TH, 11482'
approx 12miles, 5300' gain, 9hrs 10min
The road to Boreas Pass closes the first Monday in November, so I decided to take advantage of a high TH! I knew that Boreas & Bald could be done together this way, and looking at the topo I thought Guyot might be added, too. The main route uncertainty was on how easy it would be to contour back from French Pass without reclimbing Bald Mtn.
Started hiking at 6:05am in first light. Instead of heading directly to the Bald/Boreas(B/B) saddle I climbed gently up to Boreas' north ridge, catching it around 12600'. I ditched my pack and made good progress up the ridge, being careful because the rocks were a little slick in the early morning. A strong wind blew from the west, and I reached Boreas' summit at 7:12am.
My stay was brief, and I returned to my pack and picked my way down to the 12159' B/B saddle. Heading up Bald Mtn's SE ridge, I caught my first views of Guyot's geometric summit and sharp ridge. Bald Mtn got the height in this family, but Mt Guyot got the looks! Bald's ridge goes on and on, with a few false summits. I finally stashed my pack before the ascent to the true summit, reaching the top at 9:40am.
After another short break, I descended a rocky then grassy slope to French Pass, 12046'. Mt Guyot's south ridge had a fierce look to it, but I figured it would be doable simply because 1) I'd never heard it mentioned before and 2) It is part of the Continental Divide(not infallible logic!). Stashing 2 liters at the big French Pass cairn, I headed east up the slope to reach Guyot's south ridge at about 12750'.
The ridge to the summit was class 1 when I could find the faint trail, class 2 otherwise with some loose rock. The route is either on the ridge or just below to the west, as the east side has some stunning drops. The only real vexing thing about Guyot's south ridge is Pt 13005, which extracts over 250' of gain each way without offering a ranked summit in return. I was very happy to reach the summit in pleasant weather at 12:15pm. Fantastic views here of the Front & Mosquito Ranges and the LCW!
After a luxurious 15 minute break I retraced my steps to French Pass, arriving again at 1:50pm. The lower slopes of Bald Mtn did not invite a direct return to the B/B saddle. I would have to either 1)descend below French Pass and then ascend to the saddle or 2)contour around Bald while climbing above the saddle. The first option looked nebulous, so I ascended the ridge towards Bald for 200' then contoured to the left, using what may be remnants of an old narrow gauge railroad route. Eventually I hiked up to Bald's south ridge, having been forced to gain 450' or so from French Pass.
The return to Boreas Pass was straightforward enough, although I ignored a trail I saw which seemed to eventually return to the pass. I returned at 3:15pm to find numerous tourists checking out the exhibits. I drove back down the Boreas Pass Road, enjoying the aspens, now in bright yellow.
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