ascent and descent route: west facing S-Couloir
member of group: Zach Taylor, solo
I drove up Buckskin Creek road on the night of May 16th. I got within a mile or so of the summer trailhead at Kite Lake before hitting a snow bank that was too deep to drive over in my Blazer.
I pulled off on the side of the road and set up camp for the night. I ended up meeting a guy that was planning on doing Democrat the next day. He had just moved to Colorado from Oregon. We hung out for a bit and talked about mountaineering in the US. I crashed out early and woke up at 4:00 am.
I got my board and gear together and began hiking up the road. I hiked into the Kite Lake basin with the climber from Oregon(i forget his name). We then parted ways as he headed toward Democrat and I put my splitboard into tour mode and headed for the S-couloir on Bross.
I had my axe and crampons but did not end up needing them. The pitch angle was low enough to allow me to skin directly up the couloir with my skinning crampons on my splitboard. I got to about 200' beneath the summit and the snow petered out so I threw my board on my back and scrambled up to the summit from there. I hung out and took some pictures and enjoyed the view of Mt. Lincoln and the Russian couloir I had ridden earlier in the spring.
photo- A look at the summit of Mt. Bross. Mt. Democrat pokes up just into view behind the snowboard. photo by Zach Taylor, 2009.
I then scrambled back down into the S-couloir and descended rock hard spring snow back down to Kite Lake. Looking back on it I should have gotten a later start to descend this shady west face.
The snow softened as I descended into the valley. I hiked the last mile back to my car.
photo- A look down into the S-Couloir on Mt. Bross. photo by Zach Taylor, 2009.