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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-12-06||Route: East Slopes
Info: Virtually same conditions as described by bmcqueen on 2/12. Snowshoes very handy from Kite Lake to 12,700.
|2015-12-02||Route: East Slopes
Info: No flotation needed up to Kite Lake although a couple of drifts were a bit annoying. Still dirt sections of road interspersed with the drifted parts. From Kite Lake to about 12,400, I used my snowshoes, then switched over to spikes for the rest of the way through the circuit. Upper flanks of all of the peaks are pretty wind scoured.
|2015-11-22||Route: Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross
Info: Climbed Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross on a sunny but blustery Sunday. There are two foot deep snow drifts on the road to Kite Lake. Stock 4wd vehicles won‘t be able to make it to the lake. We were in a 4wd small SUV and made it only 2.5 miles before we had to park. This added considerable mileage to our trip. We ended up hiking 14.25 miles (3.5 miles on the road to Kite Lake, 7.25 miles of the Combo route, and 3.5 miles on the road from Kite Lake back to the car). We didn‘t see a single soul the whole day. Get out there and you‘ll have the mountains to yourself. To help you plan your day... We started hiking at 8:00 am, reached Kite Lake at 9:30 am, summited Democrat at noon, summited Cameron at 2:00 pm, summited Lincoln at 2:30 pm, summited Bross at 3:30 pm, got back to Kite Lake at 4:50 pm, and got back to our car at 5:50 pm. Recommended gear: micro-spikes, ice axe (if you want to glissade down Bross). Optional gear: snowshoes (we had them but only used them a couple times). Don‘t bother bringing: crampons or avalanche safety gear.
|2015-11-15||Route: East Slopes
Info: We were able to summit all 4 (Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln and Bross) in about 6 hours. The road to Kite Lake Trailhead was passable in a small SUV until the last 0.2 miles when snow drifts got a little deeper. The first mile of trail had some deeper snow where snowshoes could have been nice. Beyond that there were a few areas with deeper snow drifts, but overall it didn‘t affect the route much. I had microspikes with me just in case, but did not need to use them. The last mile or so of the descent to the Kite Lake Trailhead had deeper snow similar to the first mile. Snowshoes might have been nice again here, but for 80% of the route snowshoes were not necessary.
|2015-11-04||Route: East Slopes
Info: Light dusting of snow on the road, made it to kite lake with a high clearance 4wd. Tagged all 4 peaks in about 6 hours. Snowshoes were not needed, minimal post-holing. Micro spikes were used 30% of the time, probably necessary. Direct descent from bross was in good shape.
|2015-11-01||Route: East Slopes
Info: I got started on the route to Mt. Democrat around 7:50 this morning. The road to Kite Lake Campground is in pretty good shape up until the end. Very little snow. There are a few difficult ruts along the way but I was able to make it all the way to the parking lot in a 4WD 4Runner. The trail was extremely easy to follow thanks to other climbers in previous days who leftsolid tracks. I carried snowshoes (regrettably) which were never needed on the route. There were some postholes around Kite Lake but the trail was well blazed and it was relatively easy to find solid footing. I found the route to be easy to follow all the way to the summit. There was only one part (shortly after the descent from the false summit) that was a little sketchy due to packed snow that was hard to keep traction on. I just created a separate route through the rocks to keep footing and had no issues. Super windy so if you go, prepare accordingly. Gaiters a must. I wish I could have carried on to Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross but had to head back down to catch a flight.
|2015-10-10||Route: Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, Bross Combo
Info: Minimal snow and ice. Yaktrax or micro spikes not needed for Democrat, but handy on Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross.
|2015-08-01||Route: East Slopes
Info: Good conditions. Have to traverse one small snow field just below the summit. Passable in good shoes. Excellent (yet strenuous) hike this time of year.
|2015-07-22||Route: South Slope
Info: I ended up doing everything in the loop, including South Bross. We went up the winter route, but instead of going up the col we climbed the rocks to get over the ridge. The col was fine and we climbed up half of it without any snow gear. The rest of the trail was clear (not of people, that‘s for sure) until the saddle between Cameron and Bross. It was fine, soft enough to walk over but foot holes in it already so no post holing. More info and pics found here: https://everythingoutdoorscolorado.wordpress.com/2015/07/23/mt-democrat-mt-cameron-mt-lincoln-mt-bross-south-bross/
|2015-07-19||Route: East Slopes
Info: Route is mostly snow free except for two spots near the summit. No traction needed; snow thinning out so no threat of postholing.
|2015-07-09||Route: East Slopes
Info: Trail still has some snow fields and water running down it but no need for spikes. Snow was getting soft later in the morning so postholing could be an issue.
|2015-07-05||Route: Combo: Democrat, Cameron, etc.
Info: Route is 90% clear of snow or more. It is barely a menace, and doesn‘t add much danger to the routes. MAKE SURE: when you are descending Bross, that you cross over at 13,300!!!!! I missed it and ended up surfing down the valley of Bross in order to get back on track- fun but not fun when all you want to do is be done!!!! GEAR: Wind-guard, hiking boots, sunscreen- standard. Never needed my gloves, warm hat or light weight puffy coat. Follow my blog entries on the climbs at sunshineof1985.com. I‘ll be climbing all 55 this summer
|2015-06-21||Route: East Slopes
Info: Carried snowshoes and ice axes but never took them off the pack for the full four peak circuit, we certainly regretted the extra weight though. We hiked Democrat in the morning (starting at 5:30AM), definitely do this one early. There was lots of snow cover, but firm enough in the morning that microspikes and trekking poles were sufficient. We then did the ridge loop to hit Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross and bare boots were fine the whole way. Some patches of soft snow (60‘s degF) on the ridge, but easy enough that we didn‘t bother to put the snowshoes on. Ridge trails are mostly dry.
|2015-06-20||Route: South Slope
Info: Used crampons and poles. I highly recommend them. We were able to slide down on our butts from part of the false summit back down to the east toward Cameron. There were some parts on the upper portion of the climb, just below the false summit, that the snow is pretty soft. Mixed snow and bare rock. Some folks were doing this without traction or poles.
|2015-06-14||Route: East Slopes
Info: I arrived at the peak around an hour before sunrise and parked below the Kite Lake trailhead. The road is walkable in boots up the the trailhead, but then turns to snow for the rest of the way. There must not have been a freeze overnight because the snow was already loose and wet when I started. Apparently, another group had come up even earlier and taken the wrong trail, ending up at the summit via the southeast face. The normal trail is well trodden, but I strongly recommend not undertaking this peak without traction/flotation. The snow is very loose right now, and while the chance of an avalanche is slim, the chance of slipping your way down the rocks is excellent. There is some exposed scree to climb on from above the lower gully on the east face. Once you get to it, it is possible to get through the scree in boots with traction up to about 3/4 of the way up the mountain. Above that it was all wet snow until about 300 feet from the actual summit. If you‘re going to glissade down, remember to watch out for the rocks as they are just starting to poke their heads from the snow right now and it‘s easy to end up with a boulder to the rear. As for the Decalibron, the path looks clear with really reasonable exposure right now. As others have mentioned, it is very doable, but may take the better part of a day if you‘re not skinning and you have to pound through wet slush. The quality of snow was poor enough today that I nixed it.
|2015-06-13||Route: East Slopes
Info: The dirt road up to Kite Lake is blocked by about a foot of snow about a half mile to the campground and is melting quickly and only accessible by foot. I climbed the DeCaLiBron and started at the Democrat trailhead at 6am. If you are climbing any later you will need snowshoes as the snow starts to melt later in the day. You are going to need traction cleats for snow and ice because the trail on the eastern slope is mostly covered with snow. Additionally you will need an ice pick to make footing holds along the steeper parts of the climb. Otherwise I would not advise trying for the summit without climbing poles as the trails are covered with snow. We were able to reach the summit at 8:26
|2015-06-04||Route: West Face
Info: Looks like all West Face couloirs avalanched recently. Snow conditions are pretty stable. Approach requires flotation. Rare opportunity to go Democrat‘s West Face!
|2015-05-31||Route: East Slopes
Info: Road is snow free to approx. 1/2 to 3/4 mile above Paris Mill. There wasn‘t a great freeze last night. Amazing snow and great skiing from summit to Dem/Cam saddle, and then noticeably softer below. I hadn‘t expected the skiing up high to be that good. I initially wanted to ski south slopes but changed plans in part due to weak freeze and soft snow at lower elevations. South slopes probably would have skied fine imo but didn‘t chance it today. Large amount of recent wet loose point release slide activity below rock bands in the area. Most of what I saw was probably D1 to D1.5. On the drive home we saw significant wet slide activity everywhere we looked (hoosier pass, ten mile range, loveland pass) and some of that was D2 or possibly larger. It looked like there was a huge debris pile just east of A-basin that slid from the ridge between Grizzly and Lenawee.
|a day in the life||2015-05-31||0|
|2015-05-30||Route: East Slopes
Info: Skied Democrat from the summit. The weather forecasted a low of 23, though it didn‘t feel that cold at the car at my start time of 6 a.m. But running water on the road had a pretty good ice covering. The snow was excellent. I ended up booting it all the way to the summit. I dug a pit around 13.5K, and it was all solid and compacted for a foot and a half. A couple of inches of new snow on an intermittent sustrugi base. A real skier would have ate it up, but I was concerned about loosing an edge so descended what I ascended. 7 hrs round trip and that was with a good amount of loafing. I could ski back to the car with just two quick portages. Great winter wonderland coverage. Time to shred if it gets cold. Oh, and you‘ll more than likely want crampons.
|2015-04-25||Route: East Slopes
Info: Hiked up from Paris Mill. Microspikes required until kite lake TH, then snowshoes for the entire ascent/descent. A lot of new snow. Was caught in a blizzard today. More on the way.