Bob and I are longtime friends that plan a Colorado climbing trip every year as an incentive to get and stay in shape. Since we are both 56 and have only three to our credit, Elbert, Massive, and Longs, (Bob has also summated Rainer and Kilimanjaro) we were looking for a more target rich environment so we can complete all 53 before we turn 100! Bob is a former URI decathlete from Connecticut, and I am Colorado native that has lived in the Carolina's for the past 30 years. We have found that we need about three days to acclimatize before attempting a 14er so we hiked in the Gore range wilderness near another friends house in Silverthorne. We usually leave two days for summit days so we can adjust for weather but the schedule was tight on this trip which left Monday the 20th as the day. We chose the Kite Lake trailhead as it gave us a chance at up to four 14ers from a relatively high starting point. Sunday afternoon we drove to the trailhead on an absolute bluebird day and talked to several that had climbed all four, Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln and Bross.
Kite Lake Trailhead the day before. You ascend the saddle in the center with Mt. Democrat to the left, ridge to Cameron and Lincoln to the right.
Monday dawned cool and gray, with a low pressure system approaching and a chance for afternoon showers and thunderstorms. The perfect weather the day before had fooled us into thinking Monday would be the same and we got a later start than we should have. Arriving at the trailhead a little before 8 we decided to eliminate Democrat to give us a better chance at the other three. The trail from kite lake ascends slowly but gets steeper fairly quick.
Looking back on the appropriately named Kite Lake
Upon reaching the saddle, the trail to Democrat goes left (naturally!) and to Cameron to the right.
Bob climbing above the saddle, Mt. Democrat in the background
The trail to Cameron is well defined through talus and scree rock.
Kent heading up Mt. Cameron
The summit of Cameron is somewhat anti-climatic as it is broad and flat. We reached it at 10:30 after two and half hours
Summit of Cameron with snow and sleet arriving
Dropping into the saddle the snow picked up as the wind funneled between the peaks.
Bob in the snow looking back at Cameron
The Lincoln summit is capped with a cone of rocks
The rocky summit of Mt. Lincoln
After some simple scrambling up the last few feet we got a break from the snow and had a good view of the kite lake valley to the west and Hoosier pass to the east.
Bob on Lincoln summit
Trail runners in snow on the Lincoln/Bross traverse
The snow picked up again on the way over to Bross which we quickly summited
Bross summit in blowing snow
On the descent from Bross we passed a sign that said "Bross Summit Closed". We inquired at the trailhead and someone said the actual summit is on private land and their are negotiations going on for the rights for climbers to use it. Opps.
The descent from Bross is fairly steep with lots of scree made slick from rain and snow.
Scree on Bross descent
As we gave the trekking polls a work out trying not to fall, we were passed by a bolder hopping girl and her siberian husky. We saw her finish at least a half an hour before we reached the bottom. We had left a couple Dales on ice and celebrated the finish.
The finish line is at the bottom!
Back to the flatlands in the morning. Till next year, Kent