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 Peak(s):  Mt. Democrat  -  14,148 feet
Mt. Cameron  -  14,238 feet
Mt. Lincoln  -  14,286 feet
Mt. Bross  -  14,172 feet
 Post Date:  10/15/2012
 Date Climbed:   10/15/2012
 Posted By:  nboarder

 Windy 4-Bagger   

I had the day off today and decided to summit some more 14ers before the winter really starts to set in. And after a nice snowfall this past weekend, I figured that I best get a move on it. Got on the road a little later than I wanted which meant at 10 am start for me. The road up to Kite Lake was dry and I found that my rear-wheel drive Ford Crown Vic could handle it pretty easily. I stopped short of the campground/fee area and just parked on the side of the road. That last 200 yds or so would have bottomed-out my car anyway.

Got to the trailhead. Eyed it for a minute and then I was off.
There was some snow still on the ground and I expect it will stay there now til next summer.
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Made it up to the saddle between Democrat and Cameron pretty easily. When I started climbing up Democrat though, I quickly realized the necessity for careful steps as it began to get very icy on the trail. I was wearing boots and they worked for me but I had to watch where I was stepping and take it slower than I would have like. I passed another group of hikers on my way up (I later found that 3 chose not to summit because of the slippery trail. Good on the one that did though!).

View of Democrat from the trail
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The last little bit to the top though was level and fast. Managed to reach the summit 1.5 hrs after leaving the car.

Valley towards Trailhead from Democrat
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Self-Portrait on top of Democrat
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I had to take it easy going back down Democrat, but once I got down to the saddle I was off again. Made it up Cameron in no time at all. At the summit though I really noticed the wind picking up. It was awful actually. Freezing cold and strong. It was a sustained wind that almost knocked me over a couple of times. I had to keep my balance by leaning into the wind.

Mt Lincoln and Mt Bross from Cameron
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I quickly made it to the saddle between Cameron and Lincoln. It was clear of snow, but still windy. Working my way up Lincoln wasn't too difficult. There was ice in some spots, but a few well-placed steps on rocks easily avoided spills. I made it to the summit 1.5 hours after leaving the summit of Democrat.

Last little bit to the top of Lincoln
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I quickly hurried down Lincoln back to the saddle and set off on my course towards Bross. The wind was relentless still and while crossing the Cameron-Bross saddle I wished that I had more protection for my face as the wind whirled snow around on snowfields and stung my cheeks. My nostrils froze up a few times during the journey too. I'm just glad I had gloves, sunglasses, and a hood. The only time when I might have wished for gaiters on this trip was on the saddle as I had to cross some snowfields. But despite the wind and swirling snow I pressed on and went straight on up. I couldn't tell you the exact path I took being as there are so many of them but it seemed like they were all pretty clear. A little snowy, but nothing unmanageable.

View of Democrat, Cameron, and Lincoln from Bross
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Made it to the summit and started back down. I met up with the Bross bypass and struggled at points not to fall on my butt while crossing the scree. This was definitely the least favorite part (and always is-I hate descents). The path was relatively clear and I made it back down easily for a total trip time of 4.5 hrs. That's the fastest I've ever summited one 14er, let alone 4. Needless to say I was excited. Still am. Best of luck to all who are still climbing this season. Be Safe!



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (1)
njbillpas

Thanks-great Pictures     2012-10-16 15:19:39
Thanks for the post. A friend and I were supposed to do Cameron -Lincoln-Bross last Saturday but we bagged it due to weather forcast especially the wind. Glad you made it ok . Thanks for the pictures, gives me an idea what the conditions are like by Kite Lake.



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