14ers.com Climbing 14ers can be very dangerous, please read the Mountaineering Safety Page and make sure you have a map+compass and can use them effectively, without the help of electronic devices.

Route #1) Mt. Democrat - East Slopes

Difficulty:  Class 2 
Ski: Intermediate, D4 / R2 / I
Exposure: Mild exposure in the area but not along the immediate route.
Summit Elevation: 14,148 feet
Trailhead Elevation: 12,000 feet
Elevation Gain:2,150 feet
Round-trip Length: 4.00 miles
Trailhead: Kite Lake
USGS Quad.: Climax
County Sheriff: Park: 719-836-2494
National Forest:  Pike
Author: BillMiddlebrook
Last Updated: 11/2014
TH:  Take Colorado 9 to Alma. In the middle of town and on the west side of the road, look for a small sign for the road to Kite Lake. Turn here and drive a bit through a residential area. Continue 6 miles to Kite Lake. The last mile of this road can be a bit more rough, but a good-clearance 2WD should still be able to make it when the road is dry. There are restrooms and some camping spots at the trailhead. You must pay a small fee to park/camp at Kite Lake. If you park below (no fee), walk up the road to Kite Lake.

Route: Photo #1 is a view of Mt. Democrat during the drive up the Kite Lake road. From the parking area, follow the blocked road north near the lake and past a few camping spots - Photo #2 and Photo #3. Continue north and ascend to the Kentucky Belle Mine at 12,400‘ - Photo #4, Photo #5 and Photo #6. Follow the trail onto Democrat‘s east slopes (Photo #7) and ascend a rugged slope, near 12,600‘ - Photo #8. Near 12,800‘ (Photo #9), ascend a few switchbacks to reach 13,000‘ where the trail turns right and heads north across the east slope - Photo #10. Continue north to reach the Democrat-Cameron saddle at 13,400‘ - Photo #11.

From the saddle, turn left and follow the trail west up the ridge - Photo #12. After climbing approximately 200‘, the trail turns left and traverses southwest across the slope - Photo #13 and Photo #14. After a long stretch of trail that spans much of the slope, the terrain becomes steeper and there are few small switchbacks that lead to the top of the slope. Continue to reach the summit ridge near 13,900‘ - Photo #15.

Walk over to the final pitch (Photo #16) and follow the trail up to the summit - Photo #17. Taken from Mt. Bross, Photo #18 is a view of the upper route with snow coverage.

Skiing?: A spring ski of the East Slope route is possible in most years. This is the easiest ski descent on Democrat and one of the easiest on a CO 14er, but the slope often has spotty snow conditions in spring. Ski back to the false summit, drop down the east slope, and return to Kite Lake using any snow you can find - Photo #19.
The summit area with snow: Photo #20
Descending the east slope: Photo #21, Photo #22, Photo #23, Photo #24
The basin, below Democrat and Cameron: Photo #25, Photo #26

Notes:    None

Topo map: (Not Displayed, click here to change your settings)

Route Photos: (Did you know?)
Photo #1 Photo #2 Photo #3 Photo #4 Photo #5 Photo #6 Photo #7 Photo #8 Photo #9 Photo #10 Photo #11 Photo #12 Photo #13 Photo #14 Photo #15 Photo #16 Photo #17 Photo #18 Photo #19 Photo #20 Photo #21 Photo #22 Photo #23 Photo #24 Photo #25 Photo #26

Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. 14ers.com and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless 14ers.com and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the 14ers.com Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.
© 2015 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.