Mt. Democrat  
Condition Updates  
Route: East Slope
Posted On: 2021-04-10, By: 14er101
Info: The road is closed 2 miles from Kite Lake. Neither traction nor snowshoes are necessary to reach Kite Lake (but traction is recommended). Then traction is mandatory to the saddle and an ice ax would be helpful for the section from 12600 to 12700. From the saddle to the summit traction is necessary. Snowshoes will be helpful in the afternoon once the snow softens up. Good luck with the wind. 
Route: Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, Bross
Posted On: 2021-04-10, By: Alpinefroggy
Info: Got about to 13600 before I developed altitude sickness and went down. Snow is consolidated and thin to icy. Booted on the way up to lake. No need for snowshoes up to lake. Might be helpful thereafter. Traction going up to saddle in the morning is definitely a must. I used spikes and an ax which was helpful. Bross southwest gully looks ready to go for those looking to do that. Bross side of the loop is wind blown and has almost no snow. Recommend going up Democrat and down bross since wet slides are a potential concern on the Democrat saddle. 
Route: East Slope
Posted On: 2021-04-11, By: mvandergrift
Info: Parked at closed gate 1 mile from TH. Road is fairly clear now. Don't think I saw much snow - wouldn't need 4WD. Snow conditions changed quite a bit from a few days ago. Did not need snowshoes. Wore microspiles the whole way with no traction issues. Would still recommend an ice axe after the saddle as it's reasonably steep. Wind was steady and intense. Gusts were manageable but definitely slowed us down. Had the mountain to ourselves. Did not see anyone else on the approach up Cameron either. The road was empty as well. 
1
Route: Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, Bross
Posted On: 2021-04-03, By: askwjs
Info: Carried our snowshoes up to Kite Lake and stashed them there. We were going up Bross and determined we weren't go to need them for the ascent, although they may have been helpful (but were not necessary) for coming down Democrat. Saw 6 other people on Democrat and no one else on the other 3. Going up Bross, the snow was shallow and solid in the morning. The climb out of the gully was a bit snowy but only required spikes. The traverse to L/C saddle had one section that crampons and axe proved useful as the snow was super hard (when we crossed it in the morning) and the slope was steep, spikes would not have been sufficient. Trail up Lincoln is packed down and easy to navigate and the trail up Cameron was easy to follow and not too snowy. The ascent up Democrat had part of the trail covered by a large snowfield. If you stay to the climber's left and go over some boulders, you can avoid this and ascend safely. Wore snowshoes down the road, was extremely helpful for the softened snow in the afternoon. 
Route: Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, Bross
Posted On: 2021-04-02, By: mvandergrift
Info: Drove to within 1.7 miles of TH. Would suggest high clearance 4WD. Made it to within 1/2 mile of the summit and had to turn around right before the false summit. There were some drifts over the trail that were too steep to comfortably navigate with our dog (who was a hero the whole way up!). Outside of the drifts, conditions around the peak were good. We used snowshoes w/minimal crampons and kept them on the entire time. Very little exposed rock along the route. There was only one other set of tracks, which we were able to follow until the saddle. After that, we broke trail to Democrat, but the snow was mostly solid and we didn't have to worry about sinking much. 
Route: Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, Bross
Posted On: 2021-03-09, By: Tony1
Info: Snowshoes not needed at all for the route. Spikes could be helpful on Democrat but I didn't use them either. The road is also accessible to 1.5 miles from the trailhead. 
Route: Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, Bross
Posted On: 2021-02-02, By: Misi197
Info: Went clockwise on the loop. Had a few moments early when I thought some flotation would have been helpful heading up Dem. Once hitting the saddle, it quickly became obvious it would have been unnecessary weight for the rest of the day. Wore spikes for Democrat and then pulled them off and went with just boots for Cameron, Lincoln, Bross and the walk out to the gate. There was a civic parked at the gate. Any 2wd sedan can make it that far until the next storm. Good gracious we need some snow. 
1
Route: Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, Bross
Posted On: 2021-01-21, By: kalestew
Info: Road is only closed 1.1 miles from the Kite Lake TH so the RT for this snowflake is still nice and short. I tracked 5.7 mi. One of the pit toilet doors was blown/left open and a snowdrift has formed inside, it's a sight to be seen. We broke trail all morning on Tuesday, but it was fairly easy to follow the route by sight. Snowpack was ok, we only used traction but flotation could have been nice in some sections before 12.5k- after that it's pretty wind blown. Summit was clear, windless, and beautiful. Descent was nice and easy. Route up Cameron/Lincoln and descent from Bross all looked good from where we stood. 
5
Route: Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, Bross
Posted On: 2021-01-18, By: sixlebsack
Info: Route is a solid boot pack from Kite to Democrat - Cameron - and Bross. Carried flotation but never used it. Wore spikes all day. Wind made the trip interesting. Diverted from doing Lincoln due to getting blown around a little too much for my comfort. Character building day with the wind.... 
Route: East Slope
Posted On: 2021-01-10, By: wintersage
Info: Previous conditions report is still valid, not much has changed despite the new snowfall on Saturday. Microspikes were helpful but my partner managed without, flotation wasn't needed either. 
2
Route: Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, Bross
Posted On: 2021-01-09, By: askwjs
Info: Did the loop counterclockwise. No need for traction or flotation on the route. Was able to park at the gate closure 1 mile from the lake. Route was boot packed and easy to follow though sometimes drifted. A couple of sections were hard packed and sketchy, 1 section on the route from Bross to the L/C saddle and the other just below the false summit on Democrat. With the a little more snow on either, they will become avy risk. Windy in Bross Gully and on Cameron, otherwise manageable. 
Route: East Slope
Posted On: 2021-01-04, By: Verticality
Info: Nobody in our group used snowshoes. Everyone reached the summit. Microspikes were very useful for the upper ridge. Gate was closed about a mile beneath the summer trailhead. The snow mainly starts right after the trailhead sign, and a series of wooden markers poke out of the snow guiding hikers around the lake and up to the lower slopes. Most of the deeper snow covered the lower basin, but not deep enough to make post-holing a concern. Spikes can make the lower slopes trek a bit easier but definitely not a requirement. Winds picked up dramatically as the switchbacks turned off towards the Democrat-Cameron saddle. Gale force winds lash the saddle but fortunately the final ridge ascent stays just below. Easy hike with pretty views up the final switchbacks, but the wind and cold temps were enough to turn several parties around in front of us. The trail of packed snow disappears entirely about 200ft beneath the false summit. At that point a careful choose-your-own-adventure through the many rocks. Had a fairly clear moment at the summit. Spent about 10 minutes on top with some moderate protection from the wind. The hike down from the false summit likely requires the most concentration, but still not hard. Full trip report: https://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=20912 
6 1
Route: East Slope
Posted On: 2021-01-04, By: Coach Stack
Info: Road to gate not bad, spoke with the mine owner and he asked that no one ignore the "no parking" signs. He pays a truck $2500 a day and if it cant get by any cars he still has to pay the driver. He was a really nice guy btw. He also said he was planning on plowing up to the gate to help out. Used flotation half way up to saddle, not needed. No real trench to speak of but trail is easy to follow. There was a considerable patch of boiler plate snow below the false summit, highly recommend traction. Over all a nice bluebird snowflake of a day. 
Route: East Slope
Posted On: 2021-01-01, By: IanJSmith
Info: If you are worried about the recent avalanche warnings, you probably don't need to be if you stick to the packed trail on this route - at least until the next snow. The steep areas have some snow, but are mostly rock. The summer trail is usable to the summit (see photos). I used snowshoes and was glad to have them for the mile or so after Kite Lake, but on the way down there was a nice trench from other hikers with only mild postholing. Snowshoes not required after today. Spikes are helpful for most of the route and are almost required for a short and steep section of snow just below the false summit. I would even recommend an ice axe for this steep section, although most people didn't use one. Parking: I tried to park at the switchback near the gate and was told I couldn't (there were also signs). I did not ask if I could have driven further beyond the switchback to the gate (unplowed, but passable with 4wd). Instead, I was told that I needed to park about a half mile or so below the switchback at a sign that says "no camping near the river" at 11,300ft. This added maybe 20-30 min round trip. 
5
Route: Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, Bross
Posted On: 2020-12-26, By: jbealer
Info: Windy but overall a great day for 4 new snowflakes and south bross! We could drive to the gate, brought snowshoes up to the bathroom and ditched them. We wore spikes the whole day, some places we could have taken them off but left them on. Snow was packed down in most places and others never sank more then ankle deep. Packed avy gear and ice axe but neither were needed. Conditions great right now for winter. 
2 2
Route: Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, Bross
Posted On: 2020-12-17, By: headsizeburrito
Info: Gate to Kite Lake TH locked, adds about 3mi/500ft round trip, room for a few cars to park there. Lots of postholing from Kite Lake, ankle to occasionally knee deep, trail not always obvious with snow and no real tracks/trench. Hard going but not sure if worth carrying snowshoes all day for about half a mile of suck. Much better as you get closer to the Democrat/Cameron saddle. Put on microspikes partway up Democrat when it got steep. Saddle to Cameron was patchy and not deep, pretty easy to find a good path to the summit. Even less snow between Cameron and Lincoln and Lincoln to Bross, don't need traction for most of it. Descent from Bross snowy in places, took off my traction to avoid all the rocks but kinda wanted them again later on, probably easier to just keep them on. Very windy today once I reached Cameron, wind nearly knocked me over multiple times. Didn't see a single person all day, just a group of sheep. 
2 1
Route: Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, Bross
Posted On: 2020-12-08, By: RossJ
Info: Warm temps, wind intermittent, gusting at higher elevation. Road is dry, little snow. Gate closed 1 miles below TH. All 7-8 parking spaces were occupied. Mixed hiking conditions: ascent to Democrat mostly snow up to saddle. More snow, some slipping on pre-summit and much snow on summit. Similar on traverse to Cameron. Almost no snow on this summit and Bross. Snow conditions on Lincoln similar to Dem. Very little snow on trail descent after Bross, exposed gravel, sand, talus. Used micro-spikes - recommend despite the light amount of snow. 
Route: Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, Bross
Posted On: 2020-12-07, By: LoveThisSite
Info: I did the loop in reverse. Beautiful day except for the wind. Bross - microspikes not strictly necessary, trail alternates between bare patches and soft bootpack snow. I put on my microspikes for the top 1/3 of the trail. Bross->Lincoln: I did not use traction at all. Felt pretty comfortable with just my boots. Soft bootpack snow in the final Lincoln stretch. Lincoln->Cameron->Democrat saddle: Same as above, I did not use traction. Soft bootpack snow from Cameron to the Democrat saddle. Democrat saddle->summit->trailhead: kept my microspikes on the entire time. 
1
Route: East Slope
Posted On: 2020-12-06, By: KevinInFoCo
Info: The trail is well tracked and easy to follow right now. All snow, no bare spots. Parts are hard packed. In others, mostly the steeper portions, you're walking in existing post holes or semi trenches. Snow was powdery in the morning which made for a good deal of back sliding and slow going. No need for snowshoes. But I wouldn't try this right now without spikes, gaiters, and trekking poles. 
1
Route: Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, Bross
Posted On: 2020-11-22, By: cmvdub
Info: Much of the trail is dry & bare. Some snow to navigate but no post-holing. Used microspikes above 13.8K on the ascent and descent of Democrat, otherwise no gear needed for the rest of the loop. 

Return to the main Peak Conditions page



© 2021 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.