Photo
Mt. Democrat
snow South Slope
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Difficulty:
 Difficult Class 2 
Snow Steepness: Moderate  
Ski/Board: Advanced, D6 / R3 / II  
Risk Factors:Exposure: Considerable
Rockfall Potential: Moderate  
Route-Finding: Considerable  
Commitment: Moderate  
 
Trailhead:Kite Lake
Start:12,000 feet
Summit:14,148 feet
Total Gain:2,150 feet
RT Length:2.50 miles
Duration:User Climb Times
Author:BillMiddlebrook
Updated:3/2019
Weather:NOAA Forecast
Conditions:280 reports
Cell Signal:28 reports
Sheriff:Park: 719-836-2494
Forest:Pike
Quad. Maps:Log In to View
Camping:On Google Maps
Eats:On Google Maps
Downloads:Log In to Download
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Trailhead

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. It's across the road from the "Caniglia Real Estate" building. 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 $5 fee to park/camp at Kite Lake. If you park below, walk up the road to Kite Lake.

Route

1 and 2 show Mt. Democrat from the Kite Lake road and 3 is a different angle, from Mt. Buckskin. In these photos, notice the distinct line of rock outcroppings on Democrat's south slope. They form a set of chutes which are used on this route. From the trailhead, begin hiking northwest toward a small basin, left of Democrat's southeast slope - 4. Once in the small basin (12,500'), continue west to its west end and ascend 200+ feet to reach easier terrain, just above and northwest of Lake Emma - 6 and 7.

Now above 12,800', continue northwest toward the chutes and rock outcroppings in the center of the south slope - 8, 9 and 10. Angle up to the right and begin climbing steeper terrain below the chutes. Angle right up steeper terrain and enter the first chute OR continue left to pick a different one. This description uses the first chute. Climb the chute ( 10 and 11) and pass through the rock outcroppings, near 13,400' - 12 and 13. Now on easier ground, hike north/northwest up the upper slope to reach the summit - 14, 15 and 16. Descend via the same route or use the Mt. Democrat - East Slopes (standard) route.

Skiing?

In the easternmost chute: 17, 18
Below the chutes: 19
The small basin (12,500'), northwest of Kite Lake: 20

Notes

The route is only recommended with stable, spring snow conditions and axe+crampons are recommended.
#1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15 #16 #17 #18 #19 #20
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