From Mt Lincoln, via Mt Cameron, via Mt Democrat
Saturday September 18, 2004
Following a brief rest on the summit of Mt Lincoln I began the final leg of the decalibron: Mt Bross. The weather remained very favorable with bright sun and warm temps, but now the wind was starting to blow much harder from out of the west.
I started the climb back down to the saddle that runs between Mt Lincoln and Mt Cameron and stayed on a lower trail that actually branched off in several directions; one lead back to the Mt Cameron summit, another appeared to go around the Cameron summit and towards Mt Democrat, and the one I chose lead directly to the saddle between Mt Cameron and Mt Bross.
The trail was very well used and lead across a loose, scee-filled scape that resembled what I would envision another planet to look like. Very barren, no plant life, no wildlife, not a pretty place. Looking ahead on this trail from a distance I could see a little “bump” right at the very top of Mt Bross, as I hiked closer and the ascent became steeper I lost sight of this only landmark.
Looking down to the right from the saddle towards Kite Lake and the parking lot far below, I could now see a trail going down and around Mt Bross and here I could see people hiking up towards the Mt Bross summit. The wind was becoming very steady and quite strong from my right side and there was absolutely nowhere to take shelter, I added another layer and kept moving.
The trail now begins to climb a bit steeper around a couple of large humps as there really aren’t any big boulders leading up to this summit from this direction. I was soon climbing up a little ridge and onto one last big rise as I could now see the “bump” straight ahead and I hiked right to it where 4 other people were taking cover from the wind in a blockade fashioned from rocks that had been stacked-up into a little bunker.
The wind was now rather relentless and as soon as there was a vacancy in the stone “bunker”, I too gained refuge there as it’s the only protection. From the bunker I was able to remove my pack and take a brief rest, a few photos, and a quick bite to eat. Other people now began to arrive from the opposite direction I had and they told me that they had hiked up from the parking lot; this would be the way I would go back down.
I braced myself, removed my hat and prepared to brave the winds as soon as I cleared away from the bunker at 10:10AM; I proceeded along the rounded summit as it began to taper down to a trail heading right down the west side of the mountain. The grade was fairly gradual at first but then it went around and down to the left where it became much steeper with lots of very loose scree. As I slid down this area I was actually “skiing” down on the scree and with the wind whipping-up a brown cloud as I went it was a bit wild but I was moving quite quickly and made very good time.
Nearing the bottom the trail levels-out and then proceeds through some hills and gullies with a few short switchbacks and then heads across a grassy area and a creek just as you get back to the trailhead. The wind wasn’t nearly as strong here and I was back at my truck at 11:20 after climbing 4 summits in less than 4 ½ hours. My 8th 14’er and another beautiful morning. Sweet!!