ApproachingAfter checking a few more peaks off from my Front Range’s fourteeners list, I continued with those located a bit farther west, such as those from the Mosquito Range.
I had already climbed Quantary Peak the prior year in winter and Mount Sherman in summer, so I wanted to give it a try to Bross, Lincoln and Democrat. I had heard those climbs could be done in a single day from their eastern side, so I just went for it.
I took time off from work and left Denver on Sunday a couple hours before dawn. I drove westbound on I - 70 towards the Rockies and then on CO State Highway 9. Even though I thought about climbing these fourteeners from the eastern side I continued driving all the way south to the town of Alma.
Once there I drove on Buckskin Creek Road, a dirt road that run up by the low western flanks of Mount Bross and which ended up at Kite Lake trailhead.
I started the climb up to Mount Bross from there. The terrain steepened as I gained altitude. I couldn’t find any marked trail on my way up, so I continued climbing over scree and some tundra. I could see Mount Bross summit straight above me. But, by the time I climbed a quarter of the route up it was already 8 am. I thought I wouldn’t make it, so I got back down to Kite Lake Trailhead and got in the truck again.
I felt kind of sad then, since it was supposed to be an easy climb and I was retreating myself. I didn’t want to quit but I was already on my way out from Alma, driving north towards Hoosier Pass.
I had Mount Bross at my left side while driving north towards Hoosier Pass. The weather looked perfect, windless and cloudless. I thought about turning back and trying to find the nearest trailhead up to its summit. So I did it. After driving for about half an hour through neighborhoods and a labyrinth of narrow roads I got to Moose Creek Gulch Trailhead.
Mount BrossI could see Mount Bross summit from the trailhead. I carried a day backpack with me, a couple of candy bars and one liter of water in it. The weather was still holding on the way up.
It was a nice day, sunny and not too windy. I reached timberline after 40 minutes of hiking. Then I found an old road which I thought it used to be used for mining activities. I found a few old mines on the way up. I didn’t want to hike on the road so I kept hiking straight up to the summit, which looked closer and closer as I gained altitude.
Suddenly I was standing at Mount Bross ridge. I traversed it north towards the summit. There was a small trench made of stones at the summit (4,321 m / 14,172 ft.). I stopped up there and got in it. It was a relief to cover myself from the strong wind which actually lasted a few minutes.
Once there I chose to go down to the
west and hit Mount Democrat first, which featured a nice steep snowfield on its eastern slopes. I climbed it and got to its summit in less than 30 minutes.
Now, from Mount Democrat’s summit (4,313 m / 14,148 ft.), Mount Lincoln looked farther but still reachable.
I could see Highway 91 from up there as well as very nice steep gullies on Mount Democrat’s western flanks. I thought those could be very enjoyable climbs with some snow on them.
I reached its summit in pretty good time. By the time I reached the summit (4,355 m / 14,286 ft.) it got very crowded. This was the third time I found a summit fully crowded after Mount Sherman and Mount Bierstadt climbs.
I guessed it was normal to find more people up high during the summer months. But I felt completely happy. Wow, three fourteeners in a row. They weren’t hard at all, but they meant a lot to me.
I returned back to Mount Bross again, met with somebody who had climbed in Ecuador before.
We talked for a while at the summit about my country, shared some snacks and then I continued on my way down to the trailhead by the same way I came up.
Three in a row
It felt great adding three more peaks to my fourteeners list. Ever since I drove by CO State Highway 9, I always stared at them, hoping someday I'll be able to climb them.
These are easy peaks with very nice views of the surroundings and a great alternative for ice/snow climbing in the winter months. Can’t wait to go back someday!