I stopped at the general store in Alma for some supplies prior to getting onto the Kite Lake Road. The gentleman behind the counter warned me about the road and told me that numerous people had to have their cars towed out of snow drifts recently. Not afraid in my Ford Expedition rental, I proceeded 5 miles up the road before encountering my first snow field. It didn't look that large and I was confident that my ozone-depleting SUV could handle it. Before I knew it I was half way across with my left rear two feet down and my right front off the ground! There was no digging it out. Another climber was nice enough to drive me down to Alma where the general store clerk called the nearest tow truck in Fairfield. Three and a half hours and $136 later I was towed out and ready to start my climb. It was already 11:30 and I new I would not have time to nab all 4 summits. Also, I have always tried to keep a 12 noon turn around time. I got 3/4 of the way up Democrat and turned around at 12:30 when some storms started to blow in over the mountain. In the hour that I climbed, there were tons of snow fields and it was easy to lose the trail. I think many of the cairns may have been down from the winter. Moral of the story: PARK YOUR CAR AT SNOW DRIFTS IN THE KITE LAKE ROAD AND GET OUT AND WALK!!! I was able to redeem myself two days later when I summited Mt. Bierstadt and Grays/Torreys.
Man, I'm sorry. That totally sucked when it happened to me nearly 5 years ago. By the time I got pulled out it was already 11 a.m. and I only made it 1/2 way up Democrat. I just kept on telling myself, "At least I'm climbing in the Rockies."