Lincoln, Democrat, Bross via Kite Lake TH

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Trip Report
Colorado, United States, North America
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Aug 17, 2002
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Created On: May 29, 2003
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This was the third time in as many days that I arrived at my campsite after dark and could not see my next days adventure. The road from Alma out to Kites Lake was 6 miles of dirt road, barely passable by a 2wd vehicle. This was not quite as bad as the road to the Grays Peak trailhead, mostly because it was not uphill. Lucky for me, a group that had already setup their camp, pointed out a flat spot across the road that I could pitch my tent.
I started out about 6:30am. My legs were still stiff from the Longs Peak climb the day before and my blisters were worrying me also. I actually changed from my trail running shoes to regular running shoes to help with the blisters. My plan was to start with Democrat, then Cameron, Lincoln and finally Bross. During the hike up Democrat my calves and quads were sore, but manageable. I was mostly worried about the downhill traverse. I had learned from the past two days that the soreness in the legs was manageable when going uphill, but the POUNDING downhill was often much more painful and less controlled.
I got to the peak of Democrat in 1 hour 25 minutes. I felt pretty good, and the blisters were definitely not getting any worse. The wind from the previous day had carried over to today, but not quite as bad. It was a little bit cloudy and that made it a bit chilly at the peak. I didn't spend much timer at the summit of Democrat. When I started down Democrat, I first stretched out my quads really good by squatting to the ground a few times. When I started pounding down the summit of Democrat, I was in noticeable pain, but I got use to it pretty quickly as the muscles warmed up. After Democrat, I never really had any serious muscle pain the rest of the day. I quickly came down in to the Democrat-Cameron saddle, summited Cameron and kept on going towards Lincoln. As I was going up Cameron, a fellow "speed hiker" passed me, and I tried to keep pace with him, but was just too sore. I kept him within reach most of the day though, and eventually met up with him back at the trailhead parking lot. The Lincoln-Cameron saddle is not much drop; hence the main reason why Cameron is not counted as a 14er. Coming up on Lincoln, it reminded me a lot of Torreys. The peak looked small, steep and high. It wasn't that bad really, but the wind was pretty strong. From the peak of Lincoln, someone pointed out Quandry to the North. This was exciting for me, as I had Quandry on my list to do before I ended my trip. Lincoln was noticeably higher than the other peaks. From the top of Lincoln, you could see that there were several other trails coming up the backside of Lincoln, that did not look to difficult either.
I came back down Lincoln into the Cameron-Lincoln saddle again. This time, I turned left towards Bross. Just out of the saddle, the trail to Bross definitely looked like an old 4x4 road. This made for a somewhat boring, long walk to the top of Bross. At the top of Bross the wind was the strongest yet. The top of Bross was huge; even bigger than the top of Longs Peak. There was a huge wind-break (or cairn?) at the top of Bross, and Bross was the only peak of the day that seemed to have a log-sheet. I asked a few people how to get down from Bross without backtracking, and someone just pointed South and said, "walk that way, and you'll run right into a trail down." I followed those instructions, which weren't very specific, since the top of Bross was so huge. But, eventually, I found a path down. I think that there are several paths down. The path the I found was entertaining in that it was covered in scree (little rocks). I had a blast, kind of skiing, walking, sliding down the side of the mountain. I had to be kind of careful, because a fall would have lead to a collection of abrasions. The only drawback to this kind of descent was the fact that I had to empty my shoes several times to get all the rocks out. And, when I dumped my shoes, they were full of rocks, not just a few. It really did take a long time to get down from Bross, even though I was sliding most of the way. Towards the bottom, I left the scree slide and started climbing down rocks and a small waterfall. I was a little worried that I was heading towards a dead end, because I could not see the trail well. But, I kept trudging along. This trail ended up climbing down the rocks and waterfalls at the bottom of Bross. It was a beautiful trail to finish the climb.
I reached the trailhead at around 11:30am (5 hours after I started). I ended up meeting the guy that passed me on the way up Cameron. His name was Matt. He had gotten back to his jeep just before I came down. We talked a bit. I said how I loved the scree slide down Bross, he did not. I mentioned that I had climbed Longs yesterday, and he was surprised that I was back climbing today. We both agreed that the best technique for climbing quickly, was, not running, but rather, just a continuous, steady pace, without stopping.
After Democrat-Lincoln-Bross, I headed up towards Breckenridge, with the intention of hitting Quandry after lunch. I was going to start around 2pm, which would have been a considerably late start. As 2pm came closer, I changed my mind. I was beat from the Longs climb the day before and had not fully recovered. I decided instead to plan out tomorrow's day, and then hit my campsite late afternoon. I decided on doing Quandry and Sherman tomorrow. That would mean that Elbert and Massive would have to wait until another trip. Really, that made more sense based on location anyway. I scouted out Quandry, and then Sherman. Then I camped at the Fourmile Campground, near Sherman; a record 5pm arrival time.
The Democrat-Lincoln-Bross climb was really a nice climb. What an outstanding way to get in three 14ers in one day. This particular Saturday was only slightly crowded and there were several Boyscout troops hitting these 14ers this day. Neat way to earn a "merit badge!"


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Lincoln, Democrat, Bross via Kite Lake TH

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