Long slog up that slope....
Storms were moving in, never made it to Bross
Climbed this from Montgomery Reservoir. This was a great route up until the last few hundred meters. The ridge can be done all 3rd/2nd class but that involves signifigant traversing below the ridge top to the west across many rubble filled gullies. It is more satisfying to stay on the ridge top, although this entails decent amounts of exposed third class maneuvering on mostly solid rock. Near the top of this ridge you encounter an old mine with a faint trail leading towards the summit. This trail doesn't gain ground very quickly. I suggest ignoring it and proceeding directly upwards near or on the ridge top. Also the descent from the Democrat/Cameron saddle was an obnoxious scree slope, very slow going. It would probably be better to continue over Cameron and Lincoln and descend Lincoln amphitheatre to Montgomery reservoir. A short side trip to Bross would net all the peaks of the 'DeCaLiBron' in a far more asthetic manner than the Kite Lake trails.
We reached the summit of Democrat in approx. 2 1/2 hours (by 9:00 AM). Lost track of the trail & ended up rock scrambling. We were going to bag Lincoln & Bross, but the clouds were building up & getting darker, so we decided to head to camp. The storms started early (by 10:45 -11:00 AM), which surprised us. Glad we trusted our gut feeling! One member of our party did bag all three peaks. He stated that the scree on Bross lived up to its reputation. He (luckily) made it back to camp as the lightning was starting!
Great hike across the mountain tops!
Beautiful winter day...and although it was a long one, I don't recall any strenuous climbing. Only passed one area with possible avy danger, as well as only one group of 2 people (who my friends happened to know anyway). Even though we all had crampons, we had no need for them except one 50 ft. section of alpine ice descending the saddle between Cameron and Bross. Ended up Spider(wom)man-ing across some exposed rocks instead of using 'em though. Incredible experience in every aspect...well worth every minute.
Weather was perfect, people were everywhere, all over the mtns. It was nice to see how many people are getting into hiking 14ers. Descending Bross was interesting with all the loose scree, it was almost easier to "ski" down the rocks.
After the evening hail, starry sky at 4:30 AM with dispersed clouds accumulating over the peaks. Ptarmigans on trail at daybreak. Ryan and I climbed Democrat in two and half hours. I was slowing him down even he wont say. (Thanks for your patience!) Was surprised to not get rained on on the summit considering the way the clouds looked! Great hike! Proceded to Mt.Cameron very nervous about the clouds.....Ryan was rather optimistic....
Quick and easy
Reached the summit in 2 hours. We recommend following the switchbacks instead of climbing along the ridge line. Most of the snow was gone, but we encountered winds of 45- 65 knots which prevented us from continuing on to Mt. Lincoln and Mt. Bross.
This was the first 14er for my wife and I. We climbed this peak on our honeymoon. I love you Jennifer!
Renamed the summit Mount Hillary Clinton, because Democrat was a bitch. Numerous false summits pissed me off. Great hike with the Colorado cousins, Uncle Jack, and Greg Rund, who just graduated from Columbine High. Unfortunately, Greg perished in Iraq serving our country this past winter. I will remember Greg for sharing his love of beef jerkey with the rest of group. God Bless, Greg.
One part of the 4 peak loop!
The ascent and descent of Mount Democrat were the hardest part of the Decalibron for me. I opted to head straight down the ridge line for the saddle with Cameron from the summit, but this entailed downclimbing through lots of talus on a very windy day. I'd recommend heading back down Democrat's switchbacks instead.
#4 for the day, doing the Decalibron in reverse. I did this backwards because the last time I attempted this, I was stormed off after only getting Democrat. I figured I'd go the other way this time and at least see some new terrain if that happened again. Beatiful sunny (but really windy) day, and a great training hike/run for the upcoming Pikes Peak Ascent.
Comment on West side couloir: A beautiful snow route that can be done w/out gear. You can see it clearly from HWY 91, heading East. It's the most prominent couloir that intersects the West Face, leading all the way up to the top.
Climbed, Democrat (Southeast Face), Cameron, Lincoln, Bross, and South Bross. Great hike with lots of time spent at altitude. Took approximately 6 hours for the trip.
Did the Bross-Lincoln-Democrat trifecta...pretty easy to knock out all three at once.