What a fun route with lots fo great views!
Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, Bross.
Sustained 20-40 mph winds all day. Tons of people.
We enjoyed doing the 4, but glad it is done..
all 4 peaks via Kite Lake trailhead. With Wasatch Mountain Club group ...
3:36 elapsed time for the Decalibron. We got started late (1:30pm) and saw several people coming down during the first mile. We got hailed on a couple times. Journey hiked until it got steep and hard and I carried her to the Democrat split off where Brita took her. Brita went on to Cameron and Bross, while I ran as much as possible while getting Democrat, Cameron, and Lincoln. ***From Cameron, Lincoln looks very imposing, but it was quite easy and fun. Maybe it was all the hail and wind that made it look so intimidating, but it was deceptively easy.***
I got to the summit of Bross 7 minutes after they did. Coming down Bross on that slippery pea gravel with a 4 year old on your back with a dinged up foot is not for the faint of heart, but we made it. Journey was a little odd up at 14,000 feet, but was back to herself once we got down to 13,000. She ran once I let her out and impressively did all the stream crossings on the rocks all by herself without falling in. Fun day out, and a great day to conquer 4 14ers in one go!
Great day for the Decalibron! Went the traditional way up Democrat, then over to Cameron, Lincoln, and finally Bross. Fantastic blue sky day. First down.
windy , had the mountain for myself
Just Cameron and Lincoln today, 3rd time up Lincoln. Road plowed about a mile and half farther than normal but signed with no parking at the end of plowing. Parked about 1/4 or so lower down below private property. Route in good shape stay right at Kite Lake and don't follow the summer trail, which lead to avy slopes. Climbed up a rocky rib to gain the head wall. Mostly dry on the ridge, some snow filling in part of the upper trails.
The last mile of the road was pretty rough, so I was glad to have the borrowed 4Runner for its clearance. However while more equipped vehicles were parked farther down the road, I saw a couple Priuses (Prii?) parked all the way at the Kite Lake Trailhead. So it is really your call.
It was a quite late start for me as I drove in from Denver after completing my responsibilities with GABF. I did not hit the trail until mid-afternoon, though I came prepared to finish in the dark.
It is pretty neat to arrive at a trailhead so close to such a high mountain town -- and to be able to see much of the route from one's car besides. Although there is not much elevation gain involved here since the TH is at 12k feet (I only logged 3400 total feet in gain), I can say I was huffing and puffing a little bit more due to the height above my sea-level home. I find it odd how Coloradans count their so-called 14ers; it seems in many other regions 3 of these summits would be considered sub-peaks. Regardless it was a nice little walk -- at least while the sun shone.
I met a handful of folks descending as I headed up toward Democrat. Whether they had completed the full DeCaLiBron or only did a portion, I do not know. At least 3 folks hit the trail after me, though they appear to have only hit Democrat before descending.
Just a note while I mention those few whom I encountered: PLEASE DO NOT PLAY MUSIC ON YOUR EXTERNAL SPEAKER. I know I have made my own exceptions when traveling with my dogs in isolated grizzly country, but come on, man, use some good sense and courtesy FFS.
I hit the summit of Democrat in 90 minutes and only briefly enjoyed the views and texted my wife an update before heading off to Cameron. I found neither summit register nor benchmark; only a cardboard sign under a rock for folks to take their summit pics.
From the saddle and as I hit Cameron, the sun set and I saw relatively little. At Cameron I found the summit cairn but little else, and I did not really take the time to look.
The reason for my haste at this point is that just as soon as the sun set, the winds (which were already high) had picked up to gusts that were concerning. This was in spite of the forecast, which had called for high winds until early afternoon, when it was predicted they would slow considerably.
Lincoln was only a short walk from Cameron, so I headed on over with my headlamp on. There is only a small section of exposure toward the summit of Lincoln, but I would not classify it as more than a class 2 or 3 scramble. At the summit of Lincoln I did find the benchmark right away, along with another one of those cardboard signs under a rock. From the summit of Democrat to the summit of Lincoln was another 90-120 minutes (I did not check my watch).
From the summit of Lincoln I had a decision to make. The wind was approaching a force that was less than safe, but it was roughly equidistant back to the car if I continued to Bross to finish the circuit. With that in mind I decided to go for Bross, as none of the route faced much exposure.
The winds continued and even at my size and weight I had to brace against it. I estimate it reached 55-65 mph. So at the summit of Bross I did not linger but planted my feet firmly before immediately returning back the way I came.
My aim here was to return to a signpost I had seen shortly before the summit and descend via a gully in order to gain some windbreak. The trail from the summit of Bross appears to follow a ridgeline, and after nearly getting blown off my feet at the summit of Bross, I decided it was time to mitigate the wind as much as possible.
It turns out this gully sees its share of traffic, or at least it had at one time. A trail was apparent for most of the descent with little route-finding necessary. Some cairns were even still in place. Only 100 yards across a hardened snow patch required caution; the rest of the route was straightforward and about 800 feet above the trailhead, I linked back up with the main route.
I should say even in the gully the wind continued to be a factor at times. Although there were still a number of vehicles at the trailhead, I saw no lights as I descended, so I cannot say for sure where people were camping. It certainly was not a night I would have cared to spend in my tent, having earned rips and a broken pole in high winds in the past myself.
I was glad to get back to the vehicle, where the wind continued to batter me even as I reached Buena Vista. I'd had designs for Harvard the following day, but I was just too beat from the previous week and the wind showed no signs of dying down.
Fun summit with great views of the Rockies in all directions. Front, Sawatch, Tenmile, Mosquito, Gore, Elk, Sangre de Cristo, and Flat Top ranges were visible from the top.
We got a late start so most of the crowds had thinned out. Shared the summit with just 2 others.
Third summit of DeCaLiBron. This was my favorite of the four peaks. The views of the Crystal Range and Quandary are pretty good.
Part of a four peak day with Democrat, Cameron and Bross
BroCaLi loop from Moose Creek trailhead, extreme winds and -50 F windchill
With CraigL. Getting ready for the Transrockies run. We used this route for some acclimating.
after getting blizzarded off the route post-democrat last time out, came back and hit CaLiBron.
Great hike, combined with Democrat and Cameron
Very photogenic ridge right below the summit.
Hit this one up after Democrat and Cameron. Loved the views on this one, even though it wasn't far from the others.
Started around 6AM, just beating the crowds. Perfect conditions along the whole route. Bross of course is a scree filled route down. Lots of gorgeous wildflowers. Back at car around 10:45AM.