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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2016-08-17||Route: East Slopes
Info: Mount Democrat and the trail were in great shape for our trip on Wednesday. The stream/creek was within its normal banks and with a small amount of rock-hopping, easily crossed. Mt. Democrat does not offer a big summit, but still it is a beautiful place to snap a few pictures while at the top and greet some new friends. I did not find any evidence of the official USGS dated elevation marker, and there is no register either on the summit. Someone was good enough to carry a very weathered 1x6 that was about 5' long which indicates the Democrat summit and elevation that you can use to prove you were there.
|2016-06-29||Route: East Slopes
Info: a little snow at the saddle between Cameron and Democrat and still a little snow on the false summit. Easy tracks to follow through both.
|2016-06-26||Route: East Slopes
Info: Started at 2:00am and summited by 4:30. Windy summit and quite cold (stayed that way entire day) so wear layers. Some snow patches but you can follow old postholes. Aside from this it's summer conditions and the climb is relatively easy. Finding and staying on the trail in the dark was a little tricky at some parts but you can almost always find the trail again.
|2016-06-25||Route: Dem, Cam, Lin, Bro
Info: The Dem, Cam, Lin, Bro route is nearly clear, what little snow is there is avoidable or uninteresting. One patch you actually have to cross just before the last pitch to Dem.
|2016-06-15||Route: East Slopes
Info: The road to Kite Lake TH is open to Kite Lake. Easy drive in my SUV and there were just a few other hikers. The trail still has a couple of areas covered in snow and we did have some post holing. The route after the saddle followed the ridge line with some short runs of three and four point contact required. It took us 2 hours and 50 minutes to summit with many stops for pictures and hydration.
|2016-06-12||Route: East Slopes
Info: Parked at 11,500. 2/3 of trail has no snow, only some snow patches to cross, trenched out so no snowshoes or spikes needed. Lots of people on mountain, most were in gym shoes. Picture of someones car stuck, had to get towed. So park before this section LOL. 6.5 mile RT.
|2016-06-09||Route: South Slope
Info: We climbed and skied the south chutes on Democrat today. Snow is nearly continuous between Kite Lake and the summit but it's melting fast on the east facing slope, just above the lake. Kite Lake road is blocked by snow about 1 mile below the lake and it will be another 1-2 weeks before the remaining snow is clear.
|2016-06-09||Route: East Slopes
Info: Did the loop this am. Democrat has the most snow by far. Aside from that, snow is very manageable the rest of the way. I carried snowshoes, but it was honestly not much of a different result in them - bring your gaiters because there will be some postholing here and there. A couple pics below and also a few in the TH update I did today as well.
|2016-06-04||Route: East Slopes
Info: Road is blocked by snow about 1.5 miles from Kite Lake, so this adds an extra 3 miles to your trip. We started around 5:30 and summited Democrat around 9. Did the loop and summited Bross about 1. Still quite a bit of snow on Democrat. The rest is more intermittent and there's hardly any snow on the trail down Bross. Used microspikes, but snowshoes would definitely be helpful in some spots. It's melting fast! Long but good day - weather was gorgeous.
|2016-06-04||Route: East Slopes
Info: Clear, calm, and temperatures around 60 F. Camped out below private party next to the creek in honda element within 1.5 miles of Kite Lake. Three of us started at 6AM for Democrat. Hiked about 0.5 miles on native surface road and hit patchy snow on road. Some post holing but not too bed. Really didn't start skinning till Kite Lake. Warmed up early. Skinned up all the way to the summit with a few areas where we couldn't skin across rocks. Busy day, saw 8 people there enroute and on Democrat summit. Perfect corn down to saddle between Cameron and Democrat around 1030. Skinned most of way to Cameron and skied a hundred feet to plateau between Lincoln with skins on. Left skis there as coverage was patchy. No postholing where we did encounter snow. After Lincoln, skinned all way to Bross and left skis on road/trail 200' below summit. Skied gully all the to Kite Lake around 2PM and SW aspect held perfect corn. No instabilities in gully (i.e. rollers). Skied a good distance on the road to within 0.5 to 0.75 miles of snow end. Observed many loose snow avalanches on Democrat and ridgelines to the SE. Some would be classified: L-N-D2-R3 (http://static1.squarespace.com/static/53fbfe1ce4b04ce86372f366/t/5452f54ae4b025f7beabc651/1414722890145/Chapter3.pdf). There were a lot of cars there, but 5 people did the whole tour. It's warm.
|2016-05-22||Route: South Slope
Info: Started our hike at 3:40am. Was a little worried about the overnight freeze as we saw water trickling down the closed dirt road. Our worries were gone quickly though as the water was frozen a little ways up the road. Snow was hard packed and had a good boot pack the whole way up. Summited just before 8am and hung out till 9. The ski down was nice but we could have waited a little longer as the snow was still hard packed up top but did get softer the lower we went. Coverage was good and didn't have to do much manuvering to avoid thin coverage. Was able to ski the whole way down and even dropped into the creek so we could make it to the car without taking off the skis and walking. Was back at the car around 9:30.
|2016-05-22||Route: Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross
Info: Mostly wind crust snow between all the summits, with some bare patches here and there. It's probably doable without any floatation, although I did the whole thing with my snowshoes because my snowboard boots have no traction. Saw a single ski track and a single boot track along the route, so people have done it in both.
|2016-05-13||Route: Decalibron Loop
Info: Road in fine conditions up until the private property. The walk up to Kite Lake was hard packed with patches of dirt along the edges. I wore spikes all day, carried snowshoes but never put them on. A few stretches on Cameron and the saddle to Bross require no traction whatsoever. Powdery snow was on the face up to the saddle between Democrat and Cameron, as well as on the ridge up to the Democrat saddle. The trip down Bross was by far the most enjoyable I've ever had...no scree fest, but instead solid snow that I sank only 2-3 inches into. Left the car at 6:00 a.m. and was back at 1:00 p.m. The drive back down to Alma was soggy from large melting snow piles. The Kite Lake road is going to be a mess in a few weeks once the melting really starts.
|2016-05-12||Route: East Slopes
Info: Keep in mind that the overnight low was only 20 the night before the hike, but I was able to summit today in snowshoes without postholing once. At most my snowshoes sank in 4-6 inches on windloaded areas. A continuous ski is possible from the summit. Did not summit any of the other 3 today.
|2016-05-01||Route: East Slopes
Info: Hiked from the 2.5 mile marker to Kite Lake before the weather closed in and the prospect of summiting came to an end. Knee deep snowshoe trenching from the last mine building to the Kite Lake restroom. Was fun, but tiring. If someone can beat it up there in the next few days to try and keep the trench packed, it could be the start of opening this area up.
|2016-02-12||Route: East Slopes
Info: The road to kite lake is free of snow about half the way. No chance of getting a car or tuck through the initial snow drifts though. For me snowshoes were very helpful from a half mile before kite lake to around 12500 with the deepest snow up to my hip just north of the lake. I managed to post hole a few times even with snow shoes. Above 12500 I used crampons but micro spikes or even just deep tread boots would be fine. It looks like a good size slide above kite lake occurred in the past few days. Snowmobile tracks were all over the same slope.
|2016-02-11||Route: East Slopes
Info: What a slog. Literally the least fun day out I‘ve had this Winter. Road closure is about 3 miles from Kite Lake. The road has partial snow coverage and was a really bad ski. The slope up to Democrat has broken snow coverage and is totally do-able. Conditions on the South Face of Democrat look really sketchy. There was a major release on an East facing aspect about eye level with Kite Lake. There has been a lot of avalanche activity up there lately, mostly confined to N through E through S aspects. You‘ll definitely see some avalanche porn on the hike in! After Cameron the other peaks are mostly dry. It was SUPER WINDY. I plunge stepped and skied the west facing gully directly below Bross‘ summit as a descent. It was bad. There was a lot of exposed rock and I core shot one of my skis. Overall, the whole base damage/getting blown over fiasco took about 8 hours. Enjoy the suck. I would pick something else.
|2016-01-13||Route: East Slopes
Info: It was a windy day! We wore snowshoes until about 13,000 ft. Beyond that micro spikes were sufficient. Recommend sticking to the summer route above 13k. We made the mistake of going straight up the face and it was very tiring postholing between the rocks. Avy danger seemed minimal. Bross looked completely dry, and the ridge from Democrat to Cameron also looked mostly dry.
|2016-01-02||Route: East Slopes
Info: Did all the Kite Lake 14ers today with a small group. Snowshoes are needed in a few spots: high on the road to the saddle between Democrat and Cameron. You‘ll also need them if you descend off Bross to Kite Lake. Once on the ridge, snowshoes are not needed as it‘s either hardpack snow or wind blown.
|2015-12-26||Route: East Slopes
Info: Camped about 3 miles south of the Kite Lake trailhead on Friday night. Snow was 4-12 inches on the rest of the route and up to Kite Lake with higher drifts in some places. There were some tracks possibly a day or two old that went maybe half a mile further than me but then stopped. I had intentions of getting the other peaks in the area but with the snow, going was much slower than normal. Starting at 7am with temperature of -10 F, I didn‘t make the summit until 12:30 and was exhausted. Knowing that I still had to make the extra 3 mile trek back to the car, I turned around. I didn‘t take my snow shoes and only used mountaineering boots and Microspikes but shoes would have definitely been useful. A little before gaining the ridge and beyond I would sometime post hole up to the thigh but then the next few steps might be firmer and only sink down a few inches. The saddle up to Lincoln/Cameron looker to have deeper snow in patches and some bare spots while the saddle of the Bross looked pretty well wind swept. Over all it was a good hike, made better by a perfect sunny day. Though, beware the negative wind chills about halfway up the ridge up to summit and make sure you have proper attire.