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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|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.
|2015-12-19||Route: East Slopes
Info: Snow conditions are very sparse on the entire loop. I attempted to ski in from Paris Mills but the road was completely dry in many spots. If not for one sizable snow drift immediately after Paris Mills, one could drive to within .5 mile of Kite Lake. From Kite Lake I was able to climb the entire East Ridge route without snow shoes or spikes. There was occasional knee-deep post-holing in limited sections but nothing to seriously impede progress. From the saddle, the route up Cameron and over to Bross is almost 100% dry. Very windy on top and I had to walk sideways to get to Bross. From Bross, the route down is as good as it can get. There‘s enough consolidated snow in the gully to hold the scree in check but not enough to pose a danger. I was able to ski a few sections of the road on the way down alternating between walking and skiing.
|2015-12-06||Route: East Slopes
Info: Virtually same conditions as described by bmcqueen on 2/12. Snowshoes very handy from Kite Lake to 12,700.
|2015-12-02||Route: East Slopes
Info: No flotation needed up to Kite Lake although a couple of drifts were a bit annoying. Still dirt sections of road interspersed with the drifted parts. From Kite Lake to about 12,400, I used my snowshoes, then switched over to spikes for the rest of the way through the circuit. Upper flanks of all of the peaks are pretty wind scoured.
|2015-11-22||Route: Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross
Info: Climbed Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross on a sunny but blustery Sunday. There are two foot deep snow drifts on the road to Kite Lake. Stock 4wd vehicles won‘t be able to make it to the lake. We were in a 4wd small SUV and made it only 2.5 miles before we had to park. This added considerable mileage to our trip. We ended up hiking 14.25 miles (3.5 miles on the road to Kite Lake, 7.25 miles of the Combo route, and 3.5 miles on the road from Kite Lake back to the car). We didn‘t see a single soul the whole day. Get out there and you‘ll have the mountains to yourself. To help you plan your day... We started hiking at 8:00 am, reached Kite Lake at 9:30 am, summited Democrat at noon, summited Cameron at 2:00 pm, summited Lincoln at 2:30 pm, summited Bross at 3:30 pm, got back to Kite Lake at 4:50 pm, and got back to our car at 5:50 pm. Recommended gear: micro-spikes, ice axe (if you want to glissade down Bross). Optional gear: snowshoes (we had them but only used them a couple times). Don‘t bother bringing: crampons or avalanche safety gear.
|2015-11-15||Route: East Slopes
Info: We were able to summit all 4 (Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln and Bross) in about 6 hours. The road to Kite Lake Trailhead was passable in a small SUV until the last 0.2 miles when snow drifts got a little deeper. The first mile of trail had some deeper snow where snowshoes could have been nice. Beyond that there were a few areas with deeper snow drifts, but overall it didn‘t affect the route much. I had microspikes with me just in case, but did not need to use them. The last mile or so of the descent to the Kite Lake Trailhead had deeper snow similar to the first mile. Snowshoes might have been nice again here, but for 80% of the route snowshoes were not necessary.
|2015-11-04||Route: East Slopes
Info: Light dusting of snow on the road, made it to kite lake with a high clearance 4wd. Tagged all 4 peaks in about 6 hours. Snowshoes were not needed, minimal post-holing. Micro spikes were used 30% of the time, probably necessary. Direct descent from bross was in good shape.
|2015-11-01||Route: East Slopes
Info: I got started on the route to Mt. Democrat around 7:50 this morning. The road to Kite Lake Campground is in pretty good shape up until the end. Very little snow. There are a few difficult ruts along the way but I was able to make it all the way to the parking lot in a 4WD 4Runner. The trail was extremely easy to follow thanks to other climbers in previous days who leftsolid tracks. I carried snowshoes (regrettably) which were never needed on the route. There were some postholes around Kite Lake but the trail was well blazed and it was relatively easy to find solid footing. I found the route to be easy to follow all the way to the summit. There was only one part (shortly after the descent from the false summit) that was a little sketchy due to packed snow that was hard to keep traction on. I just created a separate route through the rocks to keep footing and had no issues. Super windy so if you go, prepare accordingly. Gaiters a must. I wish I could have carried on to Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross but had to head back down to catch a flight.
|2015-10-10||Route: Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, Bross Combo
Info: Minimal snow and ice. Yaktrax or micro spikes not needed for Democrat, but handy on Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross.
|2015-08-01||Route: East Slopes
Info: Good conditions. Have to traverse one small snow field just below the summit. Passable in good shoes. Excellent (yet strenuous) hike this time of year.
|2015-07-22||Route: South Slope
Info: I ended up doing everything in the loop, including South Bross. We went up the winter route, but instead of going up the col we climbed the rocks to get over the ridge. The col was fine and we climbed up half of it without any snow gear. The rest of the trail was clear (not of people, that‘s for sure) until the saddle between Cameron and Bross. It was fine, soft enough to walk over but foot holes in it already so no post holing. More info and pics found here: https://everythingoutdoorscolorado.wordpress.com/2015/07/23/mt-democrat-mt-cameron-mt-lincoln-mt-bross-south-bross/
|2015-07-19||Route: East Slopes
Info: Route is mostly snow free except for two spots near the summit. No traction needed; snow thinning out so no threat of postholing.
|2015-07-09||Route: East Slopes
Info: Trail still has some snow fields and water running down it but no need for spikes. Snow was getting soft later in the morning so postholing could be an issue.
|2015-07-05||Route: Combo: Democrat, Cameron, etc.
Info: Route is 90% clear of snow or more. It is barely a menace, and doesn‘t add much danger to the routes. MAKE SURE: when you are descending Bross, that you cross over at 13,300!!!!! I missed it and ended up surfing down the valley of Bross in order to get back on track- fun but not fun when all you want to do is be done!!!! GEAR: Wind-guard, hiking boots, sunscreen- standard. Never needed my gloves, warm hat or light weight puffy coat. Follow my blog entries on the climbs at sunshineof1985.com. I‘ll be climbing all 55 this summer
|2015-06-21||Route: East Slopes
Info: Carried snowshoes and ice axes but never took them off the pack for the full four peak circuit, we certainly regretted the extra weight though. We hiked Democrat in the morning (starting at 5:30AM), definitely do this one early. There was lots of snow cover, but firm enough in the morning that microspikes and trekking poles were sufficient. We then did the ridge loop to hit Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross and bare boots were fine the whole way. Some patches of soft snow (60‘s degF) on the ridge, but easy enough that we didn‘t bother to put the snowshoes on. Ridge trails are mostly dry.
|2015-06-20||Route: South Slope
Info: Used crampons and poles. I highly recommend them. We were able to slide down on our butts from part of the false summit back down to the east toward Cameron. There were some parts on the upper portion of the climb, just below the false summit, that the snow is pretty soft. Mixed snow and bare rock. Some folks were doing this without traction or poles.
|2015-06-14||Route: East Slopes
Info: I arrived at the peak around an hour before sunrise and parked below the Kite Lake trailhead. The road is walkable in boots up the the trailhead, but then turns to snow for the rest of the way. There must not have been a freeze overnight because the snow was already loose and wet when I started. Apparently, another group had come up even earlier and taken the wrong trail, ending up at the summit via the southeast face. The normal trail is well trodden, but I strongly recommend not undertaking this peak without traction/flotation. The snow is very loose right now, and while the chance of an avalanche is slim, the chance of slipping your way down the rocks is excellent. There is some exposed scree to climb on from above the lower gully on the east face. Once you get to it, it is possible to get through the scree in boots with traction up to about 3/4 of the way up the mountain. Above that it was all wet snow until about 300 feet from the actual summit. If you‘re going to glissade down, remember to watch out for the rocks as they are just starting to poke their heads from the snow right now and it‘s easy to end up with a boulder to the rear. As for the Decalibron, the path looks clear with really reasonable exposure right now. As others have mentioned, it is very doable, but may take the better part of a day if you‘re not skinning and you have to pound through wet slush. The quality of snow was poor enough today that I nixed it.
|2015-06-13||Route: East Slopes
Info: The dirt road up to Kite Lake is blocked by about a foot of snow about a half mile to the campground and is melting quickly and only accessible by foot. I climbed the DeCaLiBron and started at the Democrat trailhead at 6am. If you are climbing any later you will need snowshoes as the snow starts to melt later in the day. You are going to need traction cleats for snow and ice because the trail on the eastern slope is mostly covered with snow. Additionally you will need an ice pick to make footing holds along the steeper parts of the climb. Otherwise I would not advise trying for the summit without climbing poles as the trails are covered with snow. We were able to reach the summit at 8:26