Buying Gear?  Click Here
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...
Mt. Democrat  
Report
Click to Expand   
Route  Conditions Information  Posted By   Posted On    Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2012-05-22  East Slopes  The road is clear and dry. A bit rough but there were several passenger cars at the Kite Lake parking lot today. There is a fair bit of snow along the route of the four-peak circuit. No traction required, but putting the micro spikes in the pack is probably not a bad idea, just in case. No postholing experienced on a clockwise circuit, starting at 7 a.m. scrambling   2012-05-22  0  2    Edit Delete 
2012-05-12  East Slopes  Climbed Democrat this morning after getting 4-5 ish inches of snow cover last night. No snowshoes needed, though. Only a few post-holing moments. Microspikes served us well. The snow was getting mushier by 10 am, and might melt off soon. The road to Kite Lake was clear of snow by 10 am, but VERY muddy. abchak1   2012-05-12 3     Edit Delete 
2012-05-05  East Slopes  Snow below the saddle is hard packed may cause postholing if you descend later in the day. Any snow above the saddle was avoidable. I had microspikes but never took them out of my pack. MtJunkie   2012-05-06  0     Edit Delete 
2012-04-20  East Slopes  Still some deep snow up there. I recommend some snow shoes as post holing all day was tough. Hellacious winds today. NOAA said up to 32 MPH, but we had sustained winds that could pick my loaded Gregory Palisade 80 off of the ground and the gusts easily knocked two adult males over. It was wacky up there kids. Benji the Hunted   2012-04-20 2     Edit Delete 
2012-04-18  East Slopes  Road to Kite Lake was mostly clear. There were a couple patches of snow that a 2WD with clearance could take. The majority of the trail was covered in snow, luckily we left some nice trenches for you. Microspikes were helpful on the decent. ffstepan   2012-04-19  0  1    Edit Delete 
2012-04-08  East Slopes  Hey guys! My wife and I just got back from Mt Democrat. It was a near perfect day. It was windy, but wuite nice between gusts. My wife had microspikes, she only used them on the descent. I managed without anything (no poles, axes, or spikes). The snow is quite packed and mostly ice in a lot of spots. We did some glissading, though not much. The dogs had a blast and were best friends with everyone they saw! The road in is dry all the way. I made it fine in a Subaru Impreza. A 2wd car with decent clearance should be able to make it, just pick your line wisely. Happy Hiking! Andrew Medic-5150   2012-04-08 2     Edit Delete 
2012-03-31  East Slopes  Road to Kite Lake is still clear, albeit muddy in the afternoon--high clearance strongly recommended. Route up to the Dem-Cam saddle entails a bit of snowfield crossing, an ascent up a short, mildly steep snow slope (trekking poles should be sufficient to surmount this), and mostly following the trail all the way to the summit. There are a few areas where slick, hard-packed snow covers the trail, or the trail crosses a short bit of snowfield, but they can be surmounted with minimal traction (e.g., spikes) or probably avoided altogether. Even milder conditions exist over to Cameron, up Lincoln (the last bit to the summit is snow-free) and over by Bross and South Bross. The screefest descent back to Kite Lake was about 99% snow-free until the slopes lessened, with one portion back low in the basin offering a modest glissade. A bit of post-holing went down on the way back to the parking area. In short: minor traction (spikes or ice axe) are a good idea, but you can get by without them if need be. Snowshoes aren‘t worth the very short stretch or two they might help out on--leave them. Lots of dry rock up there! ChrisinAZ   2012-03-31 1     Edit Delete 
2012-03-24  South Slope  Saturday, March 24th, 2012. We skied the main chute skier‘s right of the summit from around 13,800‘. From 13,800‘ to the summit was dry, though I suppose if you like walking over rocks with your skis on you could make it go from the true summit. The chute was in excellent condition, corning up well around 10am and granting a ski all the way back to the Kite Lake TH. We dug a pit at the base of the chute, isolated a column, and recorded a CT of 30+ and a shear score of 3. The chute is very stable, and is lending good skiing from summit ridge to car right now. Feel free to PM me if you need any additional info. -benners P.S. The third photo is a shot of Arkansas from Democrat‘s summit. benners   2012-03-26 4  2    Edit Delete 
2012-03-18  East Slopes  Sorry I have no pics. My camera is broken and my partner forgot his. Did the loop starting up the Bross trail and ending on Democrat. The road is now plowed to Kite Lake due to the recent S&R activity on Ajax. The sherriff and local search and rescue folks were up there sat morning and they were all very nice and very friendly. There was a couple of hundred yards of snow from the TH towards bross. Snowshoes definitely not needed. Almost dry route all of the way until the Cameron/Democrat saddle. Microspikes might be nice up Democrat as the trail there is pretty hard packed but we managed just fine with just boots. We camped on the Democrat summit Sat night and woke up to crazy winds sunday morning so we packed up quickly and got back to the car. Having the advantage of the road being open to kite lake, we made it down in time to have a delicious breakfast at the world‘s highest saloon in alma. Nice folks there! mountainmicah83   2012-03-20  0  3    Edit Delete 
2012-02-29  East Slopes  I was able to drive through fresh snow 2 miles past Alma, leaving 4 miles to snowshoe to Kite Lake. During my hike, the plows came, so you should be able to drive another 1/2 mile or so now. I kept my snowshoes on from car to car. They weren‘t always needed, but throughout the hike there were frequent spots of snow deep enough to warrant them. The wind managed to pretty much erase my tracks, so I found myself re-breaking trail for a few miles after Kite Lake on the return. Avy slopes can be avoided without much trouble. The hike took me 7.5 hours - one of the easier winter 14ers I‘ve done! Layne Bracy   2012-02-29  0     Edit Delete 
2012-02-09  East Slopes  The road to Kite Lake is closed at Paris Mill, about 2.5-3 miles short of the summer trailhead. It‘s plowed to the closure and 2WD accessible. You MIGHT be able to get farther, but I wouldn‘t recommend it. There are sections of snow along the road, including immediately after the mill, approaching a foot deep. The road is equal parts dry and drifted. I wore my snowshoes from the car to nearly 13,000‘, though I wouldn‘t call them necessary. The deep-snow sections are short. You could probably get away without snowshoes as long as you don‘t mind a couple hundred feet of knee- or waist-deep postholing. From the lake, we stayed right of the summer trail on a broad hill that dog-legged left toward the Democrat-Cameron saddle. We descended the standard route and didn‘t notice any avy danger, so either option is likely fine. The route does cross one slide area (Photo 3) at roughly 12,700‘ in the area displayed in Photo 2. The route we chose in Photo 2 started at the rocks left of center and traversed up and left. The avalanche slope is about dead center. We tested the snow on similar aspects and hadn‘t seen any signs of instability, so we felt reasonably safe as we crossed it one at a time. We took off our snowshoes shortly after the avy slope. The snow was mostly wind-scoured or we were on rocks from there (12,800‘) to the summit. The somewhat-bad conditions turned to a complete whiteout above 13,000‘. Very limited visibility, blowing snow, sustained winds between 30 and 40 miles per hour. Bone-chilling cold. I took my goggles off for a few minutes and my eyelashes acquired so many icicles my left eye almost froze shut, haha. So, yeah. We stopped after Democrat, saving Lincoln, Bross and Cameron for another day (from Quartzville!). I‘d say go poach our trench, but the wind blew it away as quickly as we made it. RT time roughly 7.5 to 8 hours. SurfNTurf   2012-02-10 4  4    Edit Delete 
2012-01-06  East Slopes  The area lacks snow in general. However, the trail is the only feature covered in snow. I would strongly advice microspikes because the hard pack can be slick and icy. The snowy trail lasts most of the way to Mt. Cameron and thats about it. Lincoln has a few snowy sections while the Cameron Bross saddle is snow free. Rcizzle   2012-01-06  0     Edit Delete 
2011-11-23  East Slopes  Route up to democrat had a fair amount of snow drifted in spots, but nothing that needed snowshoes really. Microspikes were incredibly helpful all day. I broke trail on the way up and had a few spots where I was knee or thigh high in snow. The route over to Cameron was less snow, but MUCH more wind. On Cameron & Bross the wind was so hard I was literally hiking while leaning at a 30 degree angle. Descending Bross I was glad to have brought the ice axe, since I used it in a few spots in the gully which was fully of snow, because I lost the trail down (if there even is one). awilbur77   2011-11-24 4  2    Edit Delete 
2011-10-20  From Kite Lake  Note: Kite Lake Road is currently closed from Mondays through Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Was hoping to hike up Democrat from Kite Lake with my father, but when we turned onto Kite Lake Rd. in Alma we discovered that the road is currently closed Mondays through Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. I hadn‘t been aware of this, although apparently there was a post about it in the forum. We did Sherman instead, so the story didn‘t end that badly. Exiled Michigander   2011-10-24  0     Edit Delete 
2011-10-02  East Slopes  Trail and acess road are still snow free. There was some slick frost on democrat until about 9am. Tundra and Aspen still have beautiful color. Road closures of Kite lake road. Check trailhead page for more info. With limited acess there was a LOT of people up there on Sunday colokeith   2011-10-02  0     Edit Delete 
2011-09-22  Combo - Decalibron  Well I was going to try and complete the Combo route, but I ran into a problem. The road (County Rd ‘8‘) heading to Kite Lake was under construction. A sign said that it would be closed from 7am to 7pm. What I don‘t know is if it was just for today (9/22) or if it will last longer. Just a heads up. There‘s also road construction on Colorado Hwy 9, mile marker 81, just north of Alma. It‘s not terrible, though. IndyMac   2011-09-22  0       
2011-09-21  East Slopes  Did the DeCaLiBron combo. Very windy, making it feel much colder than it was. Had to stop and find places to huddle and block the wind to warm up a few times. Trail itself was good - some snowy and icy spots here and there. Used crampons for part of the descent down Democrat (to easy my mind), but found that they weren‘t really necessary & took them off soon after putting them on. Main issue with the hike that day was the strong gusts of wind. aliciaf   2011-09-22  0     Edit Delete 
2011-09-18  East Slopes  Very climbable! Sunday was very windy in the morning with the passage of weather system. Snow on the trail from 13,000. Not a problem but could become icy with a couple of freeze/thaw cycles and get packed down. Road to Kite Lake was open but construction continues so check before you go. Saw a great big moose on the road. RckyMtBob   2011-09-18  0     Edit Delete 
2011-09-12  Road to Trailhead  I was out there on Monday 9/12 and a sign indicated road closures "beginning 9/12/11" at the start of the road to the trailhead. I made it up to Kite Lake anyway but on the way back out there was definitely at least one piece of heavy equipment moved in and the road was barricaded at the Hwy 9 turn. I haven‘t researched this closure any further but you may want to do so before heading out there. I‘d also note that the road is *barely* passable in a standard 2WD auto, say a Honda Civic for instance. byteman   2011-09-13  0  2      
2011-09-10  East Slopes  As of Saturday 09/10/2011, there is a sign posted on the dirt road from Alma to Kite lake saying that the road will be closed from 7am to 7pm starting on 09/12/2011. There is no end date. The sign is hand written, which suggests that it was not put there by the county. There is new and active mining activity at two locations on the north side of the road about a mile from Alma. I suspect the closure has something to do with this. If this sign is taken literally, there is a risk that those hikers who arrive before 7am will be trapped and unable to leave until 7pm. gyrogearloose   2011-09-10  0     Edit Delete 

Return to the main Peak Conditions page

© 2014 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.