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Mt. Democrat  
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Route  Conditions Information  Posted By   Posted On    Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
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 
2011-07-31  East Slopes  Mt. Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln and Bross were all clear today. Perfect conditions the whole way. The trailhead is clear and my 2WD 1998 Honda Accord made it to Kite Lake just fine. You‘re gonna have to weave your way around potholes, but you‘ll make it with pretty much any vehicle. There was supposed to be a 50% chance of rain around noon, and it was glorious all day. So go hit these mountains! forbins_mtn   2011-07-31  0     Edit Delete 
2011-07-09  East Slopes  While I managed to get my vehicle stuck in a snow drift on Friday the 8th, on Saturday they had plowed the road to allow easy access all the way to the Kite Lake parking area. There are several snow fields still on the Democrat / Cameron / Lincoln / Bross loop but nothing that requires crampons or even gaiters for that matter. Great hike! toekramp   2011-07-09  0     Edit Delete 
2011-07-02  East Slopes  Road to Kite Lake is still not open all the way, its pretty close though. Some snow to navigate in the Kite Lake area but no traction devices required. Absolute traffic jam at the split for Cameron and Democrat. Must have been 50 people on the mountain in that area at 8am. Got past all those people and it was pretty clear the rest of the way to the summit. A few snow fields still but nothing major. Route to Cameron and Lincoln is 95% snow free. hunterwf   2011-07-02  0     Edit Delete 
2011-06-05  East Slopes  On the date of this report, there was approximately 2.5 miles of road to climb before hitting kite lake. You are basically parking at the gate. Large drifts will make 4 wheeled vehicles think twice about proceeding. Dirt bike or snow machine (eeh) would make it up just fine. Skin the creek bed on the approach as most of the snow has blown and melted from sections of the road making it an agonizing switch from skins to pack (but easy if you‘re walking). There is a nice bootpack up the winter route making for an easier ascent. Skinned up to just below 13k‘ and switched to crampons. Stability was excellent. Skied from below the rocks off the false summit face down the gut- very silky and smooth around 9am. Took the ramp down just above Kite Lake and coasted across the flats to the outhouse. Keep in the creek bed for more skiing (downhill motion) and pop out to the road to walk the last 1.5 miles or so back to the car. plasticman   2011-06-13  0     Edit Delete 
2011-05-13  East Slopes  Road snowed in from Paris Mill where the snow drifts were over 20‘ covering the road. Snowshoed up about 2 miles sinking over 12" in many places. Wednesday they had over 12" and over 6" on Thursday. Could see the Th in the distance with little site of any rocks and just a spot of the bathroom. Seemed to be surrounded by snow. Did not attempt to summit. Snow was not packed at all. Will try another day. Al-Mart, store in town of Alma said road would be inaccessible for many more weeks. Wally82   2011-05-16 1     Edit Delete 
2011-03-06  East Slopes  Easy snowshoe conditions on the road from Paris Mill to Kite Lake. From the lake TH, good snowshoeing up to 12,700 onto the East slope. The slope to the saddle is a rough combination of deep snow and shallow rock fields. The ridge is an even worse mix of deep snow drifts, hard and windblown ice/snow, and rocks. No consistency for snowshoe/crampon/boot use. Didn‘t get above 13,700 but if you can handle those conditions the top didn‘t seem like it‘d be much different. SwitzerBoard   2011-03-08  0     Edit Delete 
2011-02-18  East Slopes  I was at Kite Lake today with the intention of climbing DeCaLiBron. I ended up only climbing Democrat due to bad weather rolling in. You pretty much need a snowmobile if you‘re gonna get past Paris Mill so count on adding 6 miles RT to your day. Plenty of snow On Democrat for skiers. With the wind sweeping through you may find yourself in a foot of powder followed abruptly by hard packed ice. Not as much ice in the basin however. Artvandalay   2011-02-18  0     Edit Delete 

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