| DeCaLiBron - beautiful day in the mountains!
To start there is a rather long, and relentless drive west that we had to make. This is definitely a drive, through western Kansas, that is better done at night! But, truth is that first glimpse of the Front Range always makes my heart jump into my throat!
Our day got off to a late alpine start, just a tad before 6am. The sun was just hitting the southern peaks of the valley and the day was warming up nicely. Having come from 105+ degree weather, what should have been a moderate day on the mountain proved to be extra chilly for me! So, the hat and gloves stayed on!
The group starting out!
By 7am, my hiking buddy and I had gained the saddle between Democrat and Cameron. There was only one snow field to cross thus far, on the valley floor, and it was pretty well frozen that time of morning. Once you entered the boulder field just below the saddle, some snow melt running over rocks provided for some slippery steps! The mountains were also teaming with people, which I had not been expecting.
By 8am, and the crossing of another snowfield, we had reached the summit of Democrat.
To my relief, the large group in front of us had left, and we were left with the summit all to ourselves (save one couple who snapped our pic and then descended).
By 8:30am we had reached the saddle between Democrat and Cameron and met up with my husband, who had patiently stayed with our beginner hiking companion and helped her reach her goal for the day (the saddle). After some hello's, a snack, and some quick pictures of Quandary off to the north, we began trekking up the slopes of Cameron to gain the summit of the 2nd peak of the day.
We did not encounter any snow fields on out way to Cameron, and the snow-covered views to the north were fantastic!
We reached the summit of Cameron by 10am, and "goo-ed" up for the hike over to Lincoln. Even from Cameron you could make out the crowd of people atop Lincoln. I found the climb to Lincoln to be the best of the peaks. There is a little exposure, and the summit is fantastic!
On summit of Cameron
Victory atop Lincoln!
After some quick pics atop Lincoln, and a chat with some nice folks about weather and geology, we began our final trek towards Bross. The hike from Lincoln to Bross is VERY easy, and leisurely with some good views. There was only one small snow field to cross on the traverse. By 11:30 we were standing a top Bross, high-fiveing each other for the final achievement of the day.
hiking over to Bross
A look back at Lincoln
Summit pic on Bross!
Now for the down climb. Let me warn you beginners! This is an easy route....but down climbing Bross is DIFFICULT if you do not have good experience down climbing on scree.....imagine a ton of marbles that move, roll, and shift every time you step. Now, my husband and I are very good hikers and climbers, but our companion doesn't have experience on scree like this. The loose terrain, compounded by the steep slopes was too much for her. We stayed within arms reach, helping her inch down one pain-staking step at a time. This resulted in a 2 hour down climb, exhausted feet, and a final finish around 1:30pm.
All in all it was a great day with great weather! One clap of thunder and few drops of rain! The end was definitely celebrated with a Vanilla Porter from the Breckenridge Brewery!
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