| Grand Slam
I had two weeks off from work and was itching to get some altitude under me. I was in the process of buying a house, moving, and renting my old one and just needed time away from all of the hubbub of life, and on top of that, a pregnant wife and a three year old. It was time for dad (me) to get some time away from home.
I left Colorado Springs at about 0330 and arrived at the trailhead at about 0530 hours. After going to the bathroom and prepping my gear for the trip, I hit the trail about 0545. The paid parking area is $3.00. I figured that was more than decent, although there was plenty of parking outside of the pay to park area.
The first portion of the trip I met up with a guy named Charles from Wisconsin, and his God-son Charlie from Massachusetts. After listening to an inspirational story from Charlie, I was more than determined to summit all four peaks and really appreciate God’s creation.
About half way up to the saddle between Democrat and Cameron Charles and Charlie stopped for a rest. Taking their spirit and determination with me, I pressed on. I reached the saddle shortly thereafter. At about 0730 I summitted Democrat. I stayed on top for about 15 minutes before taking off again to conquer more.
About halfway up Cameron I met a gal and her brother from North Carolina, who are in Colorado on vacation visiting their grandfather. They said they had done Democrat numerous times, but never the other mountains. I urged them on and continued. I summitted Cameron at about 0930 and knowing I was halfway done, I pressed on.
I reached the top of the most deceiving mountain of the group, Lincoln, at about 1003. I say deceiving because looking at it from Cameron, it looks very steep at the top, but it isn’t bad at all. Lincoln ended up being my favorite mountain of the four, not only for the views, but just knowing I was close to reaching my goal of hitting the Grand Slam and summitting all four peaks.
I left Lincoln, and summitted Bross an hour later at about 1103. The hike to Bross is pretty flat, so breaks were a minimum. I followed the directions given on 14ers about cutting right at the fork and going off trail to reach the summit and didn’t have any issues.
The nice thing about Bross is when I reached the peak it started to get pretty windy, luckily over the years a nice windbreak has been build out of the smaller rocks, made for a nice place to drop the pack and sit for a few before the dreaded downhill portion. (Don’t know about anybody else, but going downhill is way worse than going up).
Getting back to Kite Lake took about an hour and 15 minutes. Crossing the stream and seeing the waterfalls that grace you as you finish the walk back to the vehicles bring the hike full circle and it is nice to see something so nice at the end of a long day.
I made it back to Colorado Springs before dinner.
One quick note about the drive up to the TH and Kite Lake…the sign off HWY 9 in Alma is indeed small, and it is also in the same location as a street sign at the top of a 10 foot pole. It isn’t some little wooden sign in the ground like I was looking for.
Overall it was a great trip. I met a few people that have the same love for hiking from different areas of the nation which just shows that Colorado has a lot to offer.
I have photos I'd love to upload, but I'm adding this report while at work and forgot the chord to download them from my phone.