| Mount Democrat - north face ski & climb
Elevation gained: 2,148 feet (plus another 1,000 hiking out)
Vert skied: 1,400 feet
Time: hike up = 2 hours, hike out = 3 hrs, hike down = 1 hr
Group: NPG, Kim, Alex, Freddy the wonder dog
(red = ascent, blue = ski, yellow = descent)
Kim and I skied the blue line on the left with Alex skiing the chute on the right.
After taking a two-week return to sea level, contact with snow was necessary and Mount Democrat would be so willing to hold significant snow just 4 weeks into summer. Alex recently skied here and with a descent time at 10 AM, it was decided the snow was still too firm. Therefore, a "late" start was in the works and I began the climb up shortly after 8 AM and more than an hour after the rest of the group.
Some pictures along the way:
Panoramic from the summit:
A view from the saddle of what we would be skiing:
Kim moments from dropping in:
Kim and I made our descent just after 11. The top portion was very soft. The bottom 2/3 felt pretty firm to me and would have been better 45 minutes later. She had a total blast on her run and was super stoked at the bottom. Alex made his way down just after 12. He said the snow conditions were perfect all the way down.
NPG as seen from the saddle between Democrat and Cameron:
After reaching the bottom, I had thoughts of hiking out 5 miles to Montgomery Reservoir which would take 3.5 hours. During the downclimb from the summit to where we began the ski descent, the rocks felt very unstable and loose. I presumed the same would hold true for the ascent up towards the saddle and had reservations about completeing that route up. After hiking in the general direction of the hike towards the saddle, it became apparent that it wouldn't be too terrible of a hike up. I could not have been more wrong. The last 600 vertical was at 35-degrees with the dirt like quicksand and very loose rocks no matter how large. Three hours later, we finally reached the saddle between Democrat and Cameron.
If you look closely, you can spot us in the bottom middle of the photo below:
Some scenics on the return to Kite Lake:
And the sunset that evening: