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 Peak(s):  Mt. Lincoln  -  14,286 feet
Mt. Bross  -  14,172 feet
Mt. Cameron  -  14,238 feet
 Post Date:  01/21/2009
 Date Climbed:   01/17/2009
 Posted By:  Aristotle

 Montgomery Winter Route - NEW   

A buddy and I have been looking at a winter route up to Lincoln for the past month, and settled on an approach from Montgomery Reservoir that avoided the use of ice axes to summit Lincoln falls, avoided being towed from Quartzville, and kept us from hiking the road up to Kite Lake just to get started. See attached route maps with GPS'd waypoints. We parked at the gate at the west end of the reservoir (10,900'), and strapped on snowshoes (7am start) to cut trail through the forest below the falls, moving diagonally to the southeast toward the prominent ridge on the south side of Lincoln Ampitheatre. At about 11,400' we stepped onto a shelf with a caved-in cabin, and traversed around the ridge to about 11,600' where we popped out of the woods and packed the snowshoes. We continued around the ridge and cut up (12,000') on the east side of the unnamed creek gulch prior to crossing it, and then held to the ridge north of Cameron Ampitheatre. We were most worried about the slope at the gulch, as it is the steepest part of the route before the top, but the snow was solid/windpacked and most of the way up had rocks exposed for better traction as needed to get up to flatter terrain on the ridgeline. We followed the ridge, and abundant mining road switchbacks, to 14,000' where we finished direct on the southeast side and topped out at 12:30 (yes, 5.5 hrs, which we call a win for a couple of 40-something-ers). We saw a ram and herd of 14 bighorn sheep at about 13,800', very cool. We hiked to Cameron and then over to Bross (1.5 hrs), and down into Cameron Ampitheatre to hook back up with our ascent route to get out (4:30; 9.5 hrs total). Some cool sliding down the snowfields. Weather was perfect, nicer than many August ascents, with 20 mph gusts but mostly calm and clear with incredible views of Pike's, Grays & Torreys, Holy Cross, etc. One recommendation, do not stay too high crossing back around ridge on south side of Lincoln Ampitheatre on way out (as we did), or you may find yourself descending some steep chutes or being stranded above cliffs We found a route down that involved some body-surfing and managed to stay between the ice/rocks.

Google earth map with waypoints up and descent route.
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Moon over Lincoln falls.
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Route diagonally southeast through woods to end of ridge.
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Lincoln falls again, a bit closer.
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Cabin.
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Climb up before unnamed creek gulch.
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Keep this ridge to your right as you round from forest to gulch (this photo should be before last one).
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Long ridge on north side of Cameron Ampitheatre - and Lincoln summit.
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Bighorns.
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Lincoln summit final approach.
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Quandry from Lincoln.
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Democrat and Holy Cross in background to north.
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Snowshoe hare hanging out in mine shaft entrance, unusually dark fur for January.
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The descent - note improvised axe brake.
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Grays and Torreys over Keystone.
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Bross from Lincoln.
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Silverheels in foreground and Pikes behind - in January!
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The descent route out, a bit more direct....
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A topo view of the route with waypoints.
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Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


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