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 Peak(s):  Mt. Democrat  -  14,148 feet
 Post Date:  05/10/2009
 Date Climbed:   05/09/2009
 Posted By:  GBguy

 Democrat - First 14er Skied!!   

Well, I've been wanting to ski Mt Democrat for a while and we finally did it. My buddy John and I met at the "winter" parking lot (about 2.75 miles from Kite Lake) on Friday night and slept in our cars, since John has to drive from Loveland. We got up at about 6:00 had breakfast and coffee and loaded all our gear into my truck. We needed the 4WD to get past the snowbank just up from the parking spot. You can now drive to about 1 - 1.5 miles from Kite Lake. It was about 8:00 by the time we got hiking. We took a break at Kite Lake and then began our hike up the standard (East Slope) route, and planned on descending the South Slope.
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Instead of climbing directly to the Cameron - Democrat saddle, we went just left of the summer trail (which we never really saw due to snow coverage) and started hiking right up the slope, trying to stay on snow. It‘s not easy hiking over scree with ski boots on!
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It became pretty steep but the snow started to soften up nicely and we were able to kick some really good steps in the snow. The weather was great at this point. It was sunny with a few clouds and probably in the 50's. I only had a thin long sleeve base layer, my trusty sythetic 14ers.com t-shirt, and a fleece. I never had to add or remove a layer the whole day. There were times that I would get warm, but then the wind would pick up and cool me off. Perfect.
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We hiked pretty much non-stop from Kite Lake to just below the final pitch right at about 14,000:
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Some good shots from the summit - we made the summit at about noon:
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Me on the summit:
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John and me on the summit:
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As we began our descent of the south slope, the snow was wind blown and hard but not too bad. It was easy to keep your edge. By this time the clouds had come in and the light was pretty flat and it was kind of hard to see. But as we descended, the snow got better. John starting down near the summit:
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...and sking down a bit lower:
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John Entering one of the middle chutes. There is still plenty of snow and from what I saw, all the chutes are skiable. We just picked one. The snow in the chute was really nice.
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John stopped at the bottom, then I went through and past him - didn't want to stop because it was SO fun! Here is a picture looking back up at the chutes. You can see John just below the rock band in the middle of the picture:
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We then traversed skiers left toward Kite lake and ended up in some pretty bad snow. It was pretty soft on top and when I scraped off the surface, it was all crystals. Not good. We kept traversing over to a spot that wasn't so steep and then skied down to Kite lake. We managed to stay on our skis all the way to about a half mile from where we parked. Drove back down to where John left his car and had a beer...a special beer for a special occasion. MMMMMMM....Spotted Cow!! Back at about 1:30.
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Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (10)
EatinHardtack



Nice Job     2009-05-10 18:33:37
My buddy and I were up there the same day. Actually that is my friends truck in your last pic. Great day to be out. Nice job on your first ski descent.


GBguy


ya     2009-05-10 18:38:53
yeah, it was a blast. was yours the silver 4runner? where did you guys go? up to Bross?


yellowstone96

Democrat     2009-05-10 21:24:57
Dem is a good 14er to ski. Easy access and nice lines. The North Face is a much better ski. Congrats on your first.


EatinHardtack



yea man     2009-05-10 21:50:01
Yea that was us in the 4runner, we went up the s gulley on bross then did the traverse. Be glad you weren‘t on Bross, the wind on that was BRUTAL.


LuLuLuv


Nice!     2009-05-10 23:06:13
Good trip report. Looks nice up there...although I think you may have forgotten to wear your sunscreen!


E-dorvs


Nice work     2009-05-11 12:15:41
It was nice meeting you guys up at the summit. I was heading off as you guys were topping out. It was a slushfest on the way down the standard route. Sounds like the south face was a good time. Congrats on your first ski descent.

EatinHardtack,
It was cool watching you guys headup the s gulley. I hit up Cameron and was amazed at the wind up there. Democrat was summertime comparably.


lordhelmut


nice work     2009-05-11 12:59:08
wish we had the weather you did last weekend. Hopefully this‘ll continue.


GBguy


ha     2009-05-11 17:39:16
Eatin - yeah we saw you guys in the S...that looked kind of fun. Weird, we didn‘t have any problems with the wind at all.

E-dorvs - nice meeting you too! congrats on your first as well!

lu - hmmm, how did you know that? i guess i just CAN‘T listen to your advice. one of these days i‘ll learn.


kkavanaugh

Special Beer...     2009-05-15 11:17:55
Looks like a great day! One question though, yes that is a tasty beer, perhaps Southwestern Wisconsin‘s finest, and def suitable for a special occasion. Did you manage to find a place out here that sells it and possibly other New Glarus beers? The sight of those Spotted Cows prompted me to create a login, so cheers...


GBguy


sadly....     2009-05-15 12:20:15
no, it was brought in from WI when my uncle was back there. you can‘t get it outside of WI. i‘ll be going back this summer and believe me, will be LOADING up the truck with the Cow for myself & friends. i guess i‘ll have to add a case to the list for you!



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