| My window of sun -- Lincoln/Bross
At 5:15 a.m. on Sunday, June 7, 2009, E, Kirk, Len, Brian, Lonnie and I set out for Kite Lake. The road to the Lake was completely clear of snow, but there was a sizeable snow drift the last 100 or so feet to the restrooms. Len and Brian went through the drift with their Jeep Wrangler, and I decided to try it with my Pathfinder and made it through with no problems. We were, however, the only cars that attempted to go through the snow bank (everyone else stopped and parked right before it). We started hiking around 7:30 a.m.
I decided to do Lincoln and Bross because Lonnie and I had done Democrat (his second fourteener) when he was 5 years old. The others in the party didn't express a strong preference to do all three, and since we knew the weather on Sunday wasn't supposed to be great, they just followed my lead on the direction (thanks guys for indulging our need to "bag" the other two).
We decided not to stay on the trail toward Democrat but just go straight up the snow slope to the saddle between Democrat and Cameron.
Looking up snow slope to the saddle between Democrat and Cameron.
Toward the steeper portion, the snow became very hard and it was difficult to get purchase with boots. Nonetheless, we gained the saddle in about an hour and 15 minutes and turned toward Cameron. The wind was howling, but it was still a reasonably clear day.
Image #4 (not yet uploaded)
Cameron had some pretty huge cornices because of the amount of snow and the wind.
By the time we reached the summit of Cameron however, the clouds were coming in.
Looking back at Democrat from summit of Cameron.
Snow on Cameron.
We set off for Lincoln. It was not at all difficult hiking, but the wind was blowing so hard, it almost blew Lonnie off the mountain at times.
Lonnie and E with Lincoln in the Background.
Once we made the summit of Lincoln, we decided not to stay but to continue on to Bross since the weather was getting worse. We took a few photos and practically ran off that mountain.
Lincoln's summit marker.
Len and Brian on the summit of Lincoln with Quandary in background.
Once down off Lincoln, we had a nice trek over to the summit of Bross (all on hard snow with very little postholing although there was quite a bit of snow on these summits!) We had a quick bite to eat at the top of Bross, but since the clouds were looking ominous decided to call it a day and get down Bross.
Lonnie on top of Bross. Check out the storms behind Democrat.
Close-up of Grays and Torreys from the summit of Bross.
We started down the trail (knew this because sign said "stay on the trail" but the snow slope became so steep, we decided to traverse back into a gully. Earlier on E and I had decided the gully would not be that safe if it warmed up because of soft slab avalanches, but the day had stayed reasonably cold, and the snow was frozen pretty hard on that side of the mountain we decided to attempt glissading down the gully. It proved to be one of the most fun, amazing and longest glissade ever down to our cars at the lake. We were down in nearly 20 minutes!!
One of Lonnie's staged glissades after the big one.
It was just in time because as we finally got in our cars around 12:30 or so, it started hailing. This was Lonnie's 14th fourteener and it was Len's 41st fourteener. The rest of us are somewhere in between those figures. It's always a good summit day when you make it up, down and back from the trip with no injuries but frozen and sore butts from glissading!
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):