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 Peak(s):  Mt. Bross  -  14,172 feet
Mt. Lincoln  -  14,286 feet
Mt. Cameron  -  14,238 feet
Mt. Democrat  -  14,148 feet
 Post Date:  06/14/2009 Modified: 06/15/2009
 Date Climbed:   06/13/2009
 Posted By:  KeithK

 It‘s Fun To Say BroLiCaDem   

Mt. Bross (14,172'), Mt. Lincoln (14,286'), Mt. Cameron (14,238'), Mt. Democrat (14,148')
June 13, 2009
Route: The BroLiCaDem
Round Trip: 7.1 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,700'
Matt(native_mntguy) and Keith


They're legal! Well, 75% legal… I've put off climbing these "easy" fourteeners for two years, waiting for the right time to go expend the effort. This weekend turned out to be a perfect choice, as other plans fell through and the motivation to spend hours in the truck just wasn't there. Not to mention the idea of climbing them when covered in snow might spice the trek up a bit. Matt was in, citing some sort of rule he has about climbing every mountain 4 times or something to get 3,000'. Fair enough, I'm sure I'll be back as well one day.

We set out from the Kite Lake Trailhead, catching the trail for Mt. Bross and almost immediately ascending. There was no warm up for this hike; it was all uphill for the first three hours! Making matters less pleasant, my trekking poles were hanging safely in the garage, free from any wear and tear their use may have incurred on this day. Oh well, spice it up, I say. Still, I noticed a difference right away, and would much have preferred to have poles for the scree and snow on the route, as well as to keep my hands warm on this brisk spring morning.

Mt. Democrat catching early rays…


Matt plods along the scree, with Mt. Bross's broad west shoulder ahead…


Almost immediately after crossing the gulley, the trail disappeared under frozen snow, and we deployed our axes. This was actually a pretty steep grunt for a few minutes, with a dozen feet or so of high angle climbing necessary to crest the ridge and get a look at the route ahead. Linking patches of scree with plenty of snow in between, we just kept going up, up, and up. Finally topping out on the ridge/shoulder, we could see the rounded and very unspectacular top of Mt. Bross.

These signs appear along several sections of the hike…


Matt walks straight into the sky…


Approaching the final flat stretch to the general area of what would be Mt. Bross's summit, if it wasn't private property…


A shot of Pikes Peak. If you look very closely, you can see USAKeller and her group skiing the Y…


It's windy at this spot somewhere near the summit…


After some sunscreen and a snack, we set off for Mt. Lincoln, making decent time down to the saddle with Mt. Cameron, but tolerating increasingly gusty winds. The snow was inconsistent; frozen and solid for a stretch, then powdery and brittle. Overall, it was not a difficult jaunt over to Mt. Lincoln.

The route north of Mt. Bross…


Ready to begin assailing Mt. Lincoln's west ridge…


Matt climbs the surprisingly narrow false summit…


The true summit lies ahead…


On the windiest summit of the day, we took a few minutes to relax, hydrate and snack. The views along this entire hike are quite good, and this time of year is an especially pleasant time as we could see for miles in every direction. With the exception of the San Juans, every range was visible, including the Never Summers to the north and the Sangres to the south. We enjoyed a great look at nearly all of the Sawatch north of Mt. Shavano, and the Elks were even on display. Mt. Sopris looks very impressive from this vantage point. The wind convinced us to get moving, and we were off. Passing a few hikers on the way down, I recognized one in particular as creidinger from 14ers.com. Just like us, he had scrapped plans to climb Snowmass, and was checking off some new summits. We chatted for a few, and parted ways. It was good to see you, Chris.

The broad east slope of Mt. Cameron, Matt can be seen taking one of his customary cat naps on the trail…


A zoom of La Plata Peak and Mt. Elbert…


Snowmass Mtn. and Capitol Peak; Pyramid Peak and the Maroon Bells off to the far left…


Mount of the Holy Cross…


Torreys Peak and Grays Peak…


We cruised along the top of Mt. Cameron, barely stopping for a break this time. A few quick pictures and that was it. Descending the ridge from Cameron was actually kind of interesting, as it is not very wide, and a prominent cornice along most of it warns the hiker to stay clear. It was an enjoyable descent, albeit disheartening, as I realized just how much work would be in store to conquer the day's final target.

The cornice edged ridge…


Mt. Democrat…


Democrat's north ridge; we would run into a group that actually ascended that thing! I wanna see the TR…


We took our time at the saddle, not in a huge hurry to begin climbing the final 600+' to the summit of our day's last peak. The snow was softening considerably, and it was sure to be a slush fest. Still, we watched some glissades higher up, and ran into several cotton clad warriors on their way down, mostly slipping and sliding without poles or axes, and a couple even wearing shorts. Nice day for it! The going was greasy, slippery and sloppy, but we paced ahead, taking frequent short breaks for oxygen. Reaching the ridge, things felt and looked much better.

The steep, chopped up mess of a slope that blocks access to the east ridge…


Just a few more minutes…


Matt observes the awesome view to the west…


A look back at Mounts Cameron and Lincoln; we remarked at how unfair it is that Cameron is not official, when seeing it from this side it's pretty cool looking…


Even Mt. Silverheels thinks Mt. Bross should be named Mt. Choss…


Four!

A couple from Denver arrived on the summit, stating that they were looking for Kite Lake. I pointed at Fremont Pass and said "it's over there!" They were just screwing around, and decided to hike to the top of Mt. Democrat. There's nothing cheap about these mountains! ;) We would later enjoy watching them glissade much of the way down; the woman wearing jeans and running shoes, the guy in jean shorts! Brrrrrr! They were fun to chat with, as were a guy and his son. They borrowed our axes for some summit shots. I enjoy these sorts of mountains, talking to people that are not overly serious about the hobby, and are just out enjoying the day. Still, I'm very excited about heading off for some of the more difficult peaks this summer. Oddly, the wind was probably calmer on the summit of Mt. Democrat than it had been all day, and we didn't rush to descend. Finally putting the packs back on, the plunge stepping to the end of the ridge was easy, and then we negotiated the sloppy steep slope. Matt stepped down, while I watched a younger guy glissade. If he's gonna do it, so am I! Two quick glissades brought me to easier terrain, and Matt did not take long to make it down either. We avoided sliding or slipping down to the saddle, then found the emerging trail and followed it most of the way, with a very amusing Will Ferrell(Mustafa) reset thrown in for good measure when my feet simultaneously decided to not be under me any longer. One nice long glissade still waited, to cap off a great day in the mountains.

The day's final glissade…


Matt rips it!!!


Although in no hurry to return, this was a pretty fun hike. We started around 6:30, and didn't return to the campground until 2:30, a bit longer than I had anticipated, but I blame the conditions. And forgotten trekking poles. Yeah, that's it. It's hard to match the "bang for the buck", though, and is a productive way to spend a day up high. This would definitely be a good acclimatization hike for those wanting to spend time at altitude; I would guess that we were above 14,000' for about 5 hours. Now it's time for the snow to melt, and summer hiking season to begin. Is it July yet?

 


  • Comments or Questions (6)
JA_son27


Was it.....     2009-06-14 17:50:56
worth the wait?


EatinHardtack


2 years of waiting     2009-06-14 18:50:44
I finally did these peaks this year also, although I had already poached Democrat . There is even more snow up there now than when I did them a month ago. I took the same route except we ascended the S gulley on Bross instead. Good Job and what is this talk of ”Time for the snow to melt”? This is my time of year for snow climbs Keith! Let it keep snowing, just not on my weekends off from work.


Bresch


Strolling around at flight level     2009-06-14 19:52:40
Good times!!!! You are probably better off you climbed them with snow on them. I did them several years ago and it is the most bland summer landscaping. You could put the Mars Rover on the summit of Bross and no one would know the difference. Thanks for the report. I will get Kendra up Democrat in the next 2 weeks


native_mntguy


love those cat naps...     2009-06-14 20:33:32
you should try it some time


USAKeller


Not quite Lindsey...     2009-06-15 11:02:44
but still nice to knock those off, huh?! Nice job guys, and excellent report as always Keith! Great read. And, I have to respectfully disagree with you that it‘s time for the snow to melt!!!! IT‘S NOT!!!!


KeithK


No, not quite...     2009-06-15 13:00:02
You‘re right Caroline, nice to stand on those summits and look forward to what the summer holds. After all, you know it will be two weeks until I‘m out again, and a snow climb might be in my future... on my birthday... oh how my mind swirls. I‘m just over wallowing through the slush on the exits; we need dry trail for that!
Harry, that Mars Rover comment gave me a chuckle; that has to be the least interesting 14er. Just a big hump.



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