Peak(s):  Mt. Democrat  -  14,148 feet
Mt. Cameron  -  14,238 feet
Mt. Lincoln  -  14,286 feet
Mt. Bross  -  14,172 feet
Post Date:  08/02/2009
Modified:  08/03/2009
Date Climbed:   07/22/2009
Posted By:  Gopherboy

 DeCaLiBron Warmup - Day 1  

Wednesday July 22
The eagerly anticipated start to our 2009 Colorado 14er trip began with a 4:30 am departure from our hotel in Englewood. Work related duties were behind us and it was time to get down to the seriously enjoyable business of hiking 14ers! The drive on 285 to Colorado 9 provided our first taste of the cooperative weather we would experience over the next four days as sunrise illuminated the valley below Kenosha Pass. After a stop in Fairplay for some last minute supplies we arrived at the Kite Lake trailhead a little before 7:00 am.

The thin air at the 12,000 ft trailhead had us flatlanders from Texas and Illinois sucking wind in a hurry. But we soon found a rhythm and began making progress as we ascended out of the basin.

Steve, Carrie and Brian beginning ascent with Kite Lake in the background.

The trail becomes somewhat more rugged, but is always clearly defined

After some huffing and puffing our efforts were rewarded with a very enjoyable view from the Democrat-Cameron saddle.
Brian, Steve and Carrie soaking in the views from Democrat-Cameron saddle.

After continued climbing and a few switchbacks we had to cross the remnants of a small snowfield.

Success was soon achieved as we arrived on top of Democratic with some spectacular views. Congratulations to Carrie and Brian on their first 14er summit!

View from Democrat

Another view from Democrat

Carrie, Trent, Brian and Steve enjoying the first of multiple summits

After a quick refueling break it was time to begin the journey back down to the saddle and then over to Cameron.

View of Cameron (flat hump in center) and Lincoln (small peak just left of center) from near Democrat summit

It is difficult to make the summit of Cameron look rugged, since it is nothing more than a large bump of gravel! But the views were nice.

Cameron - Second group summit photo of the day!

At this point, Brian needed to descend since he was suffering from a touch of elevation sickness (something he would battle determinedly for the remainder of the trip). Steve and Brian made their way back to the trailhead while Trent and Carrie continued on to complete the DeCaLiBron.

View from Cameron summit over to Lincoln (can't miss the trail!)

Closer to the Lincoln summit

View from Lincoln summit

After backtracking to the Lincoln-Cameron summit, it was time to complete the loop by heading toward Mt. Bross.

Terrain on the way to Bross

Trent indicating #4 for the day from near summit of Bross!

The descent from Bross proved to be somewhat unpleasant due to the steepness and looseness.

View down the Bross slope to Kite Lake and the trailhead

A nice waterfall on the way down

The entire loop was completed in about 7-1/2 hours. The fantastic views from this hike exceeded all our expectations. Everyone was smiles (except maybe Brian! ) as we piled in the truck for the journey over to our lodging in Leadville. This concluded a great start to our trip, but we were already beginning to anticipate the next day's attempt on Mt. Yale.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

Good stuff!
08/05/2009 04:32
Ah, memories! Well...kind of since I was so out of it after Cameron!

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