|Peak:||Mt. Democrat (14er)|
|Date of Info:||03/31/2012|
Road to Kite Lake is still clear, albeit muddy in the afternoon--high clearance strongly recommended. Route up to the Dem-Cam saddle entails a bit of snowfield crossing, an ascent up a short, mildly steep snow slope (trekking poles should be sufficient to surmount this), and mostly following the trail all the way to the summit. There are a few areas where slick, hard-packed snow covers the trail, or the trail crosses a short bit of snowfield, but they can be surmounted with minimal traction (e.g., spikes) or probably avoided altogether.
Even milder conditions exist over to Cameron, up Lincoln (the last bit to the summit is snow-free) and over by Bross and South Bross. The screefest descent back to Kite Lake was about 99% snow-free until the slopes lessened, with one portion back low in the basin offering a modest glissade. A bit of post-holing went down on the way back to the parking area.
In short: minor traction (spikes or ice axe) are a good idea, but you can get by without them if need be. Snowshoes aren‘t worth the very short stretch or two they might help out on--leave them. Lots of dry rock up there!
Photos (click for slideshow):