Peak(s):  Mt. Democrat  -  14,148 feet
Date Posted:  01/01/2012
Date Climbed:   12/26/2011
Author:  Skip

 Winter Ascent, High Winds  

Could not find the Quartzville Creek trailhead. Went instead to the Kite Lake trailhead; was surprised to find the road open almost all the way to the lake. Town of Alma extends about 3 miles up the 6-mile road, so it was plowed to there. Beyond that there were enough tracks to get through with my Jeep, to just shy of the lake.

One other vehicle at the trailhead. Two guys, headed up Democrat but didn't get a mile up before I think they headed back. I don't think they had snowshoes, and the deep soft snow would have been too big a hindrance. Alone on the peaks above Kite Lake.

Planned to do all three (Democrat, Lincoln, Bross) that day. Struggled up Democrat. Deep snows lower down, considerable work even in snowshoes. Aimed for a spot on the ridge above the saddle, then up the ridge to the summit of Democrat. Winds were pretty strong from the west. Spent all of about 5 minutes on the summit, took a few pictures then headed down the ridge.

Winds were screaming across the saddle; could barely stand up. Was knocked off my stance numerous times. Haltingly headed up the ridge toward Lincoln. About halfway up, I gave up (oh, how it pains me to say that) and started my descent. Winds just too strong, and could see them raking the upper stretches of the ridge and Lincoln summit above me.

Struggled down through now-softer snows, back to the vehicle below the lake.

A good day, not a great one. Hard work, for one summit!


 Comments or Questions

good job
01/01/2012 09:16
at least your summit is more intersting than 99.9 of the people thats summit. so good job man


Valuable information
01/01/2012 22:43
Thanks for the update!


Snow coverage
03/04/2012 18:31
Nice job, sounds like a well earned summit.
Is there snow coming off of the summit and if so then how much? What about on the rest of Democrat not just the standard route? Any pictures or beta is appreciated!


Similar Experience
01/04/2012 23:20
I had nearly the exact same experience 2 days after Christmas. Hadn't gotten around to writing a report, but I plan on posting some pics soon. My jeep got about 200 feet short of kite lake and then I summitted Democrat at sunrise without a soul around. As soon as I hit the saddle I was hounded with the winds, too. After being pinned to the rocks from gusts of around 60 knots a third of the way up from the saddle, I reluctantly but intelligently turned around, too. Thanks for the report and God Bless!

In Him,


Exact Replica
01/05/2012 04:25
#6: your report is a virtual carbon copy of my experience the day prior. Probably wise you turned around; the mountains will always be there when you want to go back!

   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here

Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2017®, 14ers Inc.