Peak(s):  Mt. Democrat  -  14,148 feet
Date Posted:  05/08/2012
Date Climbed:   05/05/2012
Author:  bek1298
 Mt Democrat Ski/Board Cinco de Mayo   

We started hiking from Kite Lake trailhead at 7:30 after driving up from Denver and downing some burritos. The snow is definitely thinning out, but the Lake Emma chutes were still looking good from the parking lot.


We opted for the summer route, since it looked like we could hike most of the way up.

Jay rocking the a-frame

There were still a few sections of the trail with snow, but for the most part the trail was clear

Ken halfway up to the Democrat-Cameron saddle

Me heading up from the saddle

We spotted a couple others hiking up to the summit from Lake Emma and then heading back to the top of the chutes to ski down as we made our way up.

Jay on the summit

We hiked off the summit for 100m or so to the first decent section we could find. The snow was still hard, but it was nice to get some turns in from close to the top.

Making our way down the top section

After the top section, it was a short hike over to the top of the chutes. Since it was all of our first time skiing there, we decided on the large skier's right chute. We waited for a little while for the snow to soften up a bit and then started down.


The less shaded areas were really nice, including the open entrance at the top.


The other chutes were still holding snow, but much thinner at the entrance above

Aside from about a 200m section, we were able to ski all the way back down to the car through some nice soft snow.

Back at Kite Lake

It was all of our first ski/board descent of a 14er and we were already talking about coming back as we packed up the car. We headed down the road from Kite Lake around 11:15, with plenty of time to make it back to Denver to get changed into seersucker suits for the Derby.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Nice report
05/09/2012 03:54
Do you think the SE bowl(upper right) in the 1st pic will have enough snow to climb/ski in early June?


05/09/2012 15:49
There might be a couple of lines you could pick your way down, but it's tough to tell how much snow will be left in June this year.

John J

High adventure and a lost camera
05/11/2012 16:31
Thanks for a great report. It got me off the fence and up there to ski yesterday (May 10). I had more excitement than planned due to a long-held fascination with the north face. It looked good from the trail and I suspected that the new snow from Monday's storm was still cold. My hunch was correct as I skied the north face in powder (mostly). After climbing out of there to the Cameron/Democrat saddle, I hiked up a bit and over to the Lake Emma chutes which were nicely ripe at about 12:30 PM.

Lost my camera at some point. See my Lost and Found thread here:

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