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Peak(s):  Mt. Democrat  -  14,154 feet
Mt. Cameron  -  14,248 feet
Mt. Lincoln  -  14,293 feet
Mt. Bross  -  14,178 feet
Date Posted:  07/24/2020
Date Climbed:   07/22/2020
Author:  Woolard
 DeCaLiBron loop   

I‘ll start by admitting that I live in Central Illinois at 525’, so I’m no speed demon on 14’ers.

I left the Kite Lake trailhead at 5:00am and watched a beautiful sunrise at 6:00am as I was still climbing Democrat ( I told you I am slow :-).

I summited Democrat at 7:30am, and was back down to the DemCam saddle at 8:30.

I summited Cameron at 10:00am. Once on top of Cameron, you really have the DeCaLiBron Loop in hand, since you have 2,986’ of the 3,500’ Elevation gain behind you.

I summited Lincoln at 10:30am, and was on the Bross saddle at 11:00am.

I summited Bross at 11:45, and headed straight down to avoid possible storms.

The big lesson I learned is about descending off of Bross. I read a lot of comments saying how horrible the scree is, but when I re-read the route description, it clearly recommends staying on the ridge as long as possible, before starting across the scree. I stayed on the ridge as recommended, until the Ridge trail clearly ended and started across the scree. Almost everybody else on the trail that day was starting across the scree much higher, and they were not having fun. They left the Bross summit well ahead of me, but I got down the mountain well ahead of them by following directions. I won’t pretend the scree isn’t slippery..... it is, which is why you want to minimize your time on it. For me, my trekking poles were priceless as they kept me from falling a number of times, so I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND following the route directions and using poles. I did not find the scree to be a big deal, but I could hear a lot of fellow hikers that were clearly having issues with it........ and they were all well above me. The problem is that so many people walk out onto the scree at a point too high on the mountain, that they have beat down a clear trail that looks like it should be followed....... but you need to stay on the ridge until you have no choice but to cross the scree at about 13,300’. Once you are across the scree and are on the trail that continues down the South Side of the Gully at 13,100’ the trail is still steep enough that any loose rocks are very slick, so I continued to be very thankful I had my poles .

I got back to the car at 1:00pm and had really enjoyed the day !

Comments or Questions
Bross: Completely agree
7/25/2020 1:40pm
...with your description and suggestion of sticking to the ridge until the proper crossover, and that which is described for this route. While a bit loose and definitely need to stay focused, it's really not a big deal if you stay with the route description. Good job describing the higher-up challenges as compared to what should be considered as a safer descent.

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