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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:  07/31/2020
Date Climbed:   07/30/2020
Author:  MarkForeman

My first post to 14ers: trying to give back.

We’re lucky enough to have a 4wd camper van and drove up to Kite lake on Wed 7/29/20 arriving about noon. The road is not bad, I saw some low-clearance 2wd sedans but I would be wary with anything with less clearance than a Subaru.

Popular place. The lot was fairly full as early and quick hikers started departing. At that point 2 of the 5 campsites had already been reserved and by 2:00 or 3:00 all were reserved. All 5 sites are away from the lot and good for tents, not so much for car campers. But, as we’ve found elsewhere, most overnighters simply pull up and sleep in their vehicles. The persistent wind and occasional passing rain shower seemed to make it a bit worse for the tenters. By nightfall the main parking lot was essentially full so if you’re driving up in the morning, expect to park along the road: it’s wide enough but you’ll add a little to your hike. I counted the cars in the lot and on the road as we descended Bross at about 11:15 and saw over 110 on a Thursday morning.

We started at 6:35am with good light and made the summit of Democrat at 8:00, Cameron at 9:25, Lincoln before 10:00 and Bross at 10:45. Back to the van at 11:45. We have a fairly quick pace: steady and nary a dally on a summit. Besides, we live at 8200 feet and warmed up on Mt. Sherman on the 22nd for my wife’s 64th birthday!

It seemed like a good portion of hikers turned back after Democrat with a constant stream of humans winnowed down to the hard core as we ascended the slopes of Cameron. No problems with route finding – follow the people in front of you. There are signs near Kite lake indicating that the summit of Bross is closed but the signs near the summit had been removed (trail marker signs remain). The choice is visibly clear whether to proceed on up to the summit or skirt it on a contour trail on the western aspect.

As described in previous posts the wind was a factor. We thought it was brisk on our way up Democrat, and some hikers turned back in the face of it, but when we crossed from Cameron to Lincoln it was a whole new level. Not having my anemometer, I can tell you was brutal. Come equipped and lean into it and you’ll persevere. I saw plenty of folks with poles and no gloves and felt bad for them. The wind chill is not to be underestimated, bring a hat, gloves, a windbreaker jacket (and good boots please).

The hike from Kite lake climbs steeply out of the basin and descends steeply back down into it. I would definitely recommend taking the normal, clockwise route as the slopes of Bross are no fun. Even if you don’t slide on the well-packed trail in the scree, it’s relentlessly steep and slippery.

Cheers and have fun.

Comments or Questions
Thanks for the info
7/31/2020 11:25am
But this should be posted as a Condition Update - not under Trip Reports.

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