Peak(s):  Mt. Democrat  -  14,148 feet
Mt. Cameron  -  14,238 feet
Mt. Lincoln  -  14,286 feet
Mt. Bross  -  14,172 feet
Date Posted:  06/30/2008
Date Climbed:   06/28/2008
Author:  bwleachuk

My friend and I set out from Kite Lake at 8.45am on Saturday, June 28th, intent on reaching the summits of Mt. Democrat, Mt. Cameron, Mt. Lincoln, and Mt. Bross. We had been concerned about the weather conditions and degree of snow cover because we couldn‘t find any recent trip reports for these peaks. In the end, we had a terrific hike and returned back to the trailhead in 5h 45 mins. Here is a short report for the benefit of others contemplating this route in late June, early July.

The road conditions up to Kite Lake were passable and much better than others I have seen elsewhere (e.g., Grays and Torreys). The parkling lot at the trailhead was full by 8.45am, but we took the last spot. Kite Lake itself was mostly frozen over still, and the first 1000 yards of the trail were pretty steep and covered in snow. It was very helpful to have hiking poles to distribute weight and improve balance. From there, the hour-long ascent to the saddle between Democrat and Cameron was fairly straightforward. There is a well identified trail and no scambling is required. The climb from the saddle to the summit of Democrat was more onerous, with some boulders to negotiate and less of a clearly-defined path. Once we reached the false summit of Mt. Democrat, it was just another short hike up to the top. It took about 1 hour, 45 mins from the trailhead to this point. The views were terrific.

Navigating our way back down to the saddle and then up to the top of Mount Cameron took another hour or so, and there was quite a bit of wind along the ridge line. An extra layer, a pair of gloves, and a hat came in handy. Mount Cameron is on the way to Lincoln from the saddle, meaning that any hike of Mt. Lincoln from Kite Lake passes through the summit of Mt. Cameron.

From the top of Cameron over to Lincoln was not too strenous and only took 20-30 minutes. The views from atop Lincoln were the clear highlight of the trip. For those looking for a shorter hike, I‘d recommend taking the main ascent up from Kite Lake then turning right and climbing Mt. Cameron and Mt. Lincoln only. As an aside, I was amazed at how many children under the age of 10 made it to this point (and completed the four-peak loop). There must have been five or six kids on top of Mt. Lincoln when we arrived!

From Lincoln, we descended back toward Cameron and followed a mostly level trail for a couple miles. The ascent to Mt. Bross wasn‘t too steep compared to Mt. Democrat, and from the top we could see back down the valley toward the trailhead.

The hardest part of the trip was the descent from Mt. Bross, which was steep with very loose rock, making it hard to stop and keep from sliding down the hill. There were also large boulders that needed to be navigated slowly, which took a toll on the joints.

We arrived back at the trailhead in under 6 hours. I would highly recommend to anyone looking for something slightly more challenging than Grays/Torreys, but managable for the well-provisioned weekend warrior.

 Comments or Questions

Appreciate your timely TR
11/30/2010 17:20
I'm planning on Democrat this Sunday if the weather permits. Sounds like you had a great day. Congrats on tagging 4 peaks in one hike!

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