Peak(s):  Mt. Democrat  -  14,148 feet
Date Posted:  05/15/2009
Modified:  11/03/2009
Date Climbed:   05/14/2009
Author:  RoanMtnMan
 Democrat - Creamed Corn for Breakfast   

After a 12 day hiatus from my skis, I think my longest since September, I was itching to get out for some turns. I called free-heeling friends Pete and Chris and we decided to head over to the Kite lake area to see what was still in. We figured Democrat was probably the best bet since it seems to hold snow a little longer than the other peaks in the area.

The forecast called for an overnight freeze, followed by rapidly warming temps, partly sunny skies, and the standard spring winds. I met Chris at the top of Hoosier Pass and we decided to leave a truck at Montgomery Reservoir in the case that we saw something interesting on the north side.

We waited for Pete in Alma as he had an early morning responsibility to attend to. We were getting a later start than optimal, but knowing Chris and Pete I figured we could make up the time with a fast pace.

We were able to get much farther up the Kite Lake Road than expected which was helpful. It seems that someone shoveled through the first several drifts allowing us to make it to within a mile of the summer TH. Looked like a lot of work, but we sure did appreciate it.

We parked the truck and started the skin. The southeast face of Democrat came quickly into view and looked well filled in, so we headed straight for it.

I think we all felt a little pressure from the rapidly warming sun to keep moving. It's a terrible feeling to do all the uphill work only to find that it's too late to ski the good stuff safely.

To save time we elected to skin to the base of the southeast ridge and ascend this route rather than the longer standard route via the saddle. The ridge was mostly clear of snow and we made good progress up.

Once we topped out we reapplied skins and skinned the final few hundred feet to the summit.

Despite a few beefy gusts there was far less wind than we had expected. We were able to lounge for a few minutes on the summit enjoying a still partially snow covered landscape.

Skis then went on and we skied the snowfield from the summit to the top of the southeast face.

From the top the coverage looked a little thinner, but the skiers right seemed like it would still make for a great descent.

The next question was the snow. It had been baking all morning and we feared the worst. Pete stepped in to have a feel and to our surprise it was just about perfect.



We all traversed south down the ridge to the route we had identified. I took the first few turns and knew immediately it was going to be goooooood.

Pete and Chris followed skiing the face top to the bottom while I snapped a few pics.



I could hear them vocally expressing their delight at the bottom. I packed up the camera and knew I was in for a treat.

The snow was creamy corn without any inconsistencies. By the time I reached the lower part of the route, I was laying them over like it was a fresh groomer.

We traversed north under the cliff bands and across some old avy debris and then enjoyed equally good snow all the way down to the lake.



We all agreed that the snow was about as good as it gets for May. There were three smiling skiers that showed up at my truck a few minutes later. About 4 hours roundtrip and well worth it. Nice to get out with the two best free-heeling mountain men I know.

Red=Climb Blue=Ski

By the way, Bross looks out and Lincoln is close to being out. The north sides of Democrat and Lincoln are also a no go, but go get Democrat!

 Comments or Questions

Nice breakfast fellas :)
02/05/2011 00:22
Wish I could‘ve been with yall...I had cheerios for brekfast at work


Looked like a good trip
05/17/2009 04:28
I‘m heading to Democrat next weekend. I was hoping to leave from Montgomery and ski the north couloir, but you said the north side is out?


North Couloir
11/30/2010 17:28
Super sorry man, but the north couloir is not even anywhere near in. We took a good look but not even close. It seems that even in a good year it's an early season timing route.

Easy Rider

love that wide angle!
05/17/2009 05:42
so fresh and so clean!


Great pics again!
05/17/2009 15:42
Nice job Caleb. And nice report!


Nice Shots!
05/18/2009 19:44
You have some sweet ones in there. Your free heeling medium appears easy to shoot


North Couloir
05/21/2009 00:24
Hey Roan... I beg to differ. I skied the north couloir on 5/16 and had a blast. It did require a little creativity. I‘m just now about to start writing my TR with details...

Anyway... good job, nice TR.

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