Peak(s):  Mt. Democrat  -  14,148 feet
Mt. Cameron  -  14,238 feet
Mt. Lincoln  -  14,286 feet
Date Posted:  06/19/2009
Date Climbed:   06/17/2009
Author:  Connor

 Democrat‘s North Coulier  

2 1/2hrs of sleep is not enough. Leaving Greeley at 1:45a in the morning for this trip was absouly murderous. Thanks to copious amounts of caffeine and a 7-11 breakfast, I felt ready to make the drive to the Montgomery Reservoir trail head to climb a couple more mountains.
I arrived at the trail head at about 4:30, and started up the 4wd road as Roach describes in the Fourteener book, but only got about a quarter mile up before I was confronted by a section of road that paralleled the first "Jaws" on the Lake Como road. So I suited up and started walking. Following the road through Platte Gulch was quite enjoyable and secluded. As I rounded the bend and got my first look at Democrat, left the road and began bush waking my way to the base of the mountain. In Roach's book, he describes one of the obvious couliers evident in Platte Gulch, the North West Coulier, and the North Slopes route. I elected not to climb the Coulier mentioned by Roach.

My route is in RED
Roaches North West Coulier and North Slopes route are in GREEN

Overall, the climb was physically more taxing than I had anticipated. Once on the summit of Democrat, I began hiking to Cameron, and found myself very exhausted. Once on the summit of Cameron, I boiled water for a Cup of Soup and had to force myself to eat it. I can't recall ever feeling sick on a mountain, but on top of Cameron was different. I think I just pushed myself to hard first thing in the morning and don't eat enough up to this point to maintain my energy and hence just pooped out and felt lousy. Fortunately no puking, but overall, I wasn't as strong as usual.
Once on top of Lincoln, I began to decent the Lincoln Amphitheater. This proved to be miserable. I got a fun and long glissade to start my decent, but the snow soon turned to rocks. Nothing but scree and boulders for the rest of the decent.

Fortunately, this route put me exactly over the mine where I had parked my car.
I concluded my hike by crossing the stream and water logging my boots in humble misery. Overall, the hike was fantastic, just not as enjoyable by the end as I would have hoped for.

My route:


Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Nice Write-up
02/05/2011 00:22
I did this route on Friday 06/12 and it was more challenging physically than I anticipated as well. Did you see evidence of an avalanche at the top of the couloir? Some boarders descended that couloir at 2:30pm the day I was up there, and caused a small slide.


Still looks good...
06/19/2009 18:55
Connor - looks like you had a good climb on a great day!
Astrobassman - we were the two boarders who met you. We never got to thank you for the steps on our ascent! We ran behind due to my camera falling down the choke (had to restart). Snow was still excellent (and safe) on our descent with no slide activity, although it may have looked as such.


Thanks for being my Guinea Pig!
07/23/2009 11:07
Hey Connor, I‘ve been wanting to do this route for some time now. Democrat is the only Mosquito I haven‘! I‘ve read Roach‘s description many times, and now what I really need to know is: how bad is the bushwhacking? I‘m taking my girlfriend, and whereas it wouldn‘t bother me so much, she really wouldn‘t be into too much of that. Also, would you consider any of this route beyond class 3? Thanks!


11/30/2010 17:28
Wish I could be a little more helpful, I'm not sure how bad the bushwhacking would really be on this route, when I did it, 1/2 of the off trail travel was covered in snow, and very easy to negotiate! The little bit of bushwhacking I did have to do was fairly easy, except for descending the Ampetheater route off of Lincon. This required some route fining, a miserable stream crossing and I wound up doing some class 3 moves. Not the best route. By Roaches map on page 60 of Colorado‘s Fourteeners my route would have followed something in between route #10 and #12, with a decent of #3. I think the easiest way to do democrat from the Montgomery Trail head is to follow route #10 and return over route #10. The route finding would be very easy and would guarantee that you would not encounter any class 3 climbing. Overall, this is a much better route than the Kite Lake trail head granting better views and less people. The only difference is off trail traveling and more distance. Don't expect to be able to drive far up the road unless you have a heavily modified jeep.

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