Peak(s):  Mt. Democrat  -  14,148 feet
Mt. Lincoln  -  14,286 feet
Mt. Bross  -  14,172 feet
Date Posted:  06/21/2010
Date Climbed:   06/19/2010
Author:  jayhaddix

 Wild Winds on the Decalibron  

Three of us hit the trail at 7am on Saturday. That felt like a late start, but we had nothing but cloudless skies in the forecast. The trail was crowded and you could definitely tell that 14ers season has arrived for all of us "Fair Weather Climbers".

We took the climb at a steady stride and really had no trouble with snow for most of the way up to the saddle between Cameron and Democrat. Going up towards the summit of Democrat, we did experience a bit more snow, but it had hardened off for the most part and I didn't have to pull out the Gators. I wore trail shoes the whole time, and there were only a couple of spots where I wished I was wearing actual hiking boots. By the time I'm writing this, I'm sure the trail has lost even more of the snow cover. Our poles were very useful in finding spots where I might posthole before I gave it all my weight.

We hit the summit of Democrat, and then headed back down the saddle towards Cameron. Cameron is an easy, anticlimactic peak, but it provides a great view of Lincoln. When looking at Lincoln, it appears that it's a long way off, but it only declines a little over 130 feet before hitting the ascent towards the summit. So, we gained the summit of Lincoln and that's when the winds hit. It felt as if the winds were 60-70 mph. We could barely hear each other talk. Certainly one of the windiest summits I've ever been on. Comparable to the winds that can be experienced on the ridge between Grays and Torreys. So, we didn't stay long and started wandering over towards Bross. There are plenty of signs that note that the trail direct to the summit of Bross is on private property and is closed to the public. There are then off-shoots from that main trail that take an alternative approach. We chose those routes. I have no idea if we steered clear of the private property or not. Probably not, but nevertheless, we summited and headed home.

The descent from Bross has a lot of loose rock and careful foot placement is required. All in all, it was a wonderful day. Gaining four peaks is not that hard, but it did take a little bit of a toll on me spending 5+ hours above 13,800 feet. While we were on Bross, I started to feel the lack of oxygen and was quite eager to get down the mountain. So, the lesson learned is: I need to get in better shape if I'm going to hang out with these crazy climber types!

Oh, one last note. We ran into Sawyer on the way down from Democrat. For those of you who haven't read about this incredible dog before, he's hiked 57 of Colorado's highest peaks. He and his owner will hopefully have a book coming out soon. Quite an honor to meet such an accomplished Four-Legger!!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

great beginning
06/21/2010 20:41
Way to start the summer and another round of 14ers. It was great hiking with you and Jordan. Let‘s start planning the next one(s). So who would be these ”crazy climber types” you refer to?

That was cool seeing Sawyer. I hope he and his owner are able to summit Capitol, and I look forward to reading his book.

-The King ;)


Great start to the Summer
06/21/2010 21:26
I would never call you crazy. Obviously, I was referring to Sawyer!


08/03/2010 21:43
So I was hiking with my husky the other day and wonder if he could too be like Sawyer, but then it donned on me, how did Sawyer get up on Longs Peak, it being in a national park and all that doesn't allow pets? Maybe he was backpacked to the summit when he was just a pupp...

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