Peak(s):  Mt. Democrat  -  14,148 feet
Mt. Cameron  -  14,238 feet
Mt. Lincoln  -  14,286 feet
Mt. Bross  -  14,172 feet
Date Posted:  09/05/2010
Date Climbed:   09/05/2010
Author:  hopeclimbing
 Decalibron-sub 5 hour on WINDY day  

I love this site for the helpful tips and reports, I'll include some additional info I think will be helpful. If you want to skip the report- I vote no kids under 12, bring a scarf and gloves, and find a different way down than off Bross.

First off, this was my 4th 14er and it was a tough 5 hour hike-no stopping. I parked, hiked up Democrat in 1:28 with a steady pace, not running, but I didn't stop to drink or catch my breath. I'm a fit 39 year old woman, but not crazy athletic. I stopped for maybe 5 min at the top to snap a few pictures then headed down to the saddle.

I took the trail up Cameron and the wind really started to kick in. It blew my tight hat off my head and over the edge-gone forever. I cannot overstate how strong the winds were. It would totally support people leaning into it. It would blow people off the trial. It knocked us over. It had to be 60 or 70 at least. It made it impossible to eat, drink, take pictures. Crazy. It was another 1:30 up Mt Cameron at a steady pace, no stopping.

I have taken my kids, aged 6, 9 and 12 up Grays. It's a long walk, but a reasonable hike. This, in my limited judgement, is asking a LOT of kids. It has more noticeable drop offs, less sturdy footing, and I wouldn't take anyone under 12 and I'd only take a VERY willing 12 year old. Certainly they CAN do it, it's just that there are better mountains for kids to start on, and this is a different level. It would take a special kid to think this hike on a windy day was any fun at all.

Mt Lincoln was short and sweet and windy as ever. It wasn't overly cold, maybe 50 degrees, but the wind made a scarf and gloves VERY important. On a calm sunny day it probably wouldn't be as much a factor.

Mr Bross being "closed" was overstated, there was one sign saying it's closed but the trail is accessible and there were no issues with private property. What they SHOULD say is how awful the decent is. It is AWFUL. Let me try to communicate this more specifically. It's loose scree, loose dirt, loose, deep gravel-one after another after another-with nearly zero firm steps along the decent. It's a constant battle to keep standing, everyone I saw fell at least once, there is no sure footing, there is no way to do it quickly. It's just bad, steep footing the entire way down. I know EVERYONE likes the shorter way down, but this is one time I'd encourage anyone over 35 to think body preservation and take the long way doubling back to the saddle by Democrat. I think it would help if someone could add info on THAT decent-maybe it's just as difficult and not worth the extra distance. I realize I sound like a whiney crab, it was a bummer at the end of a hurricane speed 2 hours and I was WIPED out. I'm happy I was able to complete the 4, but seriously when 40 MPH wind is forecast for Vail or Keystone, just reschedule-it was hard to enjoy anything.

 Comments or Questions

Was going to do on 5th, changed my mind
09/10/2010 17:54
I was going to do these on Sunday the 5th. Had dropped my husband in Breckenridge to do the Breck Crest run and went up the road and parked. I was concerned about the wind and although I had brought proper gear, I walked as far as the parking lot and decided it wasn't worth it.

As for route-I have done these numerous times. The first time we made the mistake of coming down the Bross way. Have gone back to saddle and down, ever since. MUCH more enjoyable!

After reading your report-I think I made the right decision for this day.


That wind/descent was AWFUL!
09/06/2010 02:56
I was able to do all four today too and have to agree on both the wind speeds and that descent being awful. It took us hours to do just that descent alone at the end of the day, and the wind speeds were the most ridiculous I've ever experienced. I guessed 45mph or so but 60-70 could be reasonable too for all I know.


You may be right
09/06/2010 13:58
I didn't know how to guess wind, but it felt stronger than when my head is out the window on the interstate, and it reminded me of the news reporters leaning into the winds during hurricanes. My husband said he was bummed to have missed the wind-I would argue it was fun for ten minutes, not for 2 hours. It sure made for an interesting and memorable day. Sometimes I get lazy about packing and this one will remind me about the warm clothing option!


Wind was horrible yesterday too
09/07/2010 21:31
I'm somewhat happy to hear it was windy on Sunday, as we had planned on going up then, but put it off til Monday. Yesterday was chilly AND gusty. We, among many others, turned back at the top of Cameron. The wind literally blew us back a few steps every few minutes, and we had a 15 lb dog with us who we didn't want to blow away I don't know for sure, but the wind gusts were probably at least 50 MPH, and the wind chill was in the 30s.

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