Photo
Mt. Democrat
standard East Slope
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Difficulty:
 Class 2 
Ski/Board: Intermediate, D4 / R2 / I  
Risk Factors:Exposure: Moderate
Rockfall Potential: Moderate  
Route-Finding: Low  
Commitment: Low  
 
Trailhead:Kite Lake
Start:12,000 feet
Summit:14,148 feet
Total Gain:2,150 feet
RT Length:4.00 miles
Duration:User Climb Times
Author:BillMiddlebrook
Updated:3/2019
Weather:NOAA Forecast
Conditions:285 reports
Cell Signal:28 reports
Sheriff:Park: 719-836-2494
Forest:Pike
Quad. Maps:Log In to View
Camping:On Google Maps
Eats:On Google Maps
Downloads:Log In to Download
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Trailhead

Take Colorado 9 to Alma. In the middle of town and on the west side of the road, look for a small sign for the road to Kite Lake. It's across the road from the "Caniglia Real Estate" building. Turn here and drive a bit through a residential area. Continue 6 miles to Kite Lake. The last mile of this road can be a bit more rough, but a good-clearance 2WD should still be able to make it when the road is dry. There are restrooms and some camping spots at the trailhead. You must pay a $5 fee to park/camp at Kite Lake. If you park below, walk up the road to Kite Lake.

Route

1 is a view of Mt. Democrat during the drive up the Kite Lake road. From the parking area, follow the blocked road north near the lake and past a few camping spots - 2 and 3. Continue north and ascend to the Kentucky Belle Mine at 12,400' - 4, 5 and 6. Follow the trail onto Democrat's east slopes ( 7) and ascend a rugged slope, near 12,600' - 8. Near 12,800' ( 9), ascend a few switchbacks to reach 13,000' where the trail turns right and heads north across the east slope - 10. Continue north to reach the Democrat-Cameron saddle at 13,400' - 11.

From the saddle, turn left and follow the trail west up the ridge - 12. After climbing approximately 200', the trail turns left and traverses southwest across the slope - 13 and 14. After a long stretch of trail that spans much of the slope, the terrain becomes steeper and there are few small switchbacks that lead to the top of the slope. Continue to reach the summit ridge near 13,900' - 15.

Walk over to the final pitch ( 16) and follow the trail up to the summit - 17.

Skiing?

A spring ski of the east slopes is possible in most years but it's often patchy. It's the easiest ski descent on Democrat and one of the easiest on a CO 14er. Taken from Mt. Bross, 18 is a view of the route with snow coverage.

Notes

None
#1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15 #16 #17 #18
Topo
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