Total Elevation: ~3000 feet
Starting Point: Paris Mill (3 miles south of Kite Lake)
|Mount Lincoln summit viewed from the summit of Mount Cameron.|
Almost one month ago I came to Kite Lake to climb the four 14,ooo foot mountains surrounding it. I made it to the top of Mount Democrat and turned back, leaving the other three for another day. Last Saturday was that day and I couldn't have asked for more cooperative weather in March. The approach was identical up until Kite Lake. I brought along my buddy Eric who climbed Grays, Torreys, Castle and Conundrum with me back in September. We started from Paris Mill at 6:30am. At Kite lake I made some adjustments to my route from my previous experience up Democrat. No trails are readily visible but everything is blanketed in snow so erosion isn't really a concern. The goal was to find the most gradual path through and out of the basin. This go-around I stayed much higher on a ridge that I had previously left alone on the Democrat hike.
The red here was my previous route one month earlier and the blue arrows give an idea of how I changed things up. If I did this hike a third time I'd stick to blue route as closely as I could. I felt we really moved through the basin quickly and efficiently.
|Still in the basin looking back on Kite Lake Trailhead from the the ridge.|
|Finding a route out of the basin. Followed a snowshoe path made a hiker a bit ahead of us.|
Once out of the basin we had to make it to the Democrat-Cameron saddle. From the saddle the remaining route would simply be following ridges of mountains leading to their summits. From the top of the basin we paused a bit to determine if we would follow the hikers path or look for a better option.
|This guy really went for it. We decided on another route to the saddle.|
From the same point where the above picture was taken we glanced to our left and saw a much more gradual approach to the saddle.
|Route out of the basin as viewed descending Mount Bross.|
From the saddle between Democrat and Cameron it was as simple as following a straight line to the summit. A long, steep, straight line. We arrived at the saddle at around 10:15am. We made great time to Cameron and on to Lincoln summiting Lincoln at around 11:30am.
|Just shy of the Mount Cameron summit.|
|On top of Mount Cameron 14,238 ft. Mount Democrat is directly behind me (green).|
|15 minutes later on Mount Lincoln's summit. It was cold.|
|Seen from Mount Lincoln.|
|Seen from Mount Lincoln.|
From Lincoln we descended and started to make our way to Mount Bross. Wind picked up quite a bit and it felt like the temperature dropped 15 degrees in as many minutes. Made it to the top and stayed long enough to document with a photo.
|Mount Bross summit 14,172 ft.|
The route down was clearly marked but consisted of a lot of loose scree. It was not a fast descent by any means. It actually felt like it took forever to get off Bross. The wind was getting wild on top of Bross and didn't let up until we had descended about 500 vertical feet. We ended up back at Kite Lake just as some campers were arriving. Eric and I were joined by a fellow hiker and climber named Luke towards the beginning of the hike. He tagged along with us the entire way and it was great company. The more the merrier. From Kite Lake it was an easy 3 miles back to the car. We ran into this cuddly fella on the way back.
|My first Porcupine spotting ever!|
Great fun. Great company. Can't wait until the next one.
Notes to Self:
- if you realize that you've forgotten sunscreen and you're only 100 feet from your car, turn back and put some on. It's not nearly as inconvenient as not doing so.