July 20, 2002
It had been a couple weeks since I had hiked any 14ers due to the Mt. Hood trip and a week back in Wyoming. It was about time to get back on track and with the re-opening of the Pike National Forest I could finally hike the Democrat, Lincoln, and Bross trio. I left Longmont around 5:30 am and arrived at the trailhead a little before 8 a.m. I didn't know this trailhead was a fee area but oh well, dropped my $3 in the envelope and began hiking. The trail skirts the east side of Kite Lake and climbs uphill towards a saddle between Democrat and Cameron. The photo below shows the trail as it climbs to the saddle.
The trail was extremely popular and I passed many parties on my way to the saddle. Not knowing any better, once at the saddle I headed right and began ascending Cameron thinking it was Democrat. Oops, about 1/4 of the way up I realized my mistake and had to head back down to the saddle and up Mt. Democrat. Most of the people I passed now for a second time gave me some strange looks but oh well, we all do dumb things sometimes. The trail climbs up to a level plateau and then it's a short distance over to Mt. Democrat's summit. The photo below shows the last hill and the summit.
Even with my mistake of partially climbing Cameron, I arrived on the summit of Democrat after 1.5 hours of hiking. The photo below shows the view to the west from the summit.
The photo below shows Mt. Cameron and Mt. Lincoln from the summit of Democrat. Mt. Lincoln is the farther little peak in the photo below. Although Mt. Cameron sits at 14,238 and is higher than both Mt. Democrat and Mt. Bross, it doesn't rise 300 feet higher than the saddle it shares with Mt. Lincoln disqualifying it from being a true 14er.
It was back down to the saddle and up over Cameron's summit to reach Lincoln. The climb over Cameron is longer than it looks from Mt. Democrat. The photo below shows Mt. Lincoln from Mt. Cameron.
Once you reach Cameron's summit you have gained most of the elevation for the day. It's a short distance to Lincoln with little elevation gain/loss. The photo below is on the summit of Mt. Lincoln with Mt. Cameron in the background.
The photo below is from Lincoln's summit over to Mt. Bross. It was back down and around Cameron and a little elevation gain to reach Bross's summit.
Midway over to Bross's summit 2 girls stopped me and asked me how I planned to descend. It was their first 14ers so they asked if they could join me over to Bross and then follow me back to the trailhead. Humm...let me think, 2 cute girls want to tag along with me....I suppose it's ok. Anyway, Tracy and Bria turned out to be great company and it didn't take long to reach the summit of Bross around noon.
Bross's summit is rather large and several spots look like the true hight point. Anyway, we didn't stay long and began our descent down the west slopes. You can make pretty good time going down since the slopes are loose rock and scree. The photo below shows Tracy and Bria skiing down the scree. We passed a couple ascending Bross this way and we thought they must love punishing themselves.
The photo below shows why the named the lake Kite Lake. We arrived back to the trailhead around 1 p.m. bringing my total hiking time to right about 5 hours.
The girls asked me if I would like to join them in Alma for a beer and there again...hmmm...let me think about that...ok I guess. We headed to the Southpark Saloon which claims to be the highest saloon in the United States for a lunch and a couple celebratory beers. After lunch the girls headed back to Denver and I was off to the Mt. Antero trailhead, but that's another webpage.