DEMOCRAT, LINCOLN, and BROSS
These three mountain are very popular to hike due to the fact that all three can be done in one day, and not a very long day at that. Between Democrat and Lincoln is another point that is named Cameron Peak.
This peak causes quite a stir among many people. To be considered a seperate mountain the general rule is that the peak must rise at least 300 feet above it's connecting saddle to any other mountain.
Cameron rises only 138 feet above its saddle with Mt. Lincoln, and since Mt. Lincoln is taller it is the actual summit while Cameron is considered to be just part of Lincoln. I have met many people that count Cameron as one of their Fourteeners they have climbed, but they tend to be new to climbing.
This is an early view of Mt. Democrat, the first mountain to climb if you take the three mountain loop in a clockwise direction .
When we reached the summit of Democrat we found it to be quite a bit cooler and windier than the valley below.
Our early start that morning gave us the summit to ourselves on a beautiful morning.
From Democrat you can see what is probably the worst part of the trail. The descent back down to the saddle and then ascent up to Cameron. Cameron is named but is not actually a peak as it does not rise more than 300 feet above its connecting saddle with Lincoln. So technically it is just part of Mount Lincoln.
Back down at the saddle the idea of going up again isn't all that appealing.
We took a short break at the saddle near some old mine ruins.
Then we began our trip up to Cameron, looking back down on the saddle gives a better idea of how steep the trail gets here. It doesn't last long though.
From here it is easy to see how Kite Lake got its name.
From Cameron you can see the pointed summit of Mount Lincoln.
the ridge to Mt Lincoln though easy is not a good place for those with a fear of heights as the ridge narrows and the drop-offs get pretty big for such an easy mountain.
The route is easy enough though, the path is well worn and simply follows the ridgeline.
As you approach the summit you get a couple glimpses of the cliffs that surround.
The worst spot is only about 20 feet of climbing some angled rock with loose dirt on it.
Near the summit is a couloir that gives a great view to the valley below.
The winds on these mountains are notorious for being very strong and by the time we reached the summit of Lincoln they were really starting to blow.
Mount Lincoln is one of the few 14ers that has a benchmark on the summit.
After Lincoln it's back to Cameron where this photo was taken looking at the route over to Bross. This is a very gentle part of the trail and if the wind isn't blowing it's very easy.
The view of Democrat as you traverse over to Bross is a good confidence booster to see how far you have come that day.
Our trip to Bross was brutal with winds that literally took your breath away. Fortunately at the summit of Bross there is a great wind break to find shelter behind.
We did have someone try to get a picture of us standing on the summit, this is all the better we could do in the wind. You'll notice the summit is flat and large, an airplane once made an emergency landing on this summt.
The descent off Bross was kind of brutal as I think we missed the trail and wound up descending a gulley. Lots of loose scree in there, I'd avoid it if possible.
These mountains have all had a lot of mining activity on them and it shows.
You will continue to be blessed with views of Democrat as you descend.
We were back down from bross in very little time. The whole trip for three fourteeners only took us about 5 hours. Not bad for a couple of inexperienced hikers.
This is overall a very tame trail with little challenges, however there is this one part on Lincoln that makes it interesting, though only briefly.
Upon reaching the summit of Lincoln we found the wind had picked up even more.
Bross is the mountain on the left side of this photo. It is the broadest summit I have been on. Legened has it someone actually landed an airplane ontop of it once.
The hike to Bross turned out to be very difficult as the winds by that time of day were at least 60 mph sustained with gusts over 80 mph. This was the best we could do to pose for a photograph.
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