DeCaLiBroBro (no, that's not a typo)

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Gary Neben
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DeCaLiBroBro (no, that's not a typo)

Peaks: Mount Democrat 14148, Mount Cameron 14238, Mount Lincoln 14286, Mount Bross 14172, "South Bross" 14020

Dates: 03/02/2017

Post by Gary Neben » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:01 pm

The forecast for the day was cold and windy and, well, we weren’t disappointed. I don’t think it ever got above 20 degrees all day and the best winds we had I’d say were blowing 15-20 mph. :x About a mile from the truck I put on my balaclava and didn’t take it off for the rest of the day. Ok, enough complaining, at least it was perfectly clear all day!

The tricky part of this loop is getting up Democrat safely. Roach mentions the SE face in spring or early summer, then switching to the rib west of there once the snow melts out (see photo markup). This rib we’ll call the SE ridge and I believe it’s the one that Halladay and Headd did in their winter DiCaLiBro. Depending on conditions, this route and the more standard approach N of Kite Lake to the Democrat - Cameron saddle can have avalanche hazards.
The SE ridge would save distance and time, seems like a good idea. From below Kite Lake it appeared safe enough so we decided to give t a go.

For us the crux was getting up the last 200 feet or so to the ridge proper. We were avoiding snow deposits by staying in some mixed rock and snow but it got steeper than it appeared from below. Switching out of our snowshoes and then into MicroSpikes on the steepness took some dexterity. :tongue: Once on the rocky ridge though everything else was easy.
We topped out on Democrat at noon and Lincoln looked very far away. But the descent to the Democrat - Cameron sadle went quickly and the MicroSpikes were quite handy in a few spots. Climbing up to Cameron wasn’t that bad. Indeed, the walking became easier and quicker the further around the loop we went. The only thing that slowed us down and sapped our energy was the wind.
We were on Bross by 2:55 after some breaks along the way. We thought S Bross would be an easy addition to the loop but we took the brunt of the worst winds of the day during the relatively short contour over there. Somehow the wind must get funneled just right through there. We had trouble walking there and back, very annoying at the end of the day.
We found a trail down the Bross - S Bross gully which took us efficiently back to the Kite Lake area (see topo). Once in the gully we were finally out of the wind and we cheered up a bit. I think both of us enjoyed the outcome, the process maybe not so much. I wished we could have enjoyed the ridges more, even stopping on the summits to enjoy the views and each other’s company. But, hey, this is winter in Colorado after all. :roll:
Start/End Loc: Buckskin Creek at Paris Mill, winter closure (Kite Lake approach from Alma)
Distance/Elevation: 12.7 miles RT/~4700 feet elevation gain
Start/End/Elapsed: ~7:45 AM/~6:00 PM/~10 hrs 15 mins
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Re: DeCaLiBroBro (no, that's not a typo)

Post by andrewrose » Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:26 am

Well done!

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Re: DeCaLiBroBro (no, that's not a typo)

Post by Brer Rabbit » Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:29 pm

Nice work! That's a long time to be above treeline in winter! I'll have to remember that SE ridge of Democrat for the future.

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Re: DeCaLiBroBro (no, that's not a typo)

Post by JBE » Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:08 pm

well planned and executed as always, Gary.
hard day due to strong icy wind.

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Re: DeCaLiBroBro (no, that's not a typo)

Post by Beauvais Jeanmard » Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:07 pm

Nice loop, liked the Dem variation up! I went the same way down when checking off S Bross, good gulch to go down! I wonder what going down the SE ridge of Bross would be like?

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