Josh and I finally had time to hike and camp this weekend, since his math class is now over. (and he has finished his final paper in his DU class). We had planned to hike a 14er named mount Democrat. A 4 mile round trip hike, pretty much straight up! However, there is the option of doing 4 peaks over 14k from this trailhead and Democrat was the first of 4, so we had left it open to see how we felt to continue on the loop. Once you start the hike, you spend pretty much 6-8 hours above 12, 500 feet.
Our friends heather and Russ hiked with us also. Russ is a really fast hiker, and Rock stuck with him the whole time. (I had thought Rock was so loyal to always hike with me.....but nope, She wants to hike with the lead person, and then run back to check on all of us slow saps and whine as us to hurry the heck up!). Once completing Democrat, we did opt to continue and finish the loop. The next peak, Mount Cameron, is over 14,000 feet, but it is not counted as a "14er" because the saddle between Cameron and Lincoln is not long enough. The hike up was really tough, very steep in some places, whew! It was rough for me and I was pretty tired of climbing up. We got to the top of Cameron and Heather and Josh and I were feeling fairly tired, I think Russ was just fine. lol. We could look out and see Lincoln's peak about 1.5 miles away, when you hike out to Lincoln, you basically have to backtrack all the way back to Cameron then over to Mount Bross. We opted not to do Mt Lincoln, and hiked down the gravel to the Mount Bross trail. It was a pretty easy hike to the top of Bross relative to the other peaks, and after standing on the top for a few minutes we got cold and were ready to come down! We had head the hike down was treacherous", and it did not disappoint. It was a really steep incline, and there were times when I was looking pretty much straight down the mountain to Kite Lake below. The stone was loose in some places so you could just almost jump down (it was so steep) and several feet below. It was sorta fun at that point, and I didnt feel like I was using my knees too heavily. However, eventually the mountain rocks became bigger and it was just steep rock stepping down. It took a lot out on our knees, and I fell about 3-4 times, fortunately not over the side of the mountain.
We were greeted at the end of the hike with a beautiful green valley of waterfalls and flowers of all colors. July is the best time of the year for flowers in the high mountains and this year with the snowfall so great, it was exceptional! I love love love the mountain flowers. !!! I will post some more pics of those when I get my camera shots downloaded. These below are all thanks to Heather. (who didnt send me any pics of her?? )
Start of hike, with lots of smiles! I was really excited to begin, the first 14er of 2008!!!
The second photo is looking down on Kite Lake, you can really see how it got it's name!!
The photo on the left is just a really cool pic of Russ restuing up at the top of Mt Bross maybe?
The next pic is of Josh and I with Rock on the top of Mount Cameron.
This is a shot looking over at the Peak of Mount Lincoln. Taken from Mount Bross.
These are 2 pics of me that heather took. The first one, I cant remember where we are at....yes, the lack of O2 can get to ya....lol. The photo on the right is the smile from the top of Mt Bross that we are ready to head down. Little did we know how treacherous it would be...
The photo on the left shows just how steep it really was going down. You could stand on the edge and look over and it was pretty much straight down.
The pic on the right is of Josh and I just finishing up the hike, you can see Kite Lake in the background and the green valley. Beautiful!