I originally planned on hiking Mt. Shavano and Tabeguache Peak yesterday, but felt like sleeping in and reading a book instead. That lasted until about 3:00, when I decided to go camping and hike some 14ers. Being 3:00 on a Saturday limited my options, but the 14ers around Mt. Democrat seemed like a good choice, since it’s only a couple hours away and there are several great camp sites along the road to the trailhead.
I ended up camping at one of pull off sites a few miles from the “official” camp ground. I was hoping for a clear night so I could stargaze for a while, but it ended up cloudy all night. The only upside was the sunset:
Soon after that picture, it started raining, and then it rained off and on until sometime after I fell asleep. Fortunately it cleared up by morning, and the weather was perfect for hiking.
The road isn’t open to the trailhead yet, blocked by a snow drift about a half mile from the trailhead. The road looked clear past the drift, and what I could see of the trail winding up the mountainside looked clear, so I decided to leave my snowshoes and ice axe in the car.
I hit the trail right around 7, and quickly got to the biggest obstacle of the day: the stream crossing just past the trailhead. The spring snow melt is in full swing, and the rocks that usually serve as stepping stones were completely submerged. I ended up taking off my boots and wading across. Super cold, but a lot better than having wet feet all day.
After that, it didn’t take long to pass the 5 or 6 people who started before me, and by 8:15 I was standing on the summit of Mt. Democrat:
I hung out at the summit for 10 minutes or so, then headed over to Cameron. I wasn’t paying attention at the time, but the timestamps on the photos say it took about an hour to get from Democrat to Cameron’s summit. I only stayed on Cameron long enough to snap a few pictures of the surrounding 14ers. Here’s the next stop, Mt. Lincoln:
The trip over to Lincoln went really fast, and that was fortunate, because there were already clouds moving in. Here’s a look back towards Cameron and Democrat:
Getting to Bross seemed to take forever. Again, I only stayed long enough to snap a few pictures, then headed back to the car. Here’s Mt. Democrat from the summit of Mt. Bross:
I spent most of the day dreading the scree slope on the way down Bross, but to my surprise it didn’t seem so bad this time around.
I was back at the car by 11:15, back home by 2, and by 3 I was sitting on the patio with some iced tea, reading another book. Not bad for 24 hours.
Here’s the GPS track.
The full photo set is on Flickr.