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 Post subject: Mt Democrat - May 15, 2007
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 8:28 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 6:43 pm
Posts: 395
Location: Seattle

Date: 15 May
Peak: Mt Democrat (14,148)
Length: ~6 miles
Elevation Gain: ~2,600 feet
Riders: Kjkrow, Jcwhite, Goldenboy
Routes: Lake Emma Chutes (me), North Face (them)


I first spied the Lake Emma Chutes on the south face of Mt Democrat in May of 2005 after boarding Dolly Varden Gulch on Mt Bross. Since then, it had been patiently waiting on my to do list, but I can now cross it off. In trying to find a partner to ski with, I sent Jcwhite of 14ers.com a PM as he has been skiing 14ers pretty heavily this spring. Turns out we've played college ultimate against each other for the last three years. With a date to climb set, and plans firming up, he brought in Goldenboy (he's up to the mid thirties for descents), as they both just climbed and skied the Blanca group the past weekend. They wanted to ski the north face and do a car shuttle out of Platte Gulch. I was willing to give it a shot, but wanted to see it first.

The time was set at 7 to meet at the closure on the Kite Lake Road, a bit later than usual due to the expected cloud cover. I decided to sleep at the trailhead, and parked about 10 the night before, then crawled in back to sleep. They rolled in about 7:15 and I started hiking up the road at 7:30, about ten minutes before them. The morning was cloudy as expected, with Democrat remaining hidden in front of us.

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After using the outhouse at Kite Lake, we started to make our way across the lake while being pursued by a fog bank. After crossing the lake and working upwards, jcwhite and gb picked a more direct line, while I headed more towards the standard summer route.

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As I skinned upwards, the fog burned off, providing a more promising view towards the Democrat-Cameron saddle.

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Jcwhite and gb stopped for a snack and then moved over to where I was climbing, so I ended up a bit ahead of them. At the top of the snow slope, there was a mandatory boot pack up talus to continuous snow on the ridge line. While transitioning, the weather continued to improve. Here's gb skinning up with the S gully on Bross in the background.

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Once on the ridge, it was possible to skin all the way to the summit. It also afforded the first views of the North Face. At this point, I was still undecided, but a little hesitant to commit to a line which I knew less about.

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Gb passed me on the ridge as I was having trouble skinning on a steep section. I then followed him across the false summit and shoulder up to the summit.

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Great views all around from the summit, even with clouds a few miles out pretty much all around us. Here's Traver Peak:
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It took awhile for jcwhite to summit, so we refueld, took pictures, and enjoyed the great weather. I finally made up my mind and decided to board the Lake Emma Chutes, but not before taking pictures of them skiing off the summit and down the face.

Jcwhite and gb:
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Goldbenboy:
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Jcwhite:
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I then climbed back up the summit, and headed down my route. Looking back up from the south shore of Lake Emma:
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Usually, you skirt Lake Emma to the north to get back to Kite Lake, but since we were parked much lower on the road, I headed south down the outlet, as was able to cruise down the creek to where we first started skinning in the morning. Here's the whole route:
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Postholing anyone?
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I climbed Quandary on Wednesday, and had this great view of the North Face and their descent route:
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I made it back to my car about noon, and dried out all of my gear, while they made it back via the car shuttle around 1. After packing up, we hit up the Alma Saloon for lunch, and looked at their pictures of sking the Blanca group.

On the way to Denver, saw this interesting slide on Tenmile Peak just above Frisco.
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Overall, I'm stoked to have skied an object of desire, and it was a great climb. It's always nice to climb and ski, but better with good company.

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"Oh man, that's like releasing a pack of wild baboons onto a keg of Icehouse next to a tied-up and gagged Lindsay Lohan." - Luca Brasi on TGR


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 8:37 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:10 am
Posts: 1174
Location: Denver
couple of nice looking lines. That slide is crazy. We definitely need to keep our senses sharp in the next few weeks.

edit: Im gonna throw that pic over in the slide zone at TGR.....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 10:18 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:22 pm
Posts: 296
Location: Switzerland
Nice TR.
(Great pics and write-up)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 11:19 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 6:43 pm
Posts: 395
Location: Seattle
Thanks for the comments.

HikeforTurns, after looking at the TGR topic that you posted the pic in, that slide must be one mentioned in the Monday CAIC report. There had been a lot of wet activity in the Mosquito's also, but most of it was small sluffs or point releases off of cliff bands; nothing that seemed too out of the ordinary until I saw that slide.

To me at least, it's pretty in the way avalanches can be (post destructiveness and all). I like the rock slide on the avalanche debris as well.

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"Oh man, that's like releasing a pack of wild baboons onto a keg of Icehouse next to a tied-up and gagged Lindsay Lohan." - Luca Brasi on TGR


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 2:22 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:19 am
Posts: 543
Location: Capitol Hill, Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
Great TR. Great beta pics too. You guys in the Tuesday Summit Club sure are making this weekend warrior a little jealous.

Your text spans the length of the pics, so I have to keep moving my horizontal scroll back and forth to read. Maybe youre pic are too big, or its a problem with my browser settings, but FYI.

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