Crash or not, I had Monday off of work for our 3rd wedding anniversary so I rested up on Sunday and packed our gear for the trip. We watch a movie with Mr.Nice and then post-dinner we napped until just after midnight. After some Eggo waffles I drove us out to Alma and we suited up for our hike. Marni and I had come to tackle the "DeCaLiBron", aka a hike of 4 14,000ft peaks. Mt.Democrat, Mt.Cameron, Mt.Lincoln and Mt.Bross.
The weather was iffy but we were starting around 4am with the hope of catching a weather window and also spending some time on the summits alone, hard to do on the 14ers near Denver, even on a weekday. After walking through an overflowed Kite Lake 20 feet from the car and then bushwacking a bit to find the trail in the dark we were finally on our way.
Going up Democrat we made the first saddle quickly and then ended up hiking a bit on the other side of the main ridge. It was cold and windy on the ridge but warm just a few yards below it. Near the top we encountered snow.
It was easy to hike though it though as there were already well worn tracks.
We hiked, Turbo glissaded. He loves the snow and rolled around in it until we had finished getting through ourselves.
Clouds lingered and daylight came before our summit at just after 6am.
Turbo enjoyed his first of many summit bones and we sat down to eat some bagels.
And just like that the clouds moved in. I saw them coming but Marni was quite surprised.
No thunder or lightning was apparent but we moved off the summit quickly.
One direction it was clear but the clouds were quickly moving in everywhere.
After our picture we hiked down fast and as the rain and sleet picked up we both were talking about bagging the rest of the trip. We already got one summit and neither one of us wanted to get caught in storms all day just to stand on the summits with no views.
We headed down to the Democrat-Cameron saddle defeated but as luck would have it the weather began to clear. Bouyed by the turn of events we dashed up Cameron, ready to turn right back around if we had to. The weather stayed decent though. It rained on and off but we were warm and dry so we continued on. After wandering all over the summit of Cameron looking for any markers we settled on the high point, took our picture, ate another bite of bagel and moved on. Another couple of hikers were following us now so we moved quickly to keep our summits all to ourselves.
The hike up Lincoln was the most fun. It's as "airy" as this group of 4 gets and it was also the highpoint of the day at 14, 286 feet. Marni and I both enjoyed the rocks and the climb up it, lingering until company arrived and then headed for Mt. Bross.
Turbo was more interested in checking everything out than posing for pictures but he made it too and got his 3rd summit bone of the day.
Bross was another easy hike up and didn't take long. The weather remained good but not wanting to risk harder rain or thunderstorms we kept moving.
We hiked across and down Bross's flat summit to the scree below. Turbo and I skied down and Marni followed close behind. Eventually we came to a main ridge and movement required more care.
We followed the ridge for a while before I decided we'd do better bailing into the gulley below us. Turbo marched ahead and waited for his humans every time we were too slow for him.
Across the ridge the pace picked back up and we slowly got closer to the Element in the valley below us.
Turbo kept leading the way.
He loves hiking with Marni and I.
Rock turned to grass and mud and we both landed on our asses a few times. Trekking poles were a life saver though and the descent was much nicer than Quandary.
Flower were still in bloom everywhere and the camera doesn't really capture it.
It finally got warm enough to ditch all the hoods but the temperature was warm enough all day that I never got out my Skaha Plus but Marni got some use out of the Cocoon Hoody. We both wore Smartwool hoodies all day.
This waterfall was really cool.
Kite lake below us getting larger and larger.
Lots of rain made for a fun water crossing. This was interesting in the dark not knowing it was there.
Pretty deep for overflow
Now we have 1 tired pup.
Another happy anniversary in the books. This was 14ers 4 though 7 for us with more to come! It's so much fun to do them as a project together.