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Ascent of Mount Democrat on 2019-06-13

Climber: Mike Wright

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Thursday, June 13, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Democrat
    Location:USA-Colorado
    Elevation:14148 ft / 4312 m

Ascent Trip Report

South Slopes Route: Parked at the highest point from the gate that was plowed, about 1/2 mile past. Started at 6am skinning towards the approach to Lake Emma. Took the skis off when it got steep and added crampons. The snow was pretty soft at his point and I doubted my need for them. Higher up in this area it got pretty rocky so I removed the crampons and hiked between steep rocks and soft snow, postholing occasionally which biased me toward the rocks. At the top of this low saddle I traversed right towards the cliffs and reapplied the crampons for the leftward traverse toward the chutes. This area was fairly easy to get past occasionally crossing over old avalanche debris from what looked mostly to be wet slides. Continued up the first chute as described and had to use my ice axe. It would have been marginally terrifying without it. The chute is very steep and care was taken. I found an old booter but still found myself kicking lots of steps. This was fairly arduous work and the chute is a lot longer than it appears from below. I stayed right in the chute and continued on the right side once above it. I never achieved the ridge but just stayed in the bowl, which is fairly steep as well. The upper part went slower than I expected but still managed to get to the summit by 845. Snow the entire way to the summit ensuring a fine ski off the top. Very few rocks showing anywhere. I made the transition to skis and was skiing by 915. The conditions were corn at the top and through the chute. I chose the second chute with a rock in its center. The first chute seemed a Little beaten up but the second was nice and smooth. Creamy. I made sure not to ski too low exiting the chute so I could stay higher for the left traverse back. The low bowl after the traverse had softened significantly and was a bit sticky. I was nervous about triggering a soft wet avalanche so I stayed high across the top of the bowl and made a wide traverse left before exiting across the bowl. Skied the last bit in the gully that parallels the road back to within 50ft of the van. Hard climbing today but very satisfying. Glad I brought the axe, Wish I’d had 2!
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Snow on Ground, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Skis, Ski Poles



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