Ascent of Mount Democrat on 2014-08-22

Climber: Dan Hildebrand

Date:Friday, August 22, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Democrat
    Elevation:14148 ft / 4312 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was supposed to be my first 14er, but Evans stole that spot the night before I did the Decalibro.

I don't live in CO, so I'm trying to make good use of my time here to hit lots of peaks, and this definitely jumped out as a good option for going big yet being a complete beginner.

I drove up to Kite Lake in my little Ford Fiesta rental car (I was at a conference with this thing, don't judge my car choice, blame my job). You may have read that the road up the trailhead/campground is a little rough, and that's definitely true, but this little car made it most of the way! I arrived late the night before and decided to scuttle the car when it started to look hairy and take a nap for a few hours before getting an early start. I actually made it within a mile of Kite Lake, which isn't too far to tack on to this hike.

After getting no sleep and frustratedly putting my gear on, I started up the road around 5:30. The walk up the road made for a good warm up and an excellent chance to eat breakfast. Even on a Friday there were a ton of cars coming up the road at that hour and I got plenty of offers for rides to the trailhead.

It turns out that there was a corporate group rolling in... I spent most of my ascent up Democrat trying to pass people, despite my lack of acclimation to the thin air. I hit the summit around 7:15 and got ready to hit the rest of the loop!
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