Peak(s):  Mt. Democrat  -  14,154 feet
Mt. Cameron  -  14,248 feet
Mt. Lincoln  -  14,293 feet
Date Posted:  03/28/2019
Modified:  05/03/2020
Date Climbed:   03/24/2019
Author:  alexhenes
Additional Members:   kristihen
 Escape from DiCaLiBron   

Partners: Nathan Sandidge, Kristi Henes
12.6 Miles - 4320ft
Photos by: Nathan Sandridge, Kristi Henes, Alex Henes

Complete story and image gallery at: Escape from DeCaLiBron on Merely a Flesh Wound

Our original plan for Sunday 3/24/19 was to ski a couloir on Mt. Royal. However the night before, in the interest of doing something with Nathan we all agreed upon Decalibron. It was also something I wanted to do as a part of my second tour of the 14ers.

The weather forecast showed some mid day snow... but nothing significant. So we decided to pull the trigger.

Our plan was to drop a shuttle at Montgomery Reservoir then drive my truck as close to Kite Lake as possible on Buckskin Creek. From there we would hit Democrat, Cameron, Bross then back to Lincoln and ski the Lincoln Amphitheater back to the shuttle.

Our day started out great. We setup the shuttle at 7:30am then skinned and skied Democrat in incredible light. We then proceeded to climb Cameron.

Kristi and Chris on Democrat's east ridge. PC: Nathan Sandidge
Skiing Democrat's east ridge. PC: Nathan Sandidge
Skinning Cameron's west ridge PC: Nathan Sandidge

On Cameron's summit we changed our plan and decided to drop our skis, quickly tag Lincoln then head over to Bross and ski Bross's west slopes back to my truck near Kite Lake. We were all comfortable with the plan and descent route.

Heading to Lincoln from Cameron. PC: Nathan Sandidge

Spirits were high on the summit of Lincoln. We laughed, took pictures and talked about the pleasant weather. There were light flurries and no wind. The in and out of the sun and clouds was rather pleasant.

Lincoln's Summit - Quandary in the distance

We hiked back to the Cameron-Bross saddle and put on our skis for the final skin to Bross. This is when things got a little dicey... whoa!

About ten minutes into our traverse visibility went from pretty good to absolute zero. At first we didn't think much of it... we just had our heads in the clouds. However within minutes we were in a full on storm. The wind picked up and blew us to the ground. Icy snow whipped our faces and the temperature dropped. We scrambled to layer up as we had been wearing just light layers all day. The visibility was non-existent and we needed to shout so we could hear each other over the wind.

Alex adding layers as the storm begins to pickup PC: Nathan Sandidge

It was a little scary and we didn't know what to do.

Our options were:
1. Wait it out and continue to Bross
2. Wait it out and back track to Cameron
3. Descend to the east (Cameron Amphitheater) which we knew little about.

After five or ten minutes we decided that we needed to get off the mountain as quickly as possible. Body temps were falling and Kristi was feeling nauseous and disoriented.

Although we had a good idea that descending east should be relatively mellow we weren't sure. Would there be cliffs, steep terrain, avy danger, etc. The visibility was a major issue as it would hamper our ability to see the hazards. We started down!

Given the visibility we stayed as close together as possible. Each of us were responsible for knowing where the person behind them was. If someone disappeared we would stop and regroup. We were constantly scanning for terrain features that would help with visibility. It was a slow process of side slipping and snow plowing. Every now and then someone would get blown over.

PC: Nathan Sandidge

After an hour or so the visibility improved and we found our way to the road and neighborhood below the Cameron Amphitheater. We skied Roberts Rd down to Co Rd 4 where we immediately got a ride back to our shuttle vehicle at Montgomery Reservoir. Hugs and high fives all around!!!

After retrieving my truck from Buckskin Creek we celebrated our 'Escape from DeCaliBron' with Burgers, Beer and Onion Rings in Fairplay.

We got lucky, we were all OK and had a full value day of adventure!

My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Comments or Questions
03/28/2019 19:00
Good to see you all up there! Sorry the storm flared up on you. We were back down on the road before it started blowing and snowing.

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