Monday, September 21, 2009

Wednesday, 9/16/09 DeCaLiBron

7 miles
3,600 vertical
~5 hours
Jeff, Allison and Sierra Valliere

To celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary, a co-worker friend of Allison’s loaned us their cabin in Fairplay for a few days. We do this annually and climb local peaks, enjoy the fall foliage and have a nice dinner in Breckenridge.

Allison came up with the idea of climbing Decalibron, as she had climbed them all before, but never all at once. The weather report looked iffy and our somewhat late 9am start was no guarantee for success, but our plan was just to keep an eye/ear on the sky and be willing to turn back if things looked bad.

Not much to say about the route, as it has been recited many times before. I will say that this was my first time up the entire trail leading to the summit of Democrat and was impressed with how nice it is. In the past, I have always taken different routes, or deviated from the main trail on snow or talus. I think next time I run this loop, I will stick to the trail exactly and save some time.

It was a nice change of pace to interact with others on a mountain, as we have been climbing obscure 13ers on weekdays as of late and never see anybody. We exchanged hellos with 5 people descending and passed two others on the way up and on the summit who we spoke with a bit. The first was Joe from NC, who was on his 3rd 14er (after summiting Grays/Torreys the previous day). Joe was planning on the whole loop as well, but we never saw him after Democrat, so I am assuming altitude got the best of him.

Also on the summit was a 75 year old gentleman from Kansas who drove out for what I think he said was his 10th 14er. We were impressed and gave him kudos and encouragement and remarked that we hope we are still as fit at that age.

Although there was a fair amount of fresh snow, it added to the enjoyment, especially for Sierra who was rejoicing that winter is on it’s way (Allison was not so pleased with the snow on the descent of Bross).

Crossing from Cameron to Lincoln, we were walloped by a quick moving snow squall which forced us into all the warm clothes we had and reduced visibility greatly. Since there was no thunder or lightning and I am very familiar with the route, we thoroughly enjoyed the short winter preview.

All in all a great and somewhat leisurely way to spend the first of our 3 days in the mountains.


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