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114 Ninety, That Seems Like a Good Size 2010-02-04

Mount Democrat

On a recent trip report from 14ers.com I read about a group of ninety men attempting to climb Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross. They started from Kite Lake and went up Democrat. How many actually made it to Bross was not reported.

Their climb was on a July weekend on the already crowded mountain. The author actually said, "Democrat, as we heard, was like I-70 that morning, filled with people moving like ants up the grade towards the Democrat/Cameron saddle." If your group size is ninety, I would assume that any mountain would look crowded.

The author went on to say, "Our guys were taught and reminded over and over again to leave no trace… hard to do with 90 men, but I think we did a good job at that." Okay, I am sorry but I just don’t get where the author is coming from. If you take ninety men to a shopping mall - one with Bass Pro Shops, I am sure - there is an impact.

We were not there with them on the mountain, thank goodness, but, on Mount Massive we had a similar experience. There was a group of fifty cross country runners on the trail with us. They were nice folks, but for example, the only time it seemed that they walked on the trail was when they were crossing it to get to the grass on the other side. When they stopped they were everywhere. There were no place big enough for them to congregate except on the tundra. I am sure on Democrat it was even worse.

The Forest Service must take control, but they will not unless we complain. I think special rules should apply to these groups to limit size, routes, number of groups on the mountain, and to assign a person (leader) responsible for the groups actions.

I feel sorry for all of the people not in the group who were trying to climb Democrat that day with the ninety men. I am sure it was an experience. Oh, and by the way, next year they hope to have over 100 men go to Summit County.

Happy trails, but "it looked like I-70 that morning."

links -

trip=6969&cpgm=tripmain http://www.lnt.org/programs/principles.php


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