This hike was super fun! I’ve done a few 14ers, this was definitely challenging but if you hike regularly it’s absolutely doable.

100% do Democrat first. Going down Bross is rocky and difficult but going up would be equally as challenging and starting with Democrat is the way to go in terms of pace. It would be hard to start with Bross and end having to go up Democrat because it’s a challenging peak. Additionally going up Bross while it’s still dark out in the morning would be REALLY hard.

Also start early! Started at 4:45 and finished at 11. It takes a good amount of time and you don’t want to get stuck in an afternoon storm.

Hope this helps!