Talk about a super fun variation on climbing humble Mount Sherman! I'd been looking at this route for a while, I just needed the logistics to figure out how to set up the cars! This route goes from Mount Sherman along 10 peaks (6 named, 4 "points") and concludes on Weston Pass after scaling Weston Peak. You can read my Mount Sherman to Weston Pass traverse report on my site, but I wanted to share some more of the logistics stuff here.
First logistics. This entire route is easy to moderate class 2 (dog friendly, though it's a long day). We opted to start from Iowa Gulch on the Leadville side of things for a few reasons. Being able to set up camp along the road then easily return to Leadville for dinner was cool, plus Weston Pass is easy to access out of Leadville for shuttling (it's a little longer form the east side). We camped in a beautiful field on road 2B at 11,470 ft or so making a short ride to the makeshift trailhead at 12,040 ft. A note on this "trailhead" -- the parking is on the RIGHT side of the road and the path that starts down to begin the hike is at the top of the lot. It's not exactly 12,000 feet (we had 12,040 ft) but in the dark it may be tricky to find this spot. We opted to camp a little lower in hopes of sleeping a bit better coming from Boulder.
We drove our return vehicle up to Weston Pass on Saturday. Weston Pass is passable by tough cars like Outbacks, though I bet a carefully driven car could get up. That being said, it's easier in a truck or SUV. We piled into our second vehicle, enjoyed dinner in Leadville, then set up camp.
We woke up at 3:15, drove up to the trailhead at 4 and began our hike from Iowa Gulch. The trail was relatively easy to follow in the dark and we topped out on Sherman right at sunrise around 5:30. From here, the path to Sheridan is obvious. A nice trail through the talus got us to the summit, then a different but equally decent trail led us over to Peerless Mountain. Humble Peerless was actually a nice walk up, though from Sheridan it looks like an unwelcome pile of rocks.
The ascent up the road/trail to Horseshoe was probably the crux of the day. It's a grind after getting three peaks, but really not too bad. The views are bonkers good from the top. As a note, we originally intended to add in Finback Knob but the terrain off Horseshoe was spotty for the dogs, but it's certainly attainable. I was hoping we might "sidecut" Horseshoe to grab Finback, but alas, this isn't really feasible as a class 2 hike.
From the cabin at Horseshoe, the trail rolls nicely along the peaks. Point 13,678 and 13,717 are festooned with flowers! Ptarmigan is a nice summit as well, with a modest scramble to the summit. Bear in mind, once you pass Horseshoe, you are committed to the Weston Pass finish. There are no trails from here on out but the route is easy and obvious to follow.
If you are gassed and want to call it a day after 8 peaks, the grassy hill down to Weston Pass awaits. (1,300 vertical feet, oy!) Chances are you'll feel ok, though by this point it's been 10 miles, most of it over 13,500 ft. Otherwise, traverse over Little Westy (which features a mini-knife edge) and close out the day at Weston Peak. Return over Little Westy and descend the steep but firm grassy slopes to Weston Pass (there are no trails but lots of flowers!)
I'd budget 7 - 10 hours for the day. We clocked it in at 11.3 miles and 4,700 ft. of elevation gain. It's really a spectacular route and the unnamed points between Horseshoe and Weston are simply gorgeous. It's a nice twist on a Sherman visit! If you have questions, feel free to shoot me a PM or email at James@mountainouswords.com.
My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. 14ers.com and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless 14ers.com and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the 14ers.com Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.