| Mt. Sherman and Mt. Sheridan- Fourmile Creek TH
Date: Saturday, January 20, 2007
Group: USAKeller, TalusMonkey, and sdkeil
We left Lakewood at 5:00am Saturday morning, with the intention of hitting Mt. Sherman along with a neighboring peak Mt. Sheridan (13,748ft.). I was relatively excited for this excursion to Mt. Sherman because it is the only 14er I have no recollection whatsoever of climbing; I first climbed this peak when I was very young! County Road 18 is plowed all the way to about 11,000ft. before it turns into sugar snow; the plow turn is where we parked (N39deg 11m58.6s, W106deg 07m22.5s) and started hiking up the road at 7:10am (temperature: 13 deg.). I chose to use my snowshoes for the majority of the road while TalusMonkey and sdkeil did not. Although snowshoes probably made this initial climb a little bit easier, they were not a necessity as there were a couple of hard packed snowmobile lines that were walkable. We left the road just under 13,000ft. near the old cabin that sits next to the remains of the Hill Top Mine. We headed north targeting a mid-point along Mt. Sherman's west ridge, avoiding the snowed in Sherman-Sheridan saddle. This led us to a 750ft. ascent up a steep scree/talus slope to the ridge.
The standard route is roughly outlined in blue. The route we took up to Mt. Sherman's ridge is depicted in red.
TalusMonkey during the ascent up his own field: the steep talus slope!
This shot shows a good idea of the slope angle:
From the car, we summited Mt. Sherman in about 3hrs. 45min. (moving time only) at 11:15am (including stops); according to us (GPS), it was 4.65mi. to Mt. Sherman's summit and we gained just over 3,000ft. of elevation. Up until this point, the weather was overcast with very faint snow flurries. The wind picked up on the ridge, but it wasn't anything major. The ridge was also covered by snow, but can be avoided by hiking on windblown patches of talus along the west side. We stayed on the summit for 10 minutes (temperature: near 13 deg.) and took a few photos before heading over to Mt. Sheridan.
USAKeller and sdkeil on the summit of Mt. Sherman with Dyer Mountain (13,855ft.) to the left in the distance:
Once we left Mt. Sherman's summit, the sun poked out and remained that way throughout the rest of the day. The elevation loss was around 940ft. over a distance of 0.95mi. to the low point of the Sherman-Sheridan saddle. From this low point, we achieved the summit of Mt. Sheridan in 30min. (at 12:45pm, including a food break before ascending), gaining 600ft. over the length of 0.7mi. Upon reaching the summit of Mt. Sheridan, the winds let up and we were blessed with a beautiful sun-filled Colorado winter day. We took lots of pictures and took turns pointing out many of the 14ers and 13ers visible from Sheridan's summit.
Mt. Sheridan (right, foreground) seen from the saddle during the descent from
Mt. Sherman. Horseshoe Mountain (13,898ft.) is also shown (left, background):
TalusMonkey and USAKeller on the summit of Mt. Sheridan. Mt. Massive and Mt. Elbert are seen in the distance.
A view of the northern Sawatch range (with the exception of Holy Cross) from the summit of Mt. Sheridan:
We opted to climb Mt. Sherman first because there looked to be a fun glissade awaiting us from Mt. Sheridan back to the road near the Miller Shaft Mine. At about 13,590ft., we enjoyed a 10-minute glissade just shy of 800ft. to the mine (12,800ft.). The temperature warmed up to 26 degrees. This was sdkeil's first glissade! The GPS measured 4mi. back to the car from Mt. Sheridan via the route we took back down.
sdkeil during his glissade down the last portion of the bowl:
After a nice conversation and good laughs on the way down, we were excited to get back to the car; we made it back at 3:05pm. We were quite pleased with an 8-hour day, 10.3 miles round-trip, and 3,600ft. of elevation gain for a winter climb! It was a beautiful day with great company for a repeat of Mt. Sherman for all of us; TalusMonkey and I were also excited to summit Mt. Sheridan for the first time and check it off the list.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):