| Mt. Sherman Ski Descent (Southeast Face) - Fourmile Creek TH
Date: Sunday, April 27, 2008
Group: Triple M, J.D., comin2getcha, and USAKeller
Route: Southwest Ridge from Fourmile Creek TH ascent, Southeast Face(ish) ski descent
Total mileage: ~9.2 miles
Total elevation gain: 3,100ft.; 3,100ft. vertical skied
Total time out (including stop time): 6hrs. 40min.
I don't usually write trip reports on the frequently-traveled peaks, but some may find it useful for current snow/ski conditions. We met Triple M and J.D. (her boyfriend) at the regular winter plow turn at 11,000ft. on Park County Road 18, got ready, and started up the road at a fine alpine start of 7:50am, with all of us not particularly stoked about climbing this peak…Lance needed it though. Flotation wasn't necessary up the road, but we had skis on anyway (Triple M on snowshoes).
J.D. and comin2getcha skinning up the road, Horseshoe Mountain behind:
We headed up a small gully towards Hill Top Mine (red), north of the gate on the standard route (in blue) near 12,000ft.:
J.D. wasn't feeling it and decided to ski back to the car at the top of the gully. The three of us continued up to hit the southwest ridge on Sherman. comin2getcha and I took off our skis at 13,100ft. and boot-packed it up the rest of the slope to the ridge. Once there, Triple M found out her water spilled all over her pack and back, which froze and she turned around here.
Triple M and comin2getcha heading up the slope just below Sherman's Southwest Ridge:
Looking back down into the basin (taken from ~13,400ft.):
Winds significantly picked up, and comin2getcha and I just followed the mellow standard trail (about half of which is melted off along the ridge) at quite a leisurely pace. We summited in 4hrs. 30min. (moving time only) at 1:10pm (temperature: 25deg.).
Hanging out on the summit, with Mt. Sheridan to my left, and the central Sawatch Range across the horizon:
Leaving the summit at 1:30pm, we talked to a couple of splitboarders on their way up and asked them which route they were going to take down. They were planning on skiing some chutes just below the summit. We didn't see those conditions on the way up, however, we knew that if we stayed all the way on skiers' left on that route, we would find a calm ski. We wanted something a little steeper, and opted to ski the face of which we could see the entire way up. To make this work, dropping in off the summit wasn't anything spectacular! Being our second ski descent, we were slightly worried about the rocks below in case we fell, so after a descending traverse below the long summit ridge, we found a better line for us to ski.
A side-view shot of our ski route (taken from ~13,200ft.):
The snow was awful, hard-packed sastrugi. We made it work though…
I ski the face:
Lance skis it:
We made it back to the small gully we cut up on the ascent, still with skis on, and the snow still hadn't warmed up…
Our ski line down the southeast face: descending traverse below the summit ridge to a line just above Hill Top Mine (Lance skiing down to the road):
We were able to keep the skis on the entire descent and arrived back at the car 1 hour later (at 2:30pm), happy to have that peak skied!
Not the most exciting, but hopefully can provide some of you with current conditions...
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):