| Babies, babes, and a Macedonian
April 20, 2008
11 miles / 3100'
6 hours up / 3 hours down
My friends, Tom and Linda, wanted to gather a group of novice snowshoers to try their first 14er in the spring. We chose Mt. Sherman since the interesting mines and buildings make a nice reward even if you don't summit. Tom and Linda invited Dawn, who'd never sumitted a Colorado 14er and George, a frequent climber. They also invited Anna and Josh Blee, a young couple with experience who had their sons, two-year old Zephaniah (aka Zephy) and 6-month old Josiah, with them. The Blees intended to do their own thing, stopping to feed Josiah as necessary and let Zephy out to walk. The weather would determine how far they'd go.
I invited one of my high school students, Dino; he's an exchange student from Macedonia. I also posted on 14ers.com and we got Ann, new to Colorado, to join us. She had some high altitude trekking experience from Nepal, but this was a first 14er and a first snowshoe trip.
We gathered in Fairplay and drove within 1/8 mile of the normal snow-season closure (I was in a Corolla sedan) on Fourmile Creek road. This is about 1 ¾ mile below the Leavick mill and 3 below the summer 4WD trailhead. By the time we learned to strap on snowshoes, double checked people's gear choices and settled the babies into backpacks, it was just before 9AM when we started off. Looks like a bluebird day.
Dino showing Macedonian confidence
Starting the trek to Leavick; Horseshoe Mountain in distance
We quickly split into three groups; Tom and George charged to the top. We didn't see them again until their descent hours later. Linda, Ann, Dino, and I made up a "slow but steady" group, setting a pace where the novices were still having fun. Anna, Josh and the boys would fall behind while letting Zephy walk a while and feeding /changing Josiah, then quickly catch up to Dawn (who was doing her own thing). We could easily watch everyone's progress.
Dino, Linda, and Ann; we're snowshoers!
Dino and Linda at a cabin near the Hilltop Mine.
The climb above Hilltop Mine challenged the newbies as we reached the west ridge. Here Ann came into her own as Dino's youthful fervor started to fail him. We slowed more and more , but continued to make progress. Tom passed us on his descent.
Photos taken facing west as we ascend the west ridge.
Ann about to summit (Dino behind)
Dino getting close
Dawn turned around about 13,500'. Here she descends back to Anna at the Hilltop Mine
Somewhere around this time, Anna and Josiah stopped for a final feeding at the Hilltop mine and waited there while Josh and Zephy struck out to catch us. We all sumitted at 3PM, just as Josh caught up.
Zephy catches up
Linda, Ann, Josh, Zephy on top
Dino, Dino and I on summit
We descended toward the White Ridge saddle then west down the gully from there. Ann coming down.
Ann takes a descent break
Dino and Ann at the Leavick Mill
We're claiming these firsts:
Dino: First ascent by a Macedonian (remember, it wasn't even a country when he was born!)
Zephy: First snowshoe ascent by (with) a two year old
Ann: First first 14er in the simultaneous company of a two year-old AND a Macedonian
Tom wants to give a congratulatory hug, but mixes up his Dinos.
The real Dino is grateful for small favors.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):