| Sherman Solo
May 11th, 2008
Route: Modified Snow
Round Trip: 9.1 miles
Elevation Gain: 3200'
I arrived at the trail head at 6:50am and was on the on the trail/road at 7:10. The snow was well packed and the cold front that had passed through on Saturday had frozen everything good and solid. I left my board on my pack and boot packed all the way to 12,000 ft. I had intended to skin up from that point, but the boot packing was easy enough and the snow consolidated, so I kept on boot packing.
Horseshoe in the middle of the trail/road
Looking back about a half mile from the TH
Looking towards the summit and the snow route
My modified snow route
The views of Mt. Sheridan along the way were pretty awesome. It was a Bluebird day, with some gusty winds, but a balmy 34 degrees.
Mt. Sheridan with the most photographed landmark on this mountain!
Mt. Sheridan and Hilltop Mine
I summited at 11:20, but 300 feet below the summit, at about 10:30 the wind came up. It was gusty and fortunately blowing up the hill. When I crested the giant snow pile on the summit, I was surprised to find that I was actually about 10 feet higher than what should have been the summit. I didn't spend much time as the wind was ripping over the ridge at about a steady 30 and gusting in the 50+ range.
The register and summit marker, below me!
East looking at White Ridge and Pikes in the distance
Northeast, Mt. Silverheels and the Front Range
North to Mt. Democrat, Mt. Cameron, Mt. Lincoln and Mt. Bross. Check out the optical illusion of Democrat being so short!
Southwest, La Plata Peak
West, Mt. Elbert
West, Mt. Massive
My plan had been to ski the face, but the combination of wind, bulletproof, wind pack and being solo was just a bit too daring for my tastes. I decided to play it conservative and descend the ridge towards Sheridan and then dive off the ridge. It took about 15 minutes or so to lose 800 feet. Iowa Gulch was creating a nice venturi effect and I had about a 50mph sustained cross wind. It tried a couple of time to hurtle me off the ridge and down the face.
I finally reached a point where I thought I'd find continuous snow and strapped on the board.
My first set of turns on the lower part of the south face
Snow graffiti below Hilltop mine
My descent route
I was able to board most of the way back to the truck, with just a couple of spots that required a walk around. At 1:00 pm I was at the truck and done with a great bluebird day.
I had Sherman all to myself.