| Halloween on Mount Sherman
I stood on top of my first 14er, Mount Antero, this past July. I drove to the upper saddle and walked the last mile or so. The short hike to the summit was exciting. On top I was euphoric. The mountain climbing bug bit me good.
Since Antero, I've climbed 13ers Mount Eva and South Arapaho Peak in preparation for another 14er, which I planned to summit next year. But as my birthday approached and the weather forecast remained clear and sunny, I canceled all plans and decided to summit a 14er on the big day at the mid-point in my life.
Photo captions on top.
Mount Sherman on right, Mount Sheridan on left. The road continues for another mile.
I parked at the upper gate at 11am (we're allowed late starts on birthdays, right?). Two other cars are parked near me. There's some ice on the trail near the gate, otherwise the trail ahead is clear.
The remains of the Dauntless Mine.
This might as well be Mars. Mount Sherman rises in the distance.
The Hilltop Mine came into view.
I continued up the trail towards the Hilltop Mine.
There are some fantastic ruins at the mine. This structure look liked an old home.
I start towards the saddle between Mount Sherman and Mount Sheridan.
I lost the trail in the snow and chose to scramble straight up the slope.
Mount Sherman stands tall on my right.
I regain the trail and arrive at the saddle. It's about 1pm. This is the view to the south.
The view to the west of Mt Elbert, Leadville, and Torquise Lake.
Some friendly hikers descend the trail. Looks like I'll have the summit to myself today.
I start up the trail. Cairns are everywhere. Everywhere!
The summit isn't far.
The view to my left, towards the west.
The view to my right, towards the east.
The ridge narrows.
Anyone else feel like an astronaut when they're up here?
The summit. The 10mph west wind is very tolerable.
Exhausted (this is an easy one?), my legs buckle underneath me and lunch suddenly appears! Or maybe I'm hallucinating. Man, I'm way up here.
The view from the summit towards the northwest.
I wait on the summit until my exact time of birth. Yay. Now it's time to go!
I walk across the narrow ridgeline. The Sawatch rise in the distance.
The flanks of Mount Sherman are bathed with warm afternoon light. My right brain says to stop here and watch the sunset. My left brain says FOOD. I hurry back to the Jeep.
I descend the saddle.
Back at the Hilltop Mine.
I give Mount Sherman a final salute and thanks. It's 6pm, time for a beer.
The sky erupts in fiery hues of red and blue as I hurry down Fourmile Road. On this Halloween, only spirits enjoyed the spectacular sunset from Mount Sherman.