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 Peak(s):  Mt. Sherman  -  14,036 feet
 Post Date:  06/30/2009
 Date Climbed:   06/13/2009
 Posted By:  CulliganMan

 Skiing the North Side of Mt. Sherman   

The Business: Conditions were great all day, the weather was mostly cloudy, slightly chilly, no need for snow shoes just be careful in spots. It was windy at the summit and when the snow kicked up it was quite cold but still manageable with a good shell and fleece.

The Story: My buddy Jeff and I originally planned on camping at the base of Mt. Sherman but after careful consideration of options and a quick weather check it was decided that beer with lady friends in Denver was a much more enjoyable opportunity. By midnight we had already toasted to our amazing decision making ability but with obvious consequences ahead our enthusiasm was chipped down a few notches. I crashed on Jeff's couch and got maybe 2 hours of sleep before Jeff turns on the lights at 5am and is asking if we still want to do this...shit yes, lets go! Jeff crashed the entire way up to Leadville after getting exactly zero sleep that night. The drive from Cherry Creek to Denver went quickly enough but neither of us had spent much time looking at trip reports or maps so once we were in Leadville we had to ask a gas station clerk and police officer where the Mt.Sherman trailhead was and neither could help us out. Thankfully my crackberry was at hand and showed us the way. All was well and good but upon spirited driving on the road we missed the left hand fire road turn we needed to make and spent the next hour exploring the area I'm sure we weren't suppose to be in. It was fun though because the Jeep found a few picturesque photo opportunities and Jeff found a tire to roll down what ended up being at least half a mile...simple minds are amused easily. Don't judge us.

After realizing the trailhead was no where near this and the little bit of reading we did do didn't say anything about snow blocking the road we figured it was time to turn back. We actually thought we were in a completely wrong area, several miles from anything where we would want to start. We were even debating on which mountain was Mt.Sherman, I really could have used some coffee that morning. Anyway it was now 9:15, way later then we wanted to start and we had just found the proper road. Quick driving on the fire road and we make it to the North trailhead, maybe a half mile from where we had decided to turn around half an hour ago. Whatever, it was still a fun way to start the day. Our parking lot neighbors informed us of the route, and pointed out the clearly visible trail from afar. Hiking begins shortly thereafter slapping on the sunscreen with a rough start while I was getting use to a brand new pack. Jeff was actually just holding his board between his pack and himself and doing well not to whine since it didn't look the least bit comfortable. Nearly two hours into the hike and after ripping off my camelbak bit valve and glacading to retrieve it I was feeling pretty good. Jeff and I were following the trail and feeling like we were making some good progress until some fellow hikers informed us were only about half way there. I died a little inside. The feeling was shared with Jeff, our game was weak. Adding insult to injury these same guys said they noticed us exploring earlier, figured we were trying to find the trial head and admittedly laughed about it at our expense, all much deserved I might add. The remaining bit of the hike went much quicker as I generally find my legs above 13,000. Along the several false summits we passed many more friendly faces, and few dogs of which thrilled Jack(my dog). When we finally summited the wind was blowing hard, and picking up the very hard snow. It stung like hell and I think this was the only part of the trip that Jeff, myself or Jack didn't enjoy. After making a mess of putting my ski boots and taking a few quick pictures we began to ski down, Jack chasing all the way. Right off the bat I took a hard core shot and felt like I had forgotten how to ski. The snow conditions were incredibly diverse with everything except powder. The camera was rolling http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=112967570733&subj=659410733 as got lazy with the sluggish snow and rolled 3 times. I remember trying to think to myself where I saw the rocks last and already glad I had my helmet on and annoyed because I felt assured something was going to break. Fortunately for myself my luck is better then that and I skied it out just in time to look up at Jeff who is barreling down at me end over end. That was the worst wreck I had seen any of my friends get up afterward. His glasses ended up on his snowboard somehow and his camera phone caught the whole thing. Apparently the footage is crap because all you see is white, then blue repeated about 4 times. I think that sounds pretty funny but Jeff was the one putting the video together so whatever…we should all give him crap for not including it. We proceeded a bit more cautiously after that, just happy to be skiing down unaided y stretchers. We actually took slightly different paths down once it became really scarce snow but both of us actually skied straight to the bumper. I had waited for Jack after some quick turns and looking back at him I don't know how he does it. Every step he takes he sinks in several inches and while sprinting full speed he is also breaking trail, crazy dog. When we got back to the car and while loading up I watching him paw at the gravel for all of two seconds before he just gave up and laid on the ground, totally exhausted but a supremely content dog. The day ranks as one of the best I feel I can have, truly one of the most incredible experiences of my life. My new plan is to ski most of the 14ers as its just a heck of a lot more fun then walking down CHEERS!

To those whose pictures are posted but are total strangers to me I apologize for not posting this sooner but work has been a bit hectic lately. And let me know if you want me to remove any.

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