Peak(s):  Mt. Sherman  -  14,036 feet
Post Date:  10/26/2009
Date Climbed:   10/18/2009
Posted By:  outsidemike

 Fall Climb of Sherman from Iowa Gulch   

Mt Sherman from Iowa Gulch (Leadville)

Finding the trailhead was a bit difficult- especially in the dark. We spent the night camped at one of the pullouts on the snow. The road is still passable with decent tires and 4x4 (due to ice and snow). In Dawson's guidebook, it shows the trailhead just below where the power lines cross the road. This is not the case. Drive or hike another ½ mile or so to an obvious pullout with a small road that switches back hard right down into the valley. The trail starts about 60 feet down this road on the left and is marked with a small cairn.

The valley and gully had a decent amount of snow 1-2 feet in most places, but I did not feel the need to use my snow shoes or crampons because the snow was still decently firm at 7:00am.


It was a fairly nice warm (30ish degrees F) day, but very windy as we approached the saddle making a good windproof layer and ski goggles necessary as well as an ice axe (or poles) for bracing against the 50 mph gusts.

We did not see any other people until we reached the saddle. The ridge to the summit was mixed rock, windblown snow and ice which also did not require anything more technical than an axe for protection and balance. We hunkered into the wind and were on the summit by about 10:30am making it Matt B's first 14er and my 25th.


We were able to find a break from the cold wind and enjoyed some tasty Snickers bars on the summit before heading back down. We ran into 2 more groups coming up from the Fairplay side on the way down making this one of the quietest days I have ever seen on a 14er. The trip back down was a bit of fun due to the nice drifts that had accumulated in the gully allowing us to glissade most of the way down the peak- Warning! I am not an avalanche expert and you should check the conditions for yourself before you put any weight on a steep snow field, especially drifts that have been deposited as unevenly as these.

We made it back in with no issues other than empty stomachs back to the truck by about 12:30 and drove down to Leadville for some lunch.

Check out the Tennessee Pass Café. It is amazing and relatively cheap.

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