Fresh off Castle, my climbing partner, Tim and I went looking for the next objective. Based out of Avon, we found that the Iowa Gulch route on Mt Sherman was probably our closest easy option. We were once again parked on the road to Sherman at a snowclosure by 10 a.m. We were forced to stop a mile or so up the dirt road from the main County 2 road.
The Approach, an interesting West Face, seems like it has some fun options on it.We were able to skin right from the car and in about 45 minutes found ourselves directly below the West Face of Sherman. This face is what had drawn me to Sherman, for both its climbing and skiing opportunities.
We climbed the thin stip of snow in the top left corner. The chute angle up and to the left, with a large snow patch to its left.I pushed to change our plans from the normal route (Sheridan Saddle) to a direct climb up the West face. Tim was in, we skinned 250' up before it was to icy and steep for decent skinning. We switched to booting, my body was feeling good, and my mind focused, I felt great heading straight up the face, bearing slightly to my left towards a coulior, snow strip which appeared to provide good access to the ridge.
Tim traversing to the chute on the upper half of the climb In the high mountains of Colorado wind is the norm, and this day was no exception. The weather forecast was right in predicting 30 mph winds with gusts to 50. We were lucky to have the winds on our back and it literally pushed me up the final 75' to the ridge.
Tim coming across the summit ridgeTim and I eventually met up at the highest point along this long flat ridgetop.
Sastrugi for all. What hurricane force winds does to snow.Tim was feeling the effects of the altitude, and we decided not to try to ski the West face. Our ascent had followed a pathetically thin strip of snow, eventually fading to pure talus for the top 200'. Instead we skied the South ridge,
Tim skiing what we could off Sherman walking over some rock sections, eventually getting to the saddle. From here we walked down to a small snow-filled gully.
Our gully from the saddleFrom here it was all snow and we skied, with some skinning/ skating across flat ground back to the car. Two great days in a row and two fun peaks. We headed back to Avon to brew up ideas for the next day.