We left Denver at about 5 am and headed up the hill. The road up to the gate was easily passable for a 4wd vehicle, but I wouldn't recommend it to any 2wd cars! It was snowpacked for a good mile of it with a few drifts that were pretty easy to blow through. Got to the trailhead about 7 am to a brisk and windy 7 degrees F. Aside from the 20mph wind, it was a beautiful mostly sunny day.
On the trail
A look up at the summit from near the cars
We weren't sure if we wanted to do the southwest ridge approach or the snow route, but upon driving up, we realized the snow route is still a big scree field. Even with little snow around, we were still aware that avalanches were present!
Cabin with scree field snowroute in the background
The three of us wisely saw the conditions and chose to forgo our show shoes and only use boots and gaiters. The trail was pretty clean with a few inches of snow with drifts to a foot or two. We're training for Mt. Rainier for next summer, so we found a little ice on the trail and decided to try the crampons out for a few hundred feet for fun. They definitely weren't needed as there was bare rock next to the icy snow, but sometimes it's just fun to use what you bring!
Putting on the crampons
Since none of us had taken this route before, we went from the little cabin towards what looked to be a worn trail to the ridge... unfortunately what we saw was just a cut and we went up a lovely scree section that could have easily been avoided.
The cut up to the ridge on the left is NOT the trail!
We got to the ridge and were met by a brisk 30mph wind, but a pretty clear and easy trail with little snow. Since we mistakenly took the wrong cut to the ridge, we were pretty close to the summit and had a quick windblown walk to the peak.
Ridge to the summit.
Sherman winter... bagged!
Summit 180ish degree view: South to NNW
We got to the lee side had a quick snack with a view, and headed back down the ridge... this time all the way to the saddle .
Descent in the clouds
On the way down, were were fortunate enough to see come big horn sheep cruising down below us. We practiced a little ice ax arrest off of the saddle and headed the rest of the way down to the car. Grabbed some delicious BBQ in Conifer and were home by mid afternoon... a great day. All in all an easy hike, but it's amazing how doing it in the winter takes it out of you!
Saddle between Mt Sheridan and Sherman
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