Buying Gear?  Click Here
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...
 Peak(s):  Mt. Sherman  -  14,036 feet
 Post Date:  03/27/2011
 Date Climbed:   03/26/2011
 Posted By:  Coniferite

 Sherman Solo Modified Standard Route   

Sherman is supposed to be the easiest of the 14ers, but today it kicked my butt. My friend Scott and I left a little later than I hoped for, leaving Morrison for Fairplay at 0630. By the time we reached Fairplay it was already 0830. We headed up 4 mile creek and then... stuck in the 4 inches of fresh powder.

Image
So many uses for the ice axe


I had left my avy shovel in my car when we took his. Bummer. We instead used snowshoes and ice axes to dig it out for the next hour. Hint: play some music while you are digging the car out, we actually had a good time with it by the time we were done. So there went an hour and a good bit of energy pulling the thing out. We also noticed we were about a mile short of the main trail head by the mine, thus adding 2 miles to the overall trip. We got our gear on and headed out (1030). From that point it took about an hour and a half to get to the end of the valley (not the road) where the incline starts increasing. Scott had brought some huge redfeather snowshoes that were very heavy and had little traction (compared to the MSR Evos I was wearing). He had started lagging behind and with our late start he knew he wouldn't be able to make the summit today. Before I started the slog up the mountain, he decided to turn around (1200).

Image
Scott tuckered out from lugging those huge shoes


I headed up toward the mine setting time goals to get there since it was so late in the day. Winds were already at 10-15 sustained and temps were around 0 with wind chill. I made the mine just under the 1245 cutoff I had set for myself and grabbed a quick drink before pushing on.

Image
High winds over the mine


At this point I looked at the standard route that heads to the saddle between Mt. Sheridan and Mt. Sherman. Due to the fresh snow and the high winds, there was a massive cornice overhanging the leeward side (my side) of the route.

Image
She's beautiful but deadly


I assessed the other options and deemed traversing over to White Ridge too much effort on my limited remaining time. I cut over to a talus hill to the north of the mine and put on my micro spikes and helmet (crampons were not needed for the entire trip). I then began traversing to the Sheridan/Sherman saddle to a point above the cornice.

Image
Slightly modified standard route


As soon as I reached the ridge, the winds picked up to 35-40 mph sustained winds. Luckily the ridge on Sherman is pretty wide or else I would have called off the summit entirely. I made very good time and reached the summit by my cutoff (1530).

Image
Summit! It's 2 I'm showing, not trying to be a Charlie's Angel...


Hey look! I have 2 bars and 3G on the summit!

Image
Service!!!


I then made a hasty retreat from the mountain knowing I had an extra mile at the end. I took nearly the same route back, again taking special care to avoid the corniced saddle. Glissading helped with this tremendously

Image
Woohoo!


I was off the mountain at the car by 1730. I woke up Scott and we helped dig another car out before heading home. We preordered a victory pizza on the way back and picked it up piping hot before demolishing it. What a day!



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
huffy13


Sherman kicked my butt too!     2011-03-28 04:45:59
And we did it in June, and under great weather conditions. Nice report. I may have to repeat this peak from the east someday, looks more scenic than the Iowa Gulch side. Impressive cornice photo too, that would definetly add some pucker factor to it for me.


Exiled Michigander


You Earned This One!     2011-03-27 17:42:04
Nice cornice photo and awesome map! Sherman might be the easiest 14er in summer, but, as you've demonstrated, winter takes it to the HNL ('hol 'nother level). Glad you summited and made it back down to Fairplay safely (without getting towed).



   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here


Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. 14ers.com and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless 14ers.com and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the 14ers.com Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2014 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.