Peak(s):  Horseshoe Mtn A  -  13,898 feet
Finnback Knob  -  13,409 feet
Peerless Mtn  -  13,348 feet
Sheridan, Mt  -  13,748 feet
Date Posted:  06/05/2011
Date Climbed:   06/04/2011
Author:  Mountain Ninja
 Horsey & Friends - Boudoir & ridges   

Horsey & Friends - Boudoir & ridges

Climbers: Jeff (SurfNTurf), Brad (Mountain_Ninja)
Mileage: 10.5 miles
Total Time: 10.5 hours
Miles per Hour: ...I'll get back to you when I do the math here...
Elevation Gain: 5420 ft

With the massive amounts of snow this spring, I've been dying to get in a couloir climb! And finally, the conditions were right to go for it.

Jeff and I separately car-camped at the Leavick parking lot Friday night. We woke up at 3:00am, and hit the road at 3:50am towards our main attraction for the day: the Boudoir couloir on Horseshoe Mountain!
(I took this photo earlier this year)

With clear skies, we were able to see Horseshoe even in the dark. We were starting to feel excited!
Jeff & Horsey

Jeff ditched his snowshoes as we split off from the road (and I hadn't brought mine, because I was lazy and didn't wanna carry 'em), and we marked the spot on our GPS's.

We arrived at the base of the couloir, put on crampons & helmets, and started up at 5:55am:
Jeff heading up

The snow was totally frozen, so we couldn't kick steps. So, we got lots of practice trying different techniques to ascend. Duck-walking, sideways cross-stepping, and even "Spider-Man style" (taking advantage of the hard snow, we got to hack in with our axes):
Jeff climbing like Spider-Man

Me wishing I could kick steps and save my ankles

I was definitely feeling it in my ankles about halfway up, and wishing I could kick steps straight in!

At 7:20am, we topped out with exuberance! The snow climb seemed to FLY by, and was tons of fun. Here's a pic from the top - Sherman in the distant center, Sheridan on the left with its racing stripe, and a little closer on the ridge from Sheridan is Peerless:
On top of the Boudoir

After removing our crampons & helmets, we naturally passed over the summit of Horseshoe and headed over to Finnback Knob:
Finnback Knob from Horseshoe

Wow, that was a cake walk. Easiest 13er ever! From Finnback Knob, here's Peerless (just a bump on the ridge):
Peerless is just a bump

...and Sheridan on the left (with Sherman in the background):
Sheridan, Sherman, and on the right is most of White Ridge

It was 8:30am on top of Finnback. I grabbed a quick snack, and was ready for more! Now for a workout - the climb back up to Horseshoe:

Whew, awesome. 9:30am back on Horseshoe. So much DAY left! And even though we didn't get a ton of sleep in our cars, we had energy.

Now for a stroll down & over to the most FEARSOME 13er ever: PEERLESS! (named after the old Peerless Mine, not because it's so awesome):
Peerless in close center, Sheridan on left

Approaching Peerless:
Peerless looking its scariest, Sheri & Dan on the left

At 10:15am we were atop Peerless. Up to this point, we had PERFECT conditions, with warm weather & practically zero wind.

Without hesitation we attacked Sheridan. At the base of Sheridan, we glanced back at where we came from (Peerless & Horseshoe):
Peerless & Horseshoe

We decided to walk up the thin strip of rock on the left:
Our 4th peak of the day

This was a good workout too, and possibly harder with the newfound wind that had just introduced itself. Everyone knows that the wind on this ridge of Sheridan & Sherman is treacherous, so we threw on some layers and made our last big push.

At the top of the false summit, it's a victory walk over to the true summit (use the faint mountains in the background to see that this isn't steep):
Sheridan's summit

11:25 - On Sheridan!

From the summit, here are some pics to review our route.
The false summit, and Peerless on the right:
Sheridan's false summit, and Peerless on right

My favorite view of the day - Peerless, Horseshoe, and Finnback Knob:
Our first 3 accomplishments of the day from the summit of the 4th



Okay, we've had enough of the wind. Heading down, we decided to take advantage of the snow just to the left of the loose talus. MUCH nicer on the knees!
Jeff descending Sheridan "off the rocks"

No thanks, rocks:
The only way to descend in a summer... snow rules!

And in some spots, we caught some mini-glissades that made descending even faster:
Jeff enjoying the slopes

We chose to hike back over Peerless, and glissade straight down the Peerless-Horseshoe saddle to where Jeff left his snowshoes. So, one final last push (haha) over Peerless:
Up Peerless again, making 6 ascents for the day

Finding a good spot to slide on our butts:
Peerless - Horsey saddle (hey, THIS makes sense!)

Jeff getting a wedgie:
Jeff leads the slide!

Great glissading conditions!! WAY too much fun!!

In fact the conditions were so good, we practiced self-arresting just to stay sharp:
Jeff in action

We found Jeff's snowshoes, and got a good look of where we climbed up earlier this morning (red dots = approx. route):
Red dashes = our morning's ascent. So much fun!

Some of the snow on the way back was good and held me up even without snowshoes, but as we got further away from our peaks of the day, the snow softened up enough for BOTH of us to posthole at annoyingly unpredictable times:
Jeff postholing WITH snowshoes on...

We arrived back at the cars at 2:15pm. It felt wonderful to take off the boots!

Thanks for an awesome day, Horsey & Friends!!!
Last look at Horseshoe

Memory of a fantastic day

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
Good info
06/06/2011 13:21
Thanks for the thorough report!


Really captured the day
06/06/2011 15:47
Nice TR, Brad. It was like living the day all over again, except for one thing. How could you leave out our daring dry-tooling ascent of Peerless? I'm still shaking from the adrenaline. How we ever made it to the top of that impenetrable spire, I'll never know.

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