Peak(s):  Mt. Sherman  -  14,036 feet
Date Posted:  09/04/2011
Date Climbed:   08/31/2011
Author:  rangerm13
 Sherman - standard route  

I had a rare day off in the middle of the week, so my dad and I decided to knock another 14er off our list. We settled on Sherman primarily because of its proximity to Denver and the apparent relative ease of the climb. This was my eighth 14er and my dad's sixth. We've now done five together.

We had no problems making it to the 12000' gate parking area. The road is a little rough in spots, but its nothing an average car can't handle. In fact, we saw several smaller cars at the gate that didn't have the clearence of my 4-wheel drive.

This actually was one of the easiest climbs I've done so far. As you might expect, there were several steep sections (you do climb 2100' in a little over 2.5 miles), but there wasn't any actual scrambling required. I think the hardest part of the climb comes from dealing with trails that are made up of loose rock. I suppose that is why this route has earned a Class 2 rating. The trail leading up to the saddle between Sheridan and Sherman presented the worst footing by far. I'm also glad that I studied the route description on this site, because the number of different mining roads and social trails created a bit of confusion for us. I found that using the Hilltop Mine site as a point of reference was quite helpful. The official route initially takes you below the mine and then climbs to the right and behind it. Cairns do a decent job of marking the various routes to the saddle. From there, the climb starts to get pretty steep as you ascend the ever-narrowing ridge to the summit. At its narrowest, the ridge can't be more than about 10' wide with serious drops on either side. The last several hundred feet are flat and the summit itself is marked by a pole.

Despite getting a late start by 14er standards (9 AM), we didn't encounter any real threatening weather. In fact, it wasn't until we were back in Fairplay that a storm finally took shape. The real issue on this climb was the wind. We experienced what felt like 40-50 mph gusts on the ridge to the summit. Oddly enough, the wind was actually pretty mild at the summit itself. I'm not sure what caused this phenomenon, but another climber who has done Sherman many times said that the wind is always bad on the ridge.

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