Peak(s):  Mt. Sherman  -  14,036 feet
Date Posted:  05/19/2013
Date Climbed:   05/18/2013
Author:  dvdcmiller

 Snow climb of Sherman via White ridge  

Snow climb of the nondescript (in summer) 14er via the White ridge couloir (see map). We took the skier's route back down from the summit.

I noticed (online) the skier's route to the summit via the summer stream drainage. It seems to be reasonably popular - there were a couple trip reports from the past month. Looking back, the skier's route can't max out at more than 30 degrees - it is shallower than the slopes off of White ridge.

So... we turned off of the road at the same point as in the skier's route, and instead climbed an easy couloir that runs to the top of White ridge. The couloir gains 1350', running mostly at 30 degrees. The steepest (also narrowest) section, is the just below the middle at 40 degrees. The route finishes at 35 degrees with an inconsequential cornice at the top. The couloir is SW facing with reasonable shade (it did not get the direct sun until sometime after we were done). Follow the ridge, which drops down to join the skier's route, to the summit.

The snow conditions were very much improved since last weekend (where the snow on nearby Northstar had not consolidated at all). Temperatures were warm (above freezing) all week, with a good freeze Fri night/Sat morning. The top 3-5'' (at least) of snow was solid (great for crampons), but the snow underneath was much softer. There were at least a couple handfuls of strain relief cracks in the snow up the couloir.

There was sun with clouds while we were climbing. The weather deteriorated after we summited, with snow in the afternoon/ Sat night. The snow in the Horshoe gulch was soft when we got back down to the basin. Bring snowshoes for traveling the gulch. Fourmile road was continuously covered with snow from the parking lot, but probably will have some open patches by next week.

We car camped in a pullout not far below the Fourmile campground, which was not open yet. We got up at 4 am; to drive to the winter TH (where the road above was still blocked by snow) to start at 5am: started the snow climb at 7am; summited at 10 am; glissaded to return to the base of the coulior at 11:15 am; and where back at the winter lot at 12:15pm.

Link to photos:


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