Peak(s):  Mt. Sherman  -  14,036 feet
Date Posted:  12/24/2006
Date Climbed:   12/23/2006
Author:  jcwhite

 Winter Gathering on Sherman and Sheridan  

Mountain: Sherman and Sheridan
Who was there: Jcwhite (Jordan), Shanahan96(Jamie), JWP3(John),
Denalibound(Eric), Stevevets689(steve), Scott
Patterson(Scott )
Well after watching the 6 pages of talk about the winter gathering and deciding i wanted to just climb on saturday i contacted shanahan96 (jamie) and asked to go with him on saturday for a climb of sherman. As it was only a few days after the winter solstice the days are extremely short and we decided to get an early start from denver. We decided to meet in lakewood, and Jamie and John showed up somewhere between 4:30 and 4:45 AM.
We arrived in southpark around 6 AM and picked up Eric. At this point we were supposed to pick up Steve who was running late at this point, so we parked on the side of the dirt road and waited for him as Jamie had been in contact with him. He was supposed to look for my car and we would drive him to the trailhead, well soon enough we see a red volvo go flying by and after realizing that was him after a phone call, we drove up to find he had driven most of the way up the road, only about a half mile from where we found Scotts pathfinder parked. Jamie opted to hop out here and climb to make sure he got his 3000 feet however im not fully convinced that we didnt get it from where we parked because during the drive up Jamie told me that his GPS told him he was at 16000 when he was around loveland pass.
Anyway Eric, John, and myself started hiking from here and almost immediatly realized there wasnt much use for their snowshoes or my skis, but we left them on nonetheless. A little way up the road we found Scott‘s bivy tent set up in the middle of the road and soon afterwards found his snowshoes sitting in the middle of the dry road. At this point i changed out of my ski boots and into the trail shoes i had carried along. John and Eric opted to keep their snowshoes on them and we could see Scott a little ways up the road next to the gate. He waited for a while and was still at the gate when we arrived. After putting on the sunscreen and d-layering a bit we headed up as a group of 4. I guess i forgot to mention that Jamie and Steve had not caught up to us yet. Well we headed up from this point towards the mine below the saddle between sherman and sheridan.
As we arrived at the upper part of the mine the 4 of us decided that it was time to eat something and "layer "up. We found some shelter from the wind that had come up behind an old mine building. As we were sitting there admiring the amazing and sunny day, this short break turned into 45 min as we decided to give jamie and steve a chance to catch up.
Eventually we decided to move as we were getting cold sitting there. We started towards the saddle picking a fairly direct line on the sherman side of the saddle, moving between a couple of rock bands.

At this point i volunteered to break the trail, as i am training for Aconcagua in a few days, and pushed myself and found myself alone for a while. Upon reaching the saddle i made a diagonal path up and caught the summer trail leading towards the summit. I waited here and took a few pictures while waiting for the group to catch up. This one shows the dry saddle.
After everyone caught up to that point we took off again up the ridge, myself in the lead, and followed the trail for a little while and after rounding the first hump i opted to just stay on the crest of the ridge itself and walk along the edge of the small windblown cornice.
I opted for the opportunity to spend a little bit of time on the summit by myself, so rather than wait i headed on up to the summit and found the summit register packed with snow and no worries, i know i was there. About 10-15 minutes later Eric and John came on up over the crest and to the summit, followed soon by...not Scott but Jamie! Wow he sure did fly on up since this is the last time i saw him:
As Jamie arrived he told us that steve had decided to stop around 13k, feeling pretty "bonked." Soon after Jamie Scott arrived and after several summit shots and admirations at how perfect a day it was, we toyed with the idea of running over to gemini and then sheridan, but in the end Jamie, Scott and I decided to just do sheridan, while Eric and John decided to head on down and try to catch Steve who had since headed back to the cars.
I had halled my skis, boots, skins, and ski crampons this entire way in hopes of getting a summit ski descent, and was rewarded with a mediocre at best descent. Anyway here is a pic of the line i took off of the summit and back to the saddle (since we were climbing sheridan). The green is our ascent route and the red is my ski route.
At this point i caught up to Jamie who had left the summit earlier than everyone else, and after waiting for Scott to catch up, i put my skis back on the pack and we headed up towards the summit of sheridan, while Eric and John turned left and glissaded back down the the mine. I chose to climb up the snow slope on Sheridan as i was still wearing my ski boots, while Scott and Jamie opted for the rocky route that had a faint trail. Jamie and I arrived on the summit around the same time, and soon after Scott showed up and after a few more "beautiful day admirations" we headed back down. I was looking forward to a much more pleasant ski descent off of sheridan than sherman. This picture shows my ski route (Green) and Jamie and Scott‘s approximate descent route(red).
I was able to ski to within about a 1/4 mile from where the road enters into the trees using the gully to skiers right of the road. However when i had to cross back up to the road i encountered some deep snow that made for some interesting side stepping in my skis. As soon as i passed the corner where the road enters back into the trees i was able to put the skis back on and i skied all the way back to the car, passing Eric and John just above leavick. As soon as they arrived at the car i broke out the excellant and pristine tasting PBR‘s, and we all agreed that PBR has never tasted so good.

Here are a couple pictures of conditions and such:
This one shows a wider view of the saddle area
This one shows the road conditions as well as a view of both peaks.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

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