Peak(s):  Mt. Sherman  -  14,036 feet
Date Posted:  08/18/2007
Date Climbed:   08/15/2007
Author:  snobrdngChs5189

 Sherman--Standard route from Leavick Site  

My sister and I went out to climb Sherman as a little sibling outing before I left for college the next day. The trip there was enjoyable and 285 is much less stressful than I-70. The books don't lie: Sherman definitely doesn't look impressive from any angle and is even hard to spot from the road. However, it does indeed look tall enough to be a fourteener.

County road 18 was hard to find and we drove right past it before we realized we had gone too far. Look for a grove of aspen trees amongst the otherwise flat plains of South Park....that's the right road. It is quite bumpy right from the get go but easily handled by a 2WD car. My sedan made it all the way to the gate, but it does get quite rocky for the last three hundred feet or so....looking back on it, it was stupid to drive all the way to the gate instead of parking below (there are a lot of spots to pull over and park). There were about 7 other cars there and one person said to me, "i guess 4WD is overrated, huh?" as i got out of my car.

This hike was enjoyable. Many people think that the mine ruins taint the beauty of the trails but i find them very interesting and there are plenty of them on the trail. It is not steep at all and the last part provides an enjoyable and airy hike/climb on a surprisingly exposed ridge. My sister really liked this part. Once you get to what you think is the top there is a rather long walk across a lengthy and flat ridge to the actual summit point where the register is located. There were about 9 other people on the top and the summit provided some spectacular views of other fourteeners and the entire sawatch range.

However, from the top it really doesn't feel like you're on a fourteener. you're left with a kind of "that's it?" feeling. Sherman was much easier to me than even bierstadt, but my sister liked it a lot. There was a 5 year old on the top.

On the way down we decided to go down a steep black colored gulley that proved to be quite knarly. It was slick and rocky and we ended up sliding down on our feet. My sister even pretended that she was "rowing" down it with her hiking poles . Every time I tried to stand up i'd just slide back down to the sitting position. The descent was short and sweet but i still got that "oh my goodness where is the stupid trailhead" feeling like i always do. We were back down at the car by 11:30 after setting out at 8...good thing, too, as storms were on the horizon (this is the same day that a man was struck by lightning on Elbert).

Overall, Sherman is an excellent first climb and a very easy and enjoyable fourteener to check off your list. It just won't leave you with a feeling of huge accomplishment afterwards. You can love it for this, or you can hate it...I personally appreciated Sherman for what it is.

Captions for pictures:
1) Sherman seen from US 285 in Fairplay.
2) A short ways up the trail the obvious lump of Sherman comes into view. You can see the black gulley to the left of center.
3) My sister on the very tame trail.
4) Going up the fun and airy ridge. Our poles came in handy for this part.
5) My sister and I on the true summit!
6) Mt. Massive seen from the summit.
7) Mt. Elbert--the top of the world!
8) La Plata Peak is a very impressive looking mountain.
9) shy Huron Peak
10) Oxford, Belford, and Missouri Mountain
11) my sister descending the gulley
12) a good look at the roughness of the last part of the road. this pic makes it look like wasn‘t. notice the jeep patriot that parked before this section.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

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