Peak(s):  Mt. Sherman  -  14,036 feet
Date Posted:  09/03/2007
Modified:  07/03/2011
Date Climbed:   08/29/2007
Author:  aperry780

 Mt. Sherman - Western Slopes (Solo)  

After one hell of a day on La Plata Peak and nearly not making it out of the woods I arrived back to US 24 and decided I would go ahead and do Mt. Sherman the next day. The four mile creak trailhead I had planned to take was further out of the way then I thought and I was in no mood to drive so I decided to go through Leadville and take the west slope to the summit. I drove all the way to the end of Lake County 2 passed the ASRCO mine and decided to sleep in my car at the trailhead. At the end of the road there was an old abandon mine that looked like it was a large operation at one time. My legs had stiffened up from my climb up La Plata and walking was hard, non the less I decided to go explore as I had some time to kill before the sun went down. After snooping around for a while I started to head back to my car and ran into a couple of guys on the way, they said they were tearing down the mine and had to be done by snowfall. I asked them if it was o.k. if I slept in my car on the road and they not only said yes but offered me a cot and a warm meal and BEER at there trailer. Though it was a great offer I turned it down because I had a major headache and was ready to sleep as I woke up at 3:3o in the morning for La Plata and was planning an early climb for Sherman. It rained most of the night and by the time I woke up in the morning it was cold as hell and I didn't feel like getting up, I think the only reason I did was cause I really had to pee. I decided to hit the mountain even though my legs said no. I got started right at 6:00 a.m.
The clearly marked trail started by cutting across a small valley through the usual willows and over a few streams until it began to climb in elevation. My legs were thanking me for the warm up and gradually began to loosen up again. The first little stretch was rocky yet quite flat. The view ahead left me guessing about what was to come as the trail looked like it was going to take a steep climb.
Sure enough after a short climb the trail got steeper and steeper and at times was almost sandy and hard to gain good footing. I don't know if it was because of La Plata or the trail but I had to stop quite a bit on my way up this ridge.
At the top of the ridge I saw the summit for the first time. It looked so close yet so far away and little did I know that fog that doomed me the day before would make another appearance.
I looked down to the rout I originally wanted to take and it looked much easier then what I had just ascended but not quite as pretty.
By now the clouds really started to move in and the summit disappeared, all I could think of was oh shit here we go again.
I started to climb up and through the clouds until I eventually made it above them, this made for some great pictures. A lot of people put down Sherman but on this day in these conditions it was heaven and better yet I had it all to myself, yes I had Sherman to myself.
Even though the ground was hidden under the clouds the summit was clear and the sun was at full strength. It was very hot for being 7:00 a.m. so I decided to take a break and watch the sun burn off the cloud cover.
Once I got going again I passed two false summits and finally hit the real one at 7:45 a.m. The summit was quite flat but climbed up just barley for a short distance until I reached the real deal. By now the clouds were almost gone but the views were amazing and I was the only one in sight. I signed the book and decided to head down after about 30 minutes on the summit. Amazingly I saw no one else until much further down. I arrived back to my car at 9:45 and in some way felt like I was rewarded on Sherman after nearly not making it back from La Plata the day before. It turned out to be a great end to a great summer of climbing and since I just started to climb 14ers this year I realized how hooked on these mountains I have become and I think I found the best high of all.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

11/30/2010 17:20
Somehow I don't think your summit pic will get as big of a response as you-know-who's. Nice TR, did the guys say why they were tearing down the mine?

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