Peak(s):  Mt. Sherman  -  14,036 feet
Date Posted:  04/27/2008
Modified:  05/06/2014
Date Climbed:   04/27/2008
Author:  USAKeller
Additional Members:   comin2getcha, J.D., Triple M
 Mt. Sherman Ski Descent (Southeast Face) - Fourmile Creek TH   

Mt. Sherman Spring Summit Ski Descent

Date: Sunday, April 27, 2008
Group: Triple M, J.D., comin2getcha, and USAKeller
Route: Southwest Ridge from Fourmile Creek TH ascent, Southeast Face(ish) ski descent
Total mileage: ~9.2 miles
Total elevation gain: 3,100ft.; 3,100ft. vertical skied
Total time out (including stop time): 6hrs. 40min.

I don't usually write trip reports on the frequently-traveled peaks, but some may find it useful for current snow/ski conditions. We met Triple M and J.D. (her boyfriend) at the regular winter plow turn at 11,000ft. on Park County Road 18, got ready, and started up the road at a fine alpine start of 7:50am, with all of us not particularly stoked about climbing this peak…Lance needed it though. Flotation wasn't necessary up the road, but we had skis on anyway (Triple M on snowshoes).

J.D. and comin2getcha skinning up the road, Horseshoe Mountain behind:

We headed up a small gully towards Hill Top Mine (red), north of the gate on the standard route (in blue) near 12,000ft.:

J.D. wasn't feeling it and decided to ski back to the car at the top of the gully. The three of us continued up to hit the southwest ridge on Sherman. comin2getcha and I took off our skis at 13,100ft. and boot-packed it up the rest of the slope to the ridge. Once there, Triple M found out her water spilled all over her pack and back, which froze and she turned around here.

Triple M and comin2getcha heading up the slope just below Sherman's Southwest Ridge:

Looking back down into the basin (taken from ~13,400ft.):

Winds significantly picked up, and comin2getcha and I just followed the mellow standard trail (about half of which is melted off along the ridge) at quite a leisurely pace. We summited in 4hrs. 30min. (moving time only) at 1:10pm (temperature: 25deg.).

Hanging out on the summit, with Mt. Sheridan to my left, and the central Sawatch Range across the horizon:

Leaving the summit at 1:30pm, we talked to a couple of splitboarders on their way up and asked them which route they were going to take down. They were planning on skiing some chutes just below the summit. We didn't see those conditions on the way up, however, we knew that if we stayed all the way on skiers' left on that route, we would find a calm ski. We wanted something a little steeper, and opted to ski the face of which we could see the entire way up. To make this work, dropping in off the summit wasn't anything spectacular! Being our second ski descent, we were slightly worried about the rocks below in case we fell, so after a descending traverse below the long summit ridge, we found a better line for us to ski.

A side-view shot of our ski route (taken from ~13,200ft.):

The snow was awful, hard-packed sastrugi. We made it work though…

I ski the face:

Lance skis it:

We made it back to the small gully we cut up on the ascent, still with skis on, and the snow still hadn't warmed up…

Our ski line down the southeast face: descending traverse below the summit ridge to a line just above Hill Top Mine (Lance skiing down to the road):

We were able to keep the skis on the entire descent and arrived back at the car 1 hour later (at 2:30pm), happy to have that peak skied!

Not the most exciting, but hopefully can provide some of you with current conditions...

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Looked like a good day....any wind?
02/05/2011 00:22
Nice report and it looked like a good day. Beautiful picture towards the west.

I am looking a doing Sherman again (possibly in the next two to three weeks). Wondering how bad the winds were that you encountered (noticed you said the picked up at one point)?

On my first climb the wind through the basin was probably 20 - 30, but once on the ridge it had to have been sustained 50+ with much higher gusts. I know this mountain is notorious for its winds but heard they tend to die down as summer approaches. Not sure when to expect this.

Thanks in advance.


04/28/2008 16:58
As far as the winds go...they were predicted to be 20-23mph, decreasing to 9-12mph yesterday. When did you climb it before? In the basin, we only had a slight breeze. Above Hill Top Mine was when they started to pick up (near the 20mph range). Once we hit the SW ridge, they were gustier (maybe up to 25mph?). They didn‘t let up along the ridge. Once on the summit, it seemed as though we were in a wind pocket (this happened last winter for me too) - you can hear the wind gusts all around, but they didn‘t really hit us directly. It‘s hard to avoid them though because the standard route takes you along the west side of the ridge; you can‘t really drop on the east to help avoid them.

In the next 2-3 weeks, I‘d say the winds shouldn‘t be as high as we found. If the temps are warmer, they may not be as bad, though
it felt better having the gusts come through to cool us off!

Triple M

04/28/2008 17:13
Great hike yesturday! Love hanging out with you two like old times. It‘s time to start on some 13ers; I‘ve had it with mountains like Sherman. I‘m super glad sir lance has a new peak. Happy Early Birthday.


2 down
04/28/2008 17:32
Good job on another 14er ski Caroline, AT makes life a lot easier in the backcountry, wish I could afford it. Saturday was a great day to be in the mountains to say the least.


04/28/2008 17:40
I climbed Sherman in Nov 07. Slow Moving Fun Seeker was kind enough to warn me about the wind as he had been up two weeks prior.

A couple people were up there on Saturday who said the wind was much stronger, but we know how fickle Colorado weather can be. Your pictures didn‘t indicate wind too bad nor match what I heard from Saturday‘s report.

Thanks for the beta.


52 more to go...
11/30/2010 17:28
Brian - I can't wait to see your trip report! It sounded like you all had a blast. Wish I could have skied it with you guys - Sherman wasn't exciting at all. How was it hauling up that alpine gear? We need to ski something soon - you keep declining my invitations!

Sis - Yes, just like old times. I can't wait for the summer. Wish we could have had the Sub afterwards like old times too - veggie delight! So nice seeing you, Josh, and JB. JB is always so excited! Woof woof!

dcbates80911 - Glad it could help a little. I really do think you should have better winds to deal with in the next few weeks. The photos didn't show much wind because the snow was so hard that it didn't even blow! I'd like to hear how your trip goes.


04/28/2008 23:52
should flip flop some plans we have and go from there. Have fun at Snowmass if you go.

p.s. Hauling alpine isn‘t as bad as one would think actually, I climbed the entire length from the 4wd parking lot to the summit in 20 pound Salomon ski boots and never thought twice about it. Made me feel better about saving thousands on AT gear.


Sherman with Snow!?
04/29/2008 21:03
Dear USAKeller,
I wish to thank you for the well-constructed trip report. I know you only have a couple under your belt but I‘m sure there will be many more to come.


Yes...with snow.
11/30/2010 17:28
Brian - 20lb. Salomon boots?! Yikes - I thought my 12lb. skis on my back was hell!

BeefCake - You must be new to this site?! Are you in any way related to South Park? BEEFCAKE!!!!! Anyways, I'm hoping there are many more ski descents to come. By the looks of your Lincoln report, you seem like you know what's up in the bc. Maybe you can join us sometime...?


Cinco de Mayo on the Sherminator
05/06/2008 16:16

Nice Report. I did this yesterday for my first ski decent, and probably my last for a few years, moving to San Diego in a week . We went up the way Bill did on 4/4. The winds were non-existent for the most part and less than 10 mph when they were, sounds like we got lucky. We skied down skiers left (more straight down) and were able to ski to the car as well minus about 10 feet of rocks that we had to walk over a little ways off the summit. We left the summit at about 1:15 pm and I wish it had been around noon because the snow was very soft and more like water skiing, but I guess that beats ice any day. What a difference a few days and a few degrees makes!


05/09/2008 20:10
Nice job on your first ski descent! Sorry to hear you‘re moving away from CO. Sherman is notorious for bad winds and I‘m glad you had less of it than us!

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