Peak(s):  Mt. Sherman  -  14,036 feet
Date Posted:  06/30/2008
Modified:  07/01/2008
Date Climbed:   06/28/2008
Author:  spontaneous weekends
 Discovering snow sliding on Sherman-Four mile route  

Friday night right after work--bought new hiking boots (Hi-tech brand) then spent time running errands to get things ready for Saturday's climb. My friend was already making camp close to the Horseshoe(?) campground off the main road to the Fourmile trailhead. Had to so much stuff that I didn't meet my friend until 11:30p.m. You can see how true I am to my namesake! We spent way too much time cracking each other up until finally falling asleep after 1:00a.m.

Woke at 5:30 a.m., drove to the large parking area just above that large bldg. (a mine?), walked down to that building in hopes that it would qualify me for 3,000 ft. (a rule I made for myself before I ever heard of it being standard) but I think I came just short of that. What will always be remembered by others on this weekend is that the Eggo Toaster Sticks and Pop Tarts I ate in the morning do not qualify as proper fueling for a hike….and it showed. I was slower than usual on this morning. But it's Sherman, it's easy anyway.

I really enjoyed this hike because of the snow segments and it was more scenic than I expected. The ridge up from the saddle was especially enjoyable. There were enough rocks in the dirt to use as footholds and because it was the most difficult portion of the hike (kind of an oxymoron in this case), the whole experience was just like candy. Still, it took me three hours to summit which is a little embarrassing for me, but only a little. We did begin this hike much lower than anyone else that day. From the summit, I loved the view of Sherman's east side and wished that I could have ascended from there. There were tons of people on the broad summit.

On the way down, on just a couple of occasions we saw a person sliding down the medium-sized snow field directly below the saddle instead of hiking down it like everyone else. I knew immediately that I would have to try this. When we got down there, I took caution to analyze the snow even though the two people I saw before had no trouble. I went for it. I used one of my friends hiking poles at first to practice glissading since I had never done anything like this before. I didn't need the pole at all. Got down the bottom of the snow slope at once, saving a couple hundred feet of wasted energy since I didn't hike down it. I learned my lesson on Quandary the week before, where my legs turned to rubber from hiking down a lot of snow. After I had slid down, I influenced my friend to do it too (Jamespeak on this website) and then people lined up to come down and what fun it was to watch. As soon as my friend went down, this big dog (don't know the breed but it was much like a lab) rushed to the top of slope green with envy because it wanted to go down as well. The dog got his chance. His owner slid down with the dog trying to keep up behind him until the dog postholed halfway down and got temporarily stuck. The dog almost seemed embarrassed. Then the owner's companion came down and was heading straight for the dog. She just missed him but this time the dog had something to prove. He ran hard down the bottom half keeping up with his sliding friend. At the bottom, watching the dog's reaction, I don't think I've ever seen a dog act so much like an excited kid than that, he was so happy.

Later a couple that had just got engaged at the summit came sliding down. The husband to-be, visibly giddy with the excitement of their day joked that they had just 'taken the plunge' after both of them slid down the slope, resembling their engagement just a short time beforehand! That was fun. We were all like school children at this point. What a great time it was.

Further down the trail there was another snowfield to slide down and this time after a fellow hiker and I pursued the venture without question, a line began forming behind us. At the bottom, I watched others slide down as before and found it amusing to see how long the line became, just like it would at a water park, waiting for your turn on the slide.

After that the hike down was easy not only because of the simple terrain but from the all the fulfillment given from this day. Now I'm a huge fan of snow sliding/glissading and this is something I must do as much as possible! I can see that Sherman offers very safe opportunities for doing so. I will definitely do this mountain again when it has more snow on it.

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