Peak(s):  Sheridan, Mt  -  13,748 feet
Date Posted:  05/16/2011
Date Climbed:   05/15/2011
Author:  JasonF
 Walking on sunshine in soaking wet boots  

Party: Jason and Adam (avs88fan)
Vert: Approx. 3000 ft
Mileage: Approx 9 mi

Leave A town: 4:45 AM
Arrive at Four Mile Creek TH (300 yards east of the lower dilapidated mine): 6:45 AM
Leave TH: 7:00 AM
Summit: 10:15 AM
Depart Summit: 10:45 AM
Back to TH: 12:30 PM
Head out: 1:00 PM
Back to A town: 3:45 PM

What a way to start off the 2011 hiking season. After being cooped up inside for months staring at the computer screen it was refreshing to head up one of my favorite roads, Hwy 285, in the wee hours of the morning. I must admit that a return trip up Four Mile Creek Road wasn't exactly exciting, however as the drive ensued I had a feeling it was going to be a special day. One of those surreal moments that you look back on as one of the most special hikes of your life. Not because of the mountain as much as the fragile yet powerful interaction between mountains and weather - this day is why I love Colorado and am glad to be alive.

As we passed through the low lying mountains near Conifer the rain that had socked in the Denver area Sunday morning ended and we were treated to a Norman Rockwellesque scene of snow-laden pines with a herd of deer in the distance. The 1" of snow encountered along the roadways (all roadways were clear of snow) to the trailhead translated into 2-3" of fresh pow pow upon hitting the trail.

I'll let the pictures tell the tale of this special day - a walk above the clouds where the peaks revealed themselves only to the adventurous in spirit.

Our TH for the day; snow was easily 5-6' deep in places on the road

Looking back at the lower portions of the trail with Sheep Mtn in the background; cloud cover was typical just beneath tree line

Getting after it. We postholed in a few spots but where it mattered (up high) the conditions were excellent.

A little farther up the trail; no snowshoes needed, we wore microspikes for the ascent but not worn on the descent.

Location where we crossed the ravine to make our ascent to Sheridan's east face.

Well above the ravine with Hilltop Mine and Mt Sherman in the background.

This little guy may never change plumage color this year

Walking on sunshine, snow got pretty wet as the day progressed

Cornice of ridge between Sheridan and Sherman

Cornice on ridge between HorseShoe Mtn and Finnback Knob

A sea of clouds lies all around us

Descent from NE side of Sheridan to the mines beneath the Hilltop Mine; excellent conditions for plunge stepping all the way to the mine road.

Welcome to Post Hole City!!

Gotta love Colorado! Where else can you be standing at 12000 feet with a mountain of snow all around and stand there in a t-shirt?

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Good work guys!
05/26/2011 01:44
I am thinking of hitting this one from the Iowa Gulch side, thanks for the pictures showing approximate snow conditions! Hope you had a great day! It looks like you did

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