Ascent of Mount Sherman on 2018-05-27

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Karen Musser
Date:Sunday, May 27, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Hi-Clearance Vehicle
Peak:Mount Sherman
    Elevation:14036 ft / 4278 m

Ascent Trip Report

With a below than normal winter snow and warm spring, I was able to summit my first 14er in May. Sherman is an easier one and the weather was perfect. I saved this for Karen knowing it was one of the easiest. We were able to park fairly close the gate along CO 18 (4 mile creek road) at about elevation 12,000. The road was bumpy but in good shape. Car can make it but best for HCV. We hiked past the first grouping of abandoned mines and the snow fields were in patches so you could use the snow or not use depending on your preference. The hike is straight forward until the wall of snow that clings below the cornice saddle between Sheridan and Sherman. Sheridan could be climbed today to the top with no snow at all. But you had to reach the saddle and the snow was mushy but not deep. I had Karen use microspikes for safety but the steep wall of snow below us was so soft it was being used all day for glissading. Some of the glissaders took very steep lines safely and without any self arrest measures. This was the trickiest part of the hike as the terminus of the snow step-climb had a 45 degree drop off before reaching the ridge but I had my alpine boots and kicked better steps in the wall for Karen.

After that the climbs was a patchwork of snow and rock but the snow was firm and I never post-holed (although I saw that others were not as fortunate and we saw some 24 inch deep post holes along the way. I found kicking steps and climbing the snow was much faster and easier on the ankles and feet than teetering around on the loose talus. The summit has great views as one would expect from a 14er with over 800 feet of prominence. Karen rested at the summit and had my sights and running over and tagging Gemini as it stands up like sharp pyramid a little less than a mile along the ridge. See TR for Gemini.

On the way down, the snow was Peter for plunge stepping and in places I could book on down but Karen preferred the trails so I gave up on the more rapid and fun way down and stayed with her. Over back at the wall of snow under the saddle, we passed the steepest glissade tracks and treated ourselves to a moderate run down the wall.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2071 ft / 630 m
    Total Elevation Loss:35 ft / 10 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4.7 mi / 7.6 km
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Snow Climb
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
50 to 65 F beautiful
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2056 ft / 626 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2036 ft / 621 m; Extra: 20 ft / 6m
    Loss on way in:20 ft / 6 m
    Distance:2.4 mi / 3.9 km
    Route:Standard route from CR18 4 mile creek rd
    Start Trailhead:Parking just below the gate  12000 ft / 3657 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:15 ft / 4 m
    Gain on way out:15 ft / 4 m
    Distance:2.3 mi / 3.7 km
Ascent Part of Trip: Fairplay-1

Complete Trip Sequence:
 Mount Sherman2018-05-27 a2071 ft / 631 m
2Gemini Peak2018-05-27 b442 ft / 135 m
Total Trip Gain: 2513 ft / 766 m    Total Trip Loss: 326 ft / 100 m

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