Having failed to summit Mt. Princeton last weekend I decided to lower the bar and solo Mt. Sherman. Originally intending to park at the intersection of CO 2 and the Mt. Sherman road, I found it was possible to drive up the Mt. Sherman road in my 2WD. After a mile or so the snow started getting deep so I parked and started hiking at 6:50 am.
Traveling on the road in snowshoes was fun, but then I decided I should find the trail and left the road much sooner than necessary. Bushwhacking through willows and brooks and deep snow was not the most fun thing ever, but it certainly passes the time!
More mountains makes more fun
Well, the sun came up and I realized when I saw Mt. Sheridan that I must climb it also. Snow on the windward side was well-packed and I was able to hike up straightaway with my snowshoes. Although cold at nearly 14,000 feet, it was not unpleasant on the summit. After taking some photos I was on my merry way, where there was fun to be had glissading to the saddle.
Approaching what I thought is the summit of Mt. Sheridan
Rock shelter on the summit area
The true summit of Mt. Sheridan
Looking over at Mt. Sherman
Looking North from Mt. Sheridan
Looking back at Mt. Sheridan from the saddle
Old mine structures seen from the saddle
A closer look
Brutal winds make less fun
The winds started to pick up at the saddle and got progressively worse the closer I got to Mt. Sherman. At times I moved at a snail's pace, having to fight the wind with each step; but eventually I reached the summit. Now let me say this--lots of people, it seems, dislike Mt. Sherman. Possibly because of the wind. I think barring this factor the ridge to the summit could be great fun. Anyway, the wind did create some interesting artifacts.
Looking at Mt. Sherman from the saddle
Snow artifacts on approach to the ridge
On the ridge approaching the summit
Mt. Sherman summit area
Snow eddy on the summit
More mountains makes even more fun!
On the summit of Mt. Sherman I encountered some other hikers who were planning to continue along the ridge to Dyer Mountain. I asked if they would allow me to tag along as I was unfamiliar with the route, particularly the descent. We didn't linger on Mt. Sherman but made haste instead to Gemini Peak, where we passed between the twin peaks en route to Dyer Mountain. As we crossed the narrow ridge connecting Dyer Mountain to Mt. Sherman, the wind stopped--or maybe this ridge gets little wind exposure compared with Mt. Sherman--whatever the case I could soon feel that all my extremities were intact.
Dyer Mountain from the summit of Mt. Sherman
Passing between the supple twin peaks
Looking back on Gemini Peak
Looking back on the ridge
You're welcome for the glissading tracks
We reached the summit of Dyer Mountain shortly and were met with incredible views in every direction. On the descent we left some well-defined buttprints on the slope and expect them to make prime glissading material for at least a few hours. Enjoy!