#20 Mt. Sherman – 14,036′
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Peak#20: Easter Sunday, March 28, 2016.
Ski Route: West Gullies / Southwest Ridge / Descent of Southeast Face and west gullies.
Roundtrip Mileage and Vertical: 10mi / 3100′
Ski Partners: Roger Carter and his friend Alex
Start Time: 7am
Reached Summit: 1030am
End Time: 130pm
The morning at the Iowa Gulch Trailhead accessed from Leadville was one of the coldest mornings of the entire project.
In the increasing morning lightshow my friend Roger and his friend Alex met me at the trailhead and we headed towards the peak. It was calm and gorgeous as we moved to timberline along the snowed in 4WD road in -12 temps.
A two mile slog up the road got us into the basin below the west face of Sherman. I had skied Sherman’s west face last May, but this time it was pretty bare.
Fortunately for the fresh snow the day before, there was a nice ribbon of snow in the gully leading to the Saddle between the 13er Sheridan (to the south) and Sherman to the north. The two peaks named for former generals in the US army from the 1800s stood side by side as we ascended into the gully.
The fresh snow gave the peak a nice touch, and we were soon on the saddle between the two peaks heading up Sherman’s Southwest Ridge.
The winds began to pick up above 13,500’ so I kicked it into high gear, cresting the summit ridge and reaching the summit.
Roger had turned back briefly to check on Alex, and once he had confirmed Alex had safely descended back in to the valley, Roger came up to the summit to meet me.
I was able to wait on top for 45 minutes or some in the morning sunshine on the leeward side of the peak in relative comfort.
The new powder had made some huge drifts, so after some photos, Roger and I dropped into the southeast and south face of Sherman towards the 4-mile Drainage and the Hilltop Mine.
The snow here was excellent powder and we skied almost 1000’ into the basin.
Then the hard part came, we had to reascend and mainly traverse back to the saddle Between Sherman and Sheridan.
With winds up to 50mph in our face, it was tough, but we got it done.
Once on the saddle, we skied the west gully back down into Iowa Gulch and were soon back on our way to the trailhead.
It felt awesome to get Sherman in the bag because without that new snow, it may not have been skiable.
20 peaks down and the adventure continues, what a spectacular Easter Sunday!
Thanks for following along,