Mt. Sherman – 9/10/06

Originally written 9/10/06

Mt. Sherman, 14,036′
Round trip distance: 5 miles
Elevation gained: 2,000′

Some of you will notice right off the bat that this looks to be about 1/3 the trip I did last week. That would be correct. I planned to hike Mt. Elbert (highest in the state) yesterday, but it was decided late on Friday that I had to work Saturday morning. I woke up this morning about 6:45 and had a hankering to go hiking, so I rolled out of bed, threw together my gear, and was out the door by 7:45. Such a late start means I would have to do something a little shorter than my usual craziness; fortunately, something short and easy is exactly what I was in the mood for today, with a nice scenic drive in and out.

At 9:55 I rolled up to the end of the road, where this locked gate stands, keeping vehicles but not people out of an old mining area. I was by far the last person to arrive, but definately not the last to leave. There was a group I passed about 45 minutes from the summit, and I passed them on the way down not far from where I passed them on the way up. I’m not sure how these people were going so very slowly.

The mountains have been getting dusted with snow since mid-week, and it was still going. Here’s a picture of Mt. Gemini, with the summit poking into the clouds:

After an hour or so, I was up to the saddle between Sheridan and Sherman. Here’s the view to the east:

And to the west:

The weather was changing literally by the minute. It rapidly cycled between heavy clouds overhead, to clouds coming down to where I was, and back to clear. I’ve seen weather move quickly (like on Quandary, from my report last new year’s eve), but never cycling so fast.

Here’s a look up to the ridge the route takes, with my dog wondering what was taking me so long.

This was the first time she’d been in any amount of snow. She walked through a small patch of snow in May and started going nuts, here she went ballistic for a good 30 minutes through the snow, running up and down continuously.

Here’s another picture of Gemini, showing how quickly the weather was changing:

A little higher up the summit ridge, there were a bunch of rocks with some cool snow patterns on them. Also, notice the gray skies again:

The route, heading up into the clouds:

Here’s Gemini, gray and snowy again:

Here’s my awesome dog Scout, sitting for some reason.

Abandoned mine buildings:

With a kid climbing around on them:

From here, I plunge-stepped down a steep scree field, which was a lot of fun. After that it was a quick walk down to the car, with a car to car time of 2 hours, 20 minutes. Real quick, just what I wanted today.

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