Second Annual 14er on the 4th!

Last year was Mt. Democrat, a pretty easy hike. This year was Mt. Sherman, which is similarly easy (if not easier). It was chosen for the sake of a girl who bailed at the last minute. Next year we’ll be forced to move on to more difficult ones, which is fine by me. This was about as leisurely a hike as is possible; I felt no effects from thin air (including breathing hard), which has never happened before. This is mind boggling as we were all up pretty late enjoying the camp fire. Anyway, on to the pictures.

We left Denver about 4:30 on Friday, which was a terrible idea. I-70 was a parking lot. A few hours later we grabbed dinner in Leadville, and eventually found the road to the trailhead. It was getting late, but there was plenty of light left for setting up the tent, and taking a couple photos.

The weather was great that night. Cool, but not cold. The company around the campfire was great, of course.

We were up at the crack of 8:30 the next morning and got a super-alpine start around 9:45, just in time to catch several people on their way down the mountain. Here’s the motley crew heading off.

As usual, the alpine meadow was beautiful. It was extra green thanks to all the moisture we’ve gotten this spring.

As we got up to the ridge, the dogs found a few snow patches to play in. Dogs don’t get enough credit on the intelligence side. They love snow as much as I do, and there’s got to be something going on there.

This one is from the summit ridge. Not sure of the elevation, probably somewhere around 13,500′.
An hour and a half of leisurely hiking and we were on top. Someone had taped a miniature American flag to the summit post.
Nate neglected to bring a jacket, and it was cold and windy on top, so Andrew and Katy helped him keep warm.

It felt amazing up there, like standing inside a windy refrigerator. Most other people up there didn’t appreciate it the way I did. After hanging out on top for a while, some rain showed up on nearby mountaintops, so I decided it was time to go. I stashed my camera and moved, so no pictures were taken until I got back to the sunny meadow. There was a stream we crossed at the very beginning, and Scout and I were a ways ahead of the group when we got there, so we decided to soak our feet in the ice cold snow runoff.

I could’ve hung out here all day. Great view, cold stream (20 degrees warmer would’ve been nice, to be honest), and the sounds of nature added up for a serene break spot.


The rest of the folks showed up a few minutes later, and we walked a couple more minutes to the cars, where Nate and Matt had been waiting after practically running down the mountain. We went back to camp, and celebrated with beer, burgers, and hot dogs. Matt had 5, it was ridiculous.

Scout was absolutely exhausted. I put a bowl of food in front of her and she just dipped her head in and nibbled. She’s just
now starting to get back to full energy. I don’t know where I’ll take her next, but I’m sure she’ll be similarly worn out.

All in all, a great couple days. I’ve got a couple big days planned, just not sure when those will happen. Tenmile Traverse anyone?

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