I’d been hoping to tick this one off quite a bit earlier in the season, but the weather just hasn’t been cooperating (and by that, I mean it’s been snowing non-stop all spring). Along for the ride were Lauren (skiing her first 14er) and Scout (there for her third summit of Mt. Sherman). After an absurdly early wake-up call (11:30pm, pushed back from 10:30), we made the drive and were on-trail at 3:30am.
We made decent time, covering the mile and a half snow-closure and then some in less than an hour. We continued along at a good pace, making it to 13,000′ before 6am.
Part of the reason for the early start was forecasted high temperatures, including lows barely below freezing even high up. This forecast was not terribly accurate, as we found a pretty hard freeze above treeline.
Scout’s a natural at this, and handled the icy crust better than Lauren and I did (except when she ran downhill and couldn’t stop). This is about where we threw our skis on our packs and started booting, because of a total lack of traction. I’m glad I brought a whippet.
Sunrise hit, and I was concerned about a skiable line off the top, really not wanting to have to ski down the standard hiking route.
Scout mostly stuck tight to my side, but occasionally jumped off to find a better view.
The winds were pretty strong at this point, and gave Lauren some trouble – nothing she couldn’t handle though, especially with the beautiful scenery all around us.
We quickly gained the summit ridge, where the winds were even worse. It was here though that I spotted a continuous-enough line down directly from the top, and was relieved.
I’m thoroughly convinced that Scout appreciates the aesthetics of the mountains.
Here’s Lauren battling the worst of the day’s winds, as Scout looks on.
The wind does beautiful things to the snow, but I’m incredibly happy to not have had to ski down on this particular section.
We were just about there, just having to cover the last few hundred feet of the flat summit ridge.
Scout and I ran ahead and prepared for the descent. A moment later, Lauren was on the summit ridge.
And then she had made it to the top for her first 14er ski descent.
It can be difficult to get Scout to pose for photos, but I managed.
Not wanting to stick around in the winds for very long, we transitioned and took off.
Scout was having a blast running alongside us as we skied.
Lauren got a pretty good introduction to skiing 14ers – including walking over patches of rocks.
Scout got tired as we got lower, but still kept a pretty good pace.
A few minutes later we were back at the car, thinking about breakfast (it was only about 9am at that point). Scout got a bunch of food and water, Lauren and I packed up, and we hit the road. Normally Scout will stay awake on car rides, because they’re just so exciting. She really tried her best.
But today was just too much for her, and she was out pretty soon.