Okay, time for a real climb! Mt. Sheridan, Sherman, and Gemini sit right out my front window, so it seemed natural to head up one of them. Having climbed Sherman before, I chose Sheridan. I knew the way up there and reports of conditions on Sherman were good. Sunday I left town about 5:40 am and hit the trail at 6:25, stopping only briefly to take pictures of the weirdest (and only) 3-legged elk I'd ever seen.
The first part of the climb follows the old mining road and I turned off the road near a small mine ruin south of the Hilltop Mine. There were a number of people already headed across a large snowfield towards Sherman's south ridge. I postholed across a 25-foot stretch of snow and then scrambled up some scree until I met a faint trail headed south across Sheridan's face. Ahead of me I could see the top of Horseshoe. At a small rock shelter I headed up the scree to the summit. Both ridges (south and north) had soft snow and the rock between wasn't very stable, but it didn't last long (maybe 500 vertical feet).
I reached the summit at 8:45 and stayed until about 9:30. There was not a single other person around, so I took the time to eat, take pictures, and put on my shell (tops and bottoms) for the glissade down. Glissading was not good. The snow was too soft and the angle meant you headed towards the rocks instead of down the middle of the snow. If I had climbed down to the Sheridan-Sherman summit I probably could have found a nice, straight shot, but parts of the saddle were still corniced and I wasn't wanting to get too adventurous up there by myself.
Getting down was a piece of cake and I was soon back on the road. I met a guy coming off of Sherman and he estimated there might have been 30 people and 20 dogs on its summit. Good for them! I enjoyed my solitude. I got back to the car at about 10:45 and was home in time to shower and catch the Cubs game at noon. That's about perfect for me on any Sunday.
View Photos: Gallery Album | Google Earth
Download Data: Track in Google Earth | GPX File