Mount Sherman

  • Mount Sherman
  • 4278 m.
  • Primary factor 273 m.
  • 45th in Colorado
  • Location: North 39:13.500, West 106:10.150
  • Climbed on February 25, 2001


How to get there: We drove on US 285 (connecting from Boulder) to Fairplay, one mile south of Fairplay, turn right on Park County 18, a dirt road. Follow this for about 10.5 miles (in summer). We could drive about 9 miles in February before parking (from that point on the road was snowed in). About 2 hours drive from Boulder.
Route description: We skied on the old mining road passing the old mining buildings at Leavick, about 2 km, then onwards and into the upper part of the valley. There is an old mining road that continues up higher to the old "Dauntless" mine. From here the summer route likely continues to the next (and highest) mining ruins, however the snow cover was very limited in that direction. We therefore continued more or less straight up in the direction of Mount Sheridan. Our route climbed a steeper snow slope right ahead, then angled right towards the pass between Sheridan and Sherman. Snow conditions obviously may vary, another year or another time one may have to find another route, avalanche conditions may exist! Our climb picked a safe route staying near visible rocks all the way up and across to the right. We could then contour right on more level slopes and make a very gentle climb to the final (small) cornice at the saddle between Sheridan and Sherman. The very last part of this ascending traverse got us above fairly steep (stable) snow, care should be taken. We had about 0.5 meter of vertical snow (one big step) before being on the completely flat snow in the pass. The ridge to the top of Mount Sherman from the pass was rocky and not suitable for skies. We continued on foot along the ridge, first very broad, but then more distinct passing several false summits before the final, long top ridge. This ridge is almost horizontal, we defined the highest point (at least highest rock) to be at the far end, just where the ridge clearly starts sloping downwards. There is a small cairn at this point, the trail register was (likely) buried under the snow (we did not look for it).
Comments: I did this climb with my 11 year old son Pål Jørgen. It was a fantastic winter day and an unforgettable experience. No people, the mountains all there for only father and son. The wind was variable, sometimes quite strong (affecting your steps) as may be expected in February at 14.000 feet. However, we sat on the summit in bright sunshine and experienced a couple of minutes with no wind at all, just a warm sun and a beautiful view of the two large valleys, one east the other west. Further west, the complete Sawatch Range, very impressive! We also rested well at the Dauntless mine ruins twice (both going up and down). Total time from the jeep was 4 hours and 40 minutes to the summit, then only one hour and 15 minutes back down (skis help !).
Finally, a reminder: Winter climbing of these mountains requires experience and proper equipment. Safe route finding can lead to very different lines of ascent at different times. These slopes are leeward and snow may accumulate and pose avalanche danger in the steeper sections.