Monday, July 21, 2008

Mount Sherman Glissade

After climbing Belford and Oxford the day before, Dalton and I were pretty well spent. Rather than backpack in and climb Mount Yale, we decided to climb Sherman instead.

There many good spots on the road up to Sherman to car camp. We found a spot even though it was dark and had a wonderful campfire and a couple of brews. We slept in the bed of the truck with the bedcover pulled for wind protection. It worked out pretty well.

The ascent was routine but fun. You can get a sense of it from photo 1. You follow the road then head up the ridge where it meets the left side of the photo. From there you follow the ridge to the summit in the middle of the picture. There are many kids on this route because it is an easy 14er and I'm sure they enjoy seeing all the old mining equipment on the way up (photo 2). As we approached the ridge we had to cross a large snowfield that was still in place in late July. From the ridge the hiking is a fun mix of rock and dirt. We reached the summit early and enjoyed the view of all the mountains in the region (photo 3). There were quite a few tourist from Japan at the peak... must have been a group thing.

On the descent we decided to glissade the snowfield just below the ridge crest (photo 4). I didn't bring an ice axe (big mistake) so I found a long stick to use as a brake. The angle of descent was steep and I gained quite a bit of speed. When I reached the boulder field at the bottom I was going way too fast and impacted the rocks, jumped up and ran off the rest of my momentum. My right cheek was black and blue but I made it back to the truck. Lesson learned: always bring an axe in case you find some fun snow.

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