Our Memorial Day Climb Of Colorado 13er Mt. Sheridan In The Mosquito Range
A Mighty Mountain In The Shadows Of Mount Sherman ...
Mount Sheridan (elevation 13,748 feet) is one of many lofty peaks in
Colorado's Mosquito Range, which runs north-to-south and divides the Arkansas River and Platte River watersheds.
I've been a fan of hiking in this range because of its easy access
via Weston Pass and roads from Fairplay,
Alma and Leadville.
Having climbed many of the range's peaks, including Mount Sherman four times,
I was ready for something different. On Memorial Day 2012, Sam Palpant and I opted to hike Mount Sheridan.
The view of Mount Sheridan (left) and Mount Sherman (right)
from Park County Road 18, sometimes marked as Fourmile Road.
This route, which approaches the mountains from Fairplay, is the most common access point for climbers.
The beautiful view of Horseshoe Mountain (left) and Mount Sheridan (right)
on the rocky ridge near the top of Mount Sherman.
Standing on the upper slopes of Horseshoe Mountain, the view of
Mount Sheridan (left) and Mount Sherman (right of center).
While on the summit of Mount Massive,
I captured this photo that shows many of the peaks in this range. At the time of this writing,
I have done all of them except Dyer Mountain.
Click any image to view it at a larger size. A new window will open.
Photos of our Hike - May 29, 2012
Special thanks to Sam (adjacent photo) for joining me on our ascent. We drove all the way to the gate. :)
When we got out of our car, we were greeted with cold weather around 30 degrees, which we expected.
However, we did not expect the constant 25 to 35 mph westerly winds that
made the temperature feel like -- I am exaggering -- zero degrees.
The wind was so harsh that if we took off our gloves for a few seconds, it was really tough.
If we allowed our hands to be exposed for a minute or so, then the alarming and painful frostbite sensation come upon us.
It was miserable to have any exposed skin, and in fact, we passed many
hikers who turned back because of the cold. With us heading west,
the stinging headwind was so tough that sometimes we turned our backs and hiked backward for relief.
A scenic photo of Mount Sherman.
Plenty of mining structures remain in the area.
Approaching the ridge that acts as a saddle between Mt. Sherman and Mt. Sheridan,
I made a video of me hiking in the snow. :)
On the ridge, this is the view of Mount Sheridan.
It is a shame these pictures do not show how cold and windy the morning was.
Any simple activity that required us to remove our gloves, such as take a picture,
look at a map or drink liquids, was a challenge. As we worked up this 13er, many times we needed to stop and rest,
and in those instances, our only relief was to turn our bodies east,
so the wind slammed against our backs. I regretted not
having something to cover my face and mouth from the sting of the wind.
Below is one video showing you the scenery. Note the sound of the wind! :)
TOP: The view of Mount Sherman on the upper slopes of Mount Sheridan.
SECOND: Sam looks out ... facing east.
THIRD: Sam sat down in a circular hole that may have protected him from the wind. Nice scenery, too.
FOURTH: Facing upward toward the top of Mt. Sheridan.
Near the top, we could see the summit a short distance ahead.
As if the mountain gods wanted to test us one last time,
we did battle with the unrelenting and bitter cold 30-35 mph headwind.
At one point, Sam chose to walk backwards. :)
The Summit - Mount Sheridan
We made it! I had planned a variety of festivites to partake in at the summit,
but for about ten minutes, all I did was lay there to shield myself.
By the way, if you've played any role in building that massive rock wall,
please let me know. Dinner or a beer is on me! :)
Also, a nice shot of Sam beside me.
The scenery and views were amazing!
TOP: Facing west, the view of Turquoise Lake,
Galena Mountain and the town of Leadville in the valley.
THIRD: I photo zooming-in on Twin Lakes. Mount Hope and Twin Peaks are two
of those mountains in the background. Along with the Twin Lakes Reservoir,
Mt. Elbert Forebay Reservoir is on the right.
TOP: The northerly view of Dyer Mountain (13,855'),
Gemini Peak (13,951') and Mount Sherman (14,036').
The road traveling up the valley is Lake County Road 6. This leads up Iowa Gulch
into the Iowa Ampitheater. There is an alternative hiking route
up Mount Sherman that begins in that area.
SECOND: The view to the south, with Horseshoe Mountain (13,898') right of center.
According to my map, there is a trail that
travels up Empire Gulch and reaches into the depths of that gully, named the Empire Ampitheater.
The easterly view from the mountain.
Pikes Peak could be faintly seen about 90 miles east.