|Peak:||Mt. Sherman (14er)|
|Route:||Southwest Ridge from Fourmile Creek|
|Date of Information:||05/05/2012|
Fourmile Creek Road is open and clear of snow all the way to the gate at 12,000 ft and the gate is open and several vehicles drove a little further (less then a 1/4 mile) up until the road was partially covered by a snow field. I expect the road to be completely open to Hilltop mine within two weeks.
I had hopes of ascending the South Slopes snow route, but that route has less than 20% snow cover. I ended up using the standard route which was mostly clear of snow. From Hilltop Mine the trail is partially covered by snow up to the Sheridan/Sherman saddle at 13,100 ft. Avoid avalanche risk by ascending the western side of the snowfield by the rocks. There is a 200ft cornice hazard on the midsection of the snowfield. There are tracks where people have been glissading down from the ridge on the far eastern side of the snow field. From the saddle the southwest ridge is free of most of the snow until the final broad ridge to the true summit, where there is a very consolidated snow pack with very minimal to no exposure.
I didn't use my micro spikes and I only used my ice ax for the glissade. I would recommend trekking poles for added stability on the snowfields.
The north ridge of Sherman (to Gemini Peak) has some wind slab issues, but nothing too hazardous.
Photo 1: snowfield from Hilltop Mine to the saddle
Photo 2: from the summit looking back at the snow packed ridge
Photo 3: Sherman/Gimini/Dryer from the south (Sheridan summit)
Photo 4: Glissade point off of east side of Sheridan
Photos (click for slideshow):