|Peak:||Mt. Sherman (14er)|
|Route:||Southwest Ridge from Fourmile Creek|
|Date of Information:||05/15/2012|
Newly arrived to Colorado from a much lower elevation I was looking for a training/first climb. Sherman was convenient and is ranked by many as the easiest 14er, so that seemed like a logical choice. On 5-14-12 I got a very late start on a beautiful day and drove to the gate on the 4-mile side. The road is in good condition. I have a 4-wheel pickup but I saw a lady in a Subaru drive past the gate (which was open) and further up the road a ways. There is no snow on any section of the road. On the ridge above the hillside mine structure there is abundant, firm snow that will take you all the way to the saddle. There is a small cornice at the top but it is very manageable. The snow is perfect for kicking steps and no traction is needed. Headaches, wooziness and the late hour dictated that the saddle would be the “summit” of my day. I got some trail intel from a local that I met in the saddle. He advised that the Iowa Gulch approach is easier in spring with less snow. He also told me he had turned back short of the summit due to “icy” conditions. Both proved inaccurate. On 5-15 I started earlier from the Iowa Gulch side (and must have acclimated some, because I felt better). The dirt road is in good shape, easily passable for a passenger car and there is a good parking area at the closed gate at the end of the road. This approach is considerably longer and there is a lot more snow than on the other side, the kind you traverse between open patches of talus…and the kind where you post hole on the return in the afternoon. If you are looking for “easiest”, I would suggest approaching from the Four Mile side. I found nothing “icy’ on the ridge to the summit. There are a few muddy patches, but no need for traction devices and the snow on top is firm. Sorry, I can not upload photos with my connection.