| Mosquito Delight
Horseshoe Mountain (13 898 feet, 4 236 m, centennial 13er)
Finnback Knob (13 409 feet, 4 087 m, unranked due to lack of prominence)
Peerless Mountain (13 348 feet, 4 068 m, unranked due to lack of prominence)
Mt. Sheridan (13 748 feet, 4 190 m, bicentennial 13er)
Mt. Sherman (14 036 feet, 4 278 m, 14er)
Gemini Peak (13 951 feet, 4 252 m, unranked due to lack of prominence)
Dyer Mountain (13 855 feet, 4 223 m, centennial 13er)
White Ridge (13 684 feet, 4 171 m, unranked due to lack of prominence)
Estimated elevation gain: 6 300 feet
Estimated length: 12 miles.
Gear: gaitors, ice axe, microspikes.
Solo. 8.17 am - 8.45 pm.
I've been planning this trip for a while. One of the inspirations was a tripreport from Geojed, about his great achievement to hike almost the entire Mosquito Range in one day. Most importantly, I am not a fast hiker and also, I had nobody to go with so an option of parking one car at Fourmile Creek and another at Kite Lake was not there. So I had to plan something shorter and start and end at the same site. I am also peakbagging. One of my goals is to finish at least 100 mountains over 4000 m with prominence at least 100 m until mid August when I am leaving Colorado because I got a job in the Czech Republic. To achieve that goal, I am tempted to find groups of mountains to be hiked or climbed or mountaineered together in one day. Mosquito seemed to be an ideal range although I already hiked Sherman.
Morning view of White Ridge.
After rainy weekend, the forecast for Monday was the best possible. All day clear, sunny and no thunderstorms in the afternoon. Ideal for such a long trip. I started at an intersection of four roads at Fourmile Creek at about 11 600 feet. The plan was to hike all of the mountains and return from White Ridge. As on the first picture, the best way down seemed to be left of the summit where the slope seems gentle.
There are a lot of roads on the ridge to Horseshoe Mountain. I used one of them to get to the ridge, than I went through the tundra for a while and rejoined the same road a short distance before the saddle with Peerless. Ridge is mild, grassy, sometimes a bit of talus. Enjoyable hike. Once in the saddle, just continue to the summit of Horseshoe.
Sherman and company from Horseshoe.
Happy peakbagger counts another summit, #78 over 4000m.
Finnback Knob is an unranked bump on a shoulder of Horseshoe. I was not planning it first but then, on the summit of Horseshoe, I said, whatever, I am already here, lets go. Even though it will add about 700 vertical feet on my trip (its not possible/easy to bypass Horseshoe on the way to Peerless).
Horseshoe as seen from Finnback Knob.
Sheridan from Finnback Knob.
Peerless Mountain is not more of a mountain than Finnback Knob but at least it's on the way further..
Peerless summit photo.
And then the ridge leads you onto Sheridan. I love how this mountain looks from Sherman's slope, I remember it from years ago, when I hiked Sherman first. I wanted to hike it then and I was happy to achieve this goal.
Horseshoe from Sheridan.
Sherman from Sheridan
Sheridan from Sherman's slope.
Not mention that the views were awesome and the weather still looked exactly like in the forecast. No hurry, no rush, enjoy!!
The hike down from Sheridan is no big deal, hike up Sherman was supposed to be the 2nd largest elevation gain on this trip but it was no problem. The trail is good, snow was soft and only at some spots, in a comparisson to some of my recent 13er hikes, I'd call it an easy rosegarden walk-up.
On the summit of Sherman, the ridge stays snowy pretty long.
Gemini peak is just a walk from Sherman's summit.
Between Gemini Peaks.
And next target was Dyer Mountain. Another centennial 13er on my plan and at this time (3.30 pm) I started to be tired and thought about leaving it for another trip. But then, I said, lets go, try, and see in the saddle. It was not as deep as it seemed.
Next target - Dyer Mountain.
It was clear, that there are some snowfields to go over to the summit of Dyer Mountain. With microspikes and Ice Axe there should be no problem and it wasn't. Snow was soft and I'd have no problem to go for the summit without any of the gear.
Finally, at the summit of my 7th peak today and my 80th mountain over 4 000 m with at least 100 m prominence. Horray .
Dyer Mountain summited, happy peakbagger with his 80th peak over 4 000m.
Gemini Peak and Mt. Sherman from Dyer Mountain.
Back in the saddle, last view of Dyer Mountain.
And then I went back over Gemini Peak and continued back over a shoulder of Sherman. I though that the point on the right would be the White Ridge but it wasn't. White ridge was farther than I though.
Passed Gemini Peak, back towards Sherman.
So I passed that ridge and then I could see that White Ridge is about another mile far and lots of elevation to be lost and some elevation to be gained, over a false summit - of course. I was tired and not very pleased of it but I still had enough time, so, I decided to continue, although slowly.
Sunset oves Sheridan Peak.
It was easy hike again, the only thing that concerned me was how to get down to the road. I remembered, that the closer to the Sherman, the less steep the slope of White ridge looked. The summit is, of course, behind a false one.
Sunset over Sheridan Peak.
Mosquito Range, Decalibron...
It was sunsetting and the view of the Mosquito Range was spectacular. I went back to the saddle between White Ridge and Sherman, to the lowest point and there is a gully starting. Its full of scree, deep and not slippery, very fine for walk down. I continued through a drainage, over some snow fields, towards the road. I made it and then I continued long walk to the car. I got there at 8.45 pm, 12.5 hours of hike.
I hiked Sherman in 2008. Just up and down. I liked it but this time I realized that being strictly tunned to 14ers made me miss a lot of beauty of the Rocky Mountains. If I should compare how I feel about the beauty of those mountains I hiked here, I'd say I love the look of Horseshoe, Sheridan, Gemini and Dyer more than Sherman itself. Horseshoe has the great bend, Sheridan looks like a roof, similar to Guyot and Grays, Gemini is a nice cone and Dyer was nice combination of snow and rock hike. During this trip, I had an opportunity to see the mountains from many different angles and perspectives. Much more than just a hike up the 14er and back to the car. And I enjoyed the great solitude. I did not meet anybody all the time. I hope I am not ruining this by writing a trip report on it.
And for the end, please, if you - great people on 14ers.com - like this report and have some suggestions of a group of fun and nice 13ers to hike before I leave, let me know.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):