| Mt. Sherman and Gemini Peaks
We decided to go for Mt. Sherman after our last 14er as it was one of two left in the Mosquitos; Quandary being the other.
My Task Master had us up at 3 am and on the highway from Denver before 4 am. We had an uneventful and pleasant trip to Fairplay and picked up breakfast at the Sinclair on the north side of Fairplay, west side of 285 with the red roof. BTW, they have breakfast burritos and such pre-warmed on the left side as you enter. I made the mistake of getting something from the cooler only to realize that everything was already warmed. It was early, what can I say?
We turned off on Colorado 18 headed to Four Mile Campground. The road to Four Mile is the left where the paved road ends. I'm not sure the rest of you drive (mine is a 4WD truck), but the washboards on the first part of this road after the pavement SUCK. After a couple miles of this crap, it gets better. It was easily passable all the way to the gate, which was open. There is room for about 10-15 cars below the gate with a few other areas for more cars before that. There are NO facilities at the trailhead.
The sun just began to hit the tops of the surround peaks as we began the ascent. I climbed many of the 14ers more than 20 years ago and got involved in lots of other things away from hiking and climbing. I have a new climbing buddy that was eager to explore Colorado from top to bottom and then in reverse. Mt. Sherman was her 8th 14er (7 officially recognized) and 2nd 13er (Gemini Peaks).
I take a lot of pictures on the 14ers this time around. I've taken pictures of landscapes, flowers, mammals, birds, bugs and even scat. Old mines and mining towns are of particular interest because they often have few historical records easily available and demonstrate that humans can live and work in really unfriendly environs. There are 234 photos of Mt. Sherman and Gemini Peaks on Facebook at terra linguas US of A. There are other photo albums of our other hikes also.
When I hiked 14ers 20 years ago, there were few discernible trails and hardly any other people present on the peaks. It is a pleasure to meet and chat with people from all over the US and world. If you're one of the those that hikes with your mouth open, just remember that your voice carries for miles. Most importantly, you're missing the amazing opportunity to hear something other than yourself; even if that is nothing.
The most amazing thing about this hike was that there was almost NO wind; anywhere at anytime. We began climbing 14ers because of the heat in the lower elevations. While they have all been cooler, they always have winds and gusts in the saddles and peaks. Climbing earlier or later in the year can make these less tolerable, but NOTHING. A slight breeze at best and not even that was constant.
Mt. Sherman is likely the easiest peak to truly hike (Mt. Evans and Pikes Peak being easier if you're a lazy ass), but there is no such thing as an easy 14er. It did give me the opportunity to snap a picture I will cherish forever.
P.S. If you dog is one shoe short of a full set, I found it on the south ascent of the tallest of Gemini.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):