Summary: How do you make a weekend climb up Sherman's standard route with 13 people (8 of which have never climbed a 14er) not lame? With lots of good conversation, and by getting completely slap-happy and taking a first descent route down the mountain. (ok, it wasn't really, but we still made it awesome!)
Conditions: Aside from the zillions of roaming people, perfect.
Well, how do you post a TR about Sherman's standard route and say anything that hasn't been said a billion times already? I'm pretty sure you can't, so I won't even try. But that's ok, this is simply our story:
A few friends of mine were taking up a big group of 14er newbies on Saturday and I was eager to go. Actually the only reason we even did Sherman was simply because it's the only Front Range/Mosquito peak I haven't climbed, and I convinced Ben to switch to Sherman instead of Grays and Torreys-thanks dude! Sometimes it's all about checking it off that list. The hilarious/cool thing was that I found myself at the trail head at 6:00am with THIRTEEN people in our group; at least half had never done a 14er before. I'm pretty sure I will never find myself in a situation of doing a climb with that many people again, but it was fun to meet some new friends and have all kinds of good conversation on the way up.
Benners wondering what the crap is going on.
Look at that peple train.
Ok, so there are SOME cool things on Sherman
Sparks looking on to his goal
The climb was about as smooth and easy as you can get. Everyone seemed to be having a good time and it's always fun to see people make it up their first peak. The one highlight for me was meeting and hiking with my new friend Amy. After over 2 years of consistent hiking, she is the very first person I've EVER found that walks at about my pace. Most of the time I have no problems going at an easy pace with those around me, but man oh man was it awesome to be going that fast. We split off from the group at the saddle and hauled up to the summit.
My buddy Sparks making the summit push to his very first 14er!
Have you ever seen a group this big on a peak? Nice work team!
A few of us decided we wanted a bit more action that day, so we decided to head over to Mt. Sheridan to add a bit of excitement.
Mt. Sheridan from the saddle
It was about this point that Ben and I got completely ridiculously slap-happy and decided to justify Sherman being such a big turd! We decided that in the past ice age Sherman was actually the world's tallest mountain, which was populated with Gargoyles, pterodactyls, savage natives, 1,000+mph winds, a class 5.14b standard route, and a whole bunch of other crap designed to make it difficult. Then some miners were sick of how hard it was to climb so they blew the top off (which became Massive and Elbert) and now we have the gentle peak we see today.
I'm pretty sure the rest of the group thought we were complete idiots. They were prolly right...
Looking back on Sherman from the summit of Sheridan
Still acting completely retarded (maybe it was the altitude???), we descended off of Sheridan's South face and basically bush-whacked (there's a trail for about half of it) our way back to the TH. Along the way we decided this was a brand new "first descent route" and continued our ridiculous story about the 'technical' aspects of this new route. I'll spare everyone the details, but I'm pretty sure Amy was very happy to be done and not have to listen to all the stupid crap we were saying anymore.
The infamous First Descent route
Benners on the "first descent barrel-creek cross of death"
All in all it was a fun day. Good to meet everyone, and congratulations on a successful effort. As has been said, if anyone out there is looking for an insanely short, easy route with hundreds of weekend climbers, this is your peak.