Peak(s):  Mt. Sherman  -  14,036 feet
Date Posted:  07/29/2020
Modified:  07/30/2020
Date Climbed:   07/25/2020
Author:  mikebtyler
 We live at 500ft, no consistent hiking experience.   

Background: My 13yo son and I live at 500ft elevation and flew into Denver to make this trip. We arrived 24hrs prior to Mt. Sherman. The week prior, we purposely hydrated consistently using a Skratch labs hydration mix. We wanted to make sure that we were appropriately hydrated for this.

Equipment: At first, I was going to use a 2liter hydration pack but opted to a 3liter hydration pack just in case. 3Liters per person was the right call. Our thinking was that as we arent native to elevation, Id rather have water in my pack at the end as opposed to nothing left. They can be bought anywhere online. I was going to use a name branded hydration pack but opted to a more value brand and it was just fine. I used trail running shoes. My son had hiking shoes (lowtop). We both wore shorts and a puffy jacket. We had base layers underneath that we can remove if it got warm. We used a neck buff/gaitor and a beanie/tobagan. I like wearing shades due to son. We missed out on gloves for the final 1000ft. Gloves werent needed from 12000-13000'

Cell Phone service: I have ATT, Iphone 11. It was barely getting any bars. And if it had bars, it was rough service. I wouldnt depend on it too much.

Preparation: I took screenshots of the trail direction and saved it to my phone as opposed to constantly using cell phone service (it doesnt exist). A few times a day, I memorized the trail moves too. So when in the situation, I knew exactly where to go.

Food: I used a plethora of skratch and huma products. Gels, Chews, Bars. I used the Skratch hydration mix in my 3L bladder for my son and I. We had a light breakfast prior to. When we finished, I wish I had 2 sandwiches and chips at the car. We had to drive to Fairplay which is where we stayed to get food. if I was to do it again, I would definitely have another set of food waiting for me at the car.

The road to and from the trail head. It is shortly an asphalt road but turns into gravel. I used a KIA soul which is a smaller car. I made it to nearly the trail head entrance. Its important to drive on the gravel roads on the smoothest portion. Meaning, driving in the US, we drive on the right hand side. I had to drive far left to find the smoother roadway and that seemed appropriate because I saw other cars doing it. The car never bottomed out or scratched or anything but you have to drive it slow. If the gravel roads were wet/muddy. My report may be different.

Saturday: If you go on a Summer Saturday, I suggest starting at the trail head around 5:45a or sooner. When I say start, you are walking past the entrance. The reason for this is that you will be starting with a fair amount of people that is comforting for a first time 14er. If you start at 7a, in my opinion, thats late. You dont want to be the last few people climbing. You want to be first or in the middle, just in case.

The final 1000' ascent: for a first timer, it can be intimidating. Just look forward and upward, not downward and to the side. I did that a few times and felt myself lose my balance because, maybe due to my small amount fear, altitude, wind, etc Its technical, again for a 500ft citizen. I saw what appeared to be 8yr olds climbing with their parents just fine.

Hindsight changes: I would make sure I had several sandwiches, chips, cokes waiting on me at the car. Gloves. Rain Jacket as opposed to puffy jacket (being picky here). Its a long trip back to Fairplay when you are hungry.

My son and I successfully made it to the top with no issues at all.

Our technique, being that Im what my wife calls "middle age", I allowed my son to set the pace. I think its important to allow a child walk first so the adult follows the pace that the child is comfortable at. In other words, as an adult, we may be stretching our kids efforts without knowing. I constantly reminded him to let me know to "set the pace". He did.

Elapsed Time: 4:25 (top to bottom with stops). Moving Time 3:30. Elapsed Time Going up including the stop up top: 2:45. Elapsed time going down including our 1/2 stops was 1:40

Effort Levels: Going up effort level is what it is. Going down, your heart rate is much lower, you are working less. But the each step down, for us, was be sure that every step was 'sure footing'.

PS: Google is 14035 on elevation, 14er is 14036 on elevation, my iPhone was 14030 on elevation (because it only does 10's)

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

Comments or Questions

07/29/2020 17:51
Not bad for a first 14er. Sherman is a fun one with surprisingly great summit views despite the trail being less than spectacular. You tend to learn more as far as caloric intake, water needs and what you do need and don't need to pack the more experience you get. I know I packed way too much of everything on my first 14er several years ago on Mt. Elbert. Keep up the great work.


Nice 1st Summit Conquer!
07/29/2020 20:13
I really enjoyed Sherman too. The old Dauntless and Hilltop mines are cool to explore, and you are right, the final 100â to the top are fun considering the rest of it is a walk-up. Congratulations and start planning the next one!

07/29/2020 23:49
That's a nice report, and a very cool adventure to share with your son.
What a great way to start.

Love this!
08/03/2020 20:36
Thank you for such a thorough report!

Great report
08/15/2020 11:02
Thanks for the great report! Trying to find a peak to take my flatlander sister who is visiting on. This sounds like a good one.

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