Peak(s):  Mt. Sherman  -  14,036 feet
Date Posted:  11/17/2020
Date Climbed:   11/16/2020
Author:  Abraham Linksys
 Solid attempt, but safety first.  

Solid attempt, but safety first.

I got a couple hundred yards from the summit of Mt. Sherman if I had to guess yesterday. During trips in my past, I have flown in and done one mountain, or I have flown in and done two. This proved to be a one-er, for sure.

I flew in from Indianapolis a couple days ago at 2:30 PM, and woke up first thing to try and summit. The trailhead was sketchy, so I pulled over about one mile below the Leavick site. The wind kept up all day, with gusts at probably around 30 MPH. On the way up it was at my face, and on the way back down it turned around and was at my face again, just to piss me off. Nobody has postholed, so first it went up to my ankles, then my calves, then my mid-thigh, and finally up to my groin. When I fell in these holes, I inevitably banged an ankle, fell onto a knee, or straight-up wiped out on my butt. All good, part of it. But the postholing sucked the energy out of me.

I could tell that the altitude was really getting to me this time. I would have to take one step and take two or three breaths, and repeat. I stopped for a couple rest breaks, but when I got near the top, I looked up and leaned on my poles for some rest. I knew that if I continued up, I wouldn't have the energy to make it back down safely, and I'm glad I did. I spent more energy on the way down than I did on the way up.

All in all, it was my first solo trip, and I consider it a win. I relied only on myself to navigate terrain, measuring angles and reassessing slopes constantly. I got a little turned around, my GPS acted up, and I was able to find my footsteps and retrace my way back down the mountain.

Like I said in my recent Peak Conditions report, the snow on the bottom half was pretty miserable, but the top half was fantastic. There was hardly any consolidated snow on the slopes, so avalanche concern at the top was minimal. Check out the associated pictures. If you want to trudge through the bottom, I'd say that the top half was worth it.

Happy mountaineering.



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