Peak(s):  Mt. Sheridan  -  13,748 feet
Mt. Sherman  -  14,043 feet
Gemini Peak  -  13,951 feet
Dyer Mountain  -  13,855 feet
Date Posted:  09/30/2019
Modified:  10/01/2019
Date Climbed:   09/28/2019
Author:  RJ_Greenhorn24
Additional Members:   BlindWanderer
 That's a nice boulder - mantra of the day   

How do you spice up one of the less aesthetically pleasing 14ers? You add in some neighboring 13ers!

Our route: mileage ended up being just over 7 miles and it took us between 6-7 hours to complete with breaks

This was the plan for Saturday Sept. 28th 2019. We drove to the trailhead Friday night after work and car camped, we were graced with some snow flakes but no accumulation. Note that google maps will try to take you down a mining road that I doubt allows public access - your best bet is to use the CR2 and CR2B route detailed in the TH route description here on the .com (see below)

Wrong - The route that google maps wants you to follow
Right - The correct route to follow

We started at 5am with headlamps well before the sun graced the sky. I had dropped a pin on my hunting app where the trail picks up about 50' from the TH. In the dark I was grateful for this as we would have wallowed thru the willows looking for it for quite some time I'm sure. I would advise others to do the same.

After finding the trail the hike across the basin was rather uneventful, we met the talus at the foot of Sherman and slowly began gaining elevation, - be sure to keep an eye out for cairns in this section as the trail likes to sneak off.

Once at the base of the Sherm-Sher gulch the trail becomes more obvious and the real elevation gain starts.

Looking back into the Iowa Gulch from the trail leading up to the Sherm/Sher saddle

The trail is mostly scree and loose dirt up the gully which is unpleasant when coupled with the steep incline, but at least it's a very obvious trail that would be hard to lose.

A view from higher up the gully between Sheridan and Sherman

Nearing the saddle, I point out our first goal for the day: Mt. Sheridan

Below the saddle there is a trail that takes off the to right directly towards Sheridan, taking this will cut out a few unnecessary switchbacks if you're not heading directly to Sherman.

My climbing partner points out goal #2 for the day: Mt. Sherman

Once on the saddle you can see down to the 4 mile trailhead towards Fairplay, but not today. The clouds sat low in the valley for most of the day, quite a sight.

Looking Northwest from the saddle towards Mt. of the Holy Cross and other surrounding 13ers, more clouds laying low over the Hwy 24 area.

The trail from the saddle up to Sheridan starts out clear but slowly turns into a number of social trails, just keep heading up and you're on the right track. There is a very solid trail on the East side that leads to Horseshoe - if you end up on this one don't follow it for too long unless you're aiming to climb Horseshoe.

Mt. Sheridan summit, marked with a large cairn on the East side (don't you just love those low laying clouds!)

Wind break on the West side of the summit

Panorama from the Sheridan summit

From Sheridan's summit you can see most of our remaining route

Horseshoe Mtn from Sheridan

From Sheridan to Sherman the route is obvious (the trail from the saddle to summit is usually littered with people so ya can't really miss it)

A look back at Sheridan from the ascent ridge of Sherman

Looking down over the 4 Mile Trailhead

The Sherman ridge from just able the saddle, this ridge never seems to end as you will see in the following photos

More ridge

...and more

You guessed it...

A beautiful view down into the Iowa Amphitheater to break up the monotony

More ridge... and people

We MUST be nearing the summit!!

White Ridge being eaten alive by clouds

Finally!! Sherman's broad summit (at least the clouds made up for the lack of views)

Cute summit marker, that no one threw a fit over! :)

Halfway victory summit brews! (I highly recommend the Blueberry Wheat from High Hops Brewing!)

From the Sherman summit you can see Gemini (the peak to the right is the true summit). Do not stay on the ridge proper instead veer slight right to the tundra. Sadly I didn't get any pics of this area until we were down on the Gem/Dyer saddle - clouds were rolling up from the Fairplay side and had me a bit worried with 2 more peaks to go.

It's an easy tundra stroll/talus hop over to Gemini and there is no true trail up since it's such a small peak. Just scramble up any way you see fit, we hit the saddle between Gemini and his false brother and just scaled up the Southwest side to speed things up.

View of Gemini (left) from the Gem/Dyer saddle, clouds began receding so we slowed our roll a bit and I returned to my norm of taking way too many pictures

There is a faint trail that picks up off and on heading down to the saddle from Gemini, just keep talus hopping down towards the obvious trail on the saddle.

At the base of the saddle on the Gemini side you can see the remaining route, the saddle itself is tame with very little exposure and the trail sticks to the North side of the ridge avoiding any cliffy areas.

Panorama from the same spot at the foot of Gemini/Dyer saddle

The ridge connecting Gem & Dyer

Looking down into the amphitheater (old mine ruins below)- you certainly would not want to descend here - if you had to descend quickly your best bet would be to reach the foot of Dyer and follow the power lines down the steep slope.

We never really found a trail up Dyer nor coming down it on the other side, faint segments but that's about it. Once we got across the saddle we just switch backed up the talus face to the summit (only one false summit on this one, yay!!)

Panorama from the summit of Dyer with all our previous peaks in view, astounding! :)

A beautiful view of Turquoise Lake and Leadville to the West (mining district at the bottom - be sure to check that area out if you like old stuff and history in general haha!)

The Sawatch range finally cloud free looking quite nice with the changing colors of fall

West Dyer to the Northwest (i hear there's a pretty sweet Class 4 climb on the other side)

A relic that is no longer in use but still awesome (look for the jar tucked in the rocks that now serves as the actual register)

Signing in :)

My partner was beat and ready to be done so we made our way towards the truck using the reverse instructions of what Bill give's as the "Southeast Slopes" route description.

The ridge leading to the South

You want to follow the ridge for a bit before descending left down to the talus and tundra leading to the mine ruins. You can drop left of the ridge if you want a tamer hike, or stay on the ridge proper for some unnecessary but fun scrambling :)

Leaving our final summit of the day - bittersweet

Opting for the ridge proper since the wind calmed down

Our final look at the ridge before cutting East down the talus/tundra slope to the old mining road.

I wish i had taken a picture of the spot where we departed the ridge but of course I didn't so below a view of it from Sherman

We stayed just right of the tudra, it was steep but there were some old tailings which provided better footing than the loose choss and small talus. Needless to say, this was still the only spot all day that I tripped and busted my back side (which I will fully blame on tired knees and has nothing to do with my complete lack of grace -hehe)

Back down in the amphitheater checking out the neat mine ruins before heading back to the truck. Follow the rough road along Sherman's base to reach the trailhead

Leaving the basin and bidding farewell to these magnificent giants.

And of course, cruising 10 mph down 2B and taking in all the fall colors!

Caption Here

Caption Here

If anyone wants to start doing multiple peak days I would say this is a good route to get a taste for it. Not too long, not the DeCalBron, and not even too much gain/loss. This loop is perfect!

Until next time, everyone stay safe and enjoy your climbs!!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
Great report
10/02/2019 16:15
Thanks, great report. We skied in that area once and it looked like a great area to hike in. We are in Leadville a lot so this will be a great report to reference.

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