Peak(s):  Mosquito Pk - 13,781 feet
Sheridan, Mt - 13,748 feet
Horseshoe Mtn A - 13,898 feet
Date Posted:  06/02/2022
Date Climbed:   05/27/2022
Author:  SchralpTheGnar
Additional Members:   climb2ski
 Mosquito Bites   

After a 2 year hiatus, one for Covid, one for my ACL tear, we were back at it this year in the Mosquito range, looking to climb and ski some of the local 13ers in the area. Back in the day, we would have done linkups of these peaks in a day, but nowadays, things are a little more bite sized, and the Mosquitos are a great range for some bite sized skiing.

We drove up to Horseshoe campground on Thursday and the campground was still buried in a foot of snow, the host Cel (thanks Cel, best camground host ever! )let us borrow his big shovel and we started digging. Got the site dug out and the tent setup, cooked some food and went to bed ready for Sheridan the next day. The surrounding peaks looked awfully snowy from the recent snow, so the concerns about coverage were more like "that looks white, but I wonder if it's just a foot of snow on a boulder field", we were gonna find out.

Look ma! I can touch my nose, drink a beer, and setup a tent all at the same time

Up next morning around 6am, we made our way up the Four Mile Creek road and headed towards Mount Sheridan, the little sibling of Sherman.

Mike and Steve in the dawn's early light with Sheridan in the background.


Mike and Steve heading up the final pitch from the Peerless/Sheridan saddle.


Summit of Sheridan, fierce winds got us all bundled up.

I'd describe the descent off of Sheridan as a mankfest, the recent snow was saturated, it was around 10am when we started skiing but I don't think the timing mattered much, just an unconsolidated mess, good to be on something kinda mellow and not too gnar.

Obiligatory skiing photo to prove that we actually skied something.

We made it back to the trailhead around noon, completing the 4 mile, 2000 vert session in a blistering 5 hours or so. All in all a good day out in the mountains, we had cool views of Sherman on the way up with it's face plastered in snow, it looked pretty wild and we watched a CMC group boot up the south face, looked like AK, pretty sick. Back to camp for some beers, margs, food and golf lessons by Marcel, we've all been working on our swings a bit in the past few years so we brought some video and foam balls and worked on fixing some early hip extension, releasing the hands too early. So sick. Next day Mike and I were gonna head over to Mosquito Pass and try Mosquito Peak, I had never been back in that valley, so that's always a fun thing, a new area with another high trailhead and bite sized 6 mile, 2500 vert, give or take.

Sublime sunrise on our way towards Mosquito Pass

The mosquito pass area was mad dope, cool history, a variety of peaks, and all very accessible for skiing in late May, props to Fritz for putting together that guidebook "Making turns in the mosquito range", it was helpful, and the historical tidbits added to the enjoyment of the area. We had our sites on Mosquito Peak, which had a cool looking east facing gully, which we would access by hiking by the Oliver Twist Lake, and getting on the east ridge. We'd take that to the summit, then drop down the gully just to the north of the east ridge. You got that? Alright, lets go.

You go that way, then up, then that way and up, then when you get to the top, stop.

We topped out around 11am, just about 4 hours after leaving the car. Being up in the mountains, on top of some peak, snow covered peaks around, that's a happy place to be.

We traversed along the summit ridge, under a cornice and dropped into the big east gully.

A little steep off the top, and the snow was really good and nice.


Old snow bonding better, skiing like some spring pow conditions now.

Back at the car about 6 hours after setting out, got back to the campground for some more beers, food, and music. Climbing and skiing these peaks is great, but like Stephen Hawking said 'It would not be much of a universe if it wasn't home to the people you love.' Sharing these times with the other fellas, hanging at the camp, chilling, playing Eagles songs on the guitar, it's as good as it gets.

L->R Mike, Marcel, Adan, Sean, Steve

Next day, which was Sunday, Horseshoe Mountain was on the agenda, there's a nice route description from Bill on this site, very helpful in weaving your way through the valleys and micro terrain to get to the base of the Boudoir Couloir.

Some ominous clouds building with our first glance of the cirque.


Looking back down the valley, with Sheep Mountain in the distance.

The Boudoir Couloir was kind of a mess, there was a sizable point release on the lower 2/3 and the upper 1/3 was unconsolidated and punchy. We decided that we'd climb the Boudoir Couloir but ski down the southeast slopes and loop our way back around to the trail.

I'm pretty sure this is just what the Khumbu Icefall looks like.

Remember those ominous clouds, well it turned into full whiteout conditions by the time we reached the little shack near the summit, I mean like you couldn't see jack squat.

We waited for about 30 minutes and finally caught a little break in the clouds and made our way down to the southeast slopes, holy moly, that's a phenomenal ski, the snow was great, little firm but totally turnable, and abundant, vast slopes, almost 2000 vert down to the basin, wicked .

wicked vast

We toured back down the basin and made our way back to the car, then back to the camp, with a short detour back to the Sherman trailhead to look for Mike's wedding ring, alas it was not to be found, maybe it'll turn up some day. Back in camp, the snow started back up again, so we started packing up, putting the wraps on another classic Memorial Day weekend, remembering as always that we honor those who paid the ultimate price by getting out there into this beautiful land and enjoying the freedom that their sacrifice has made possible.




Comments or Questions
constipated_pete
snow!
06/02/2022 21:21
We skied Boudoir two weeks ago and it looked very different. Way to hit it in great conditions.


climb2ski
User
Stoke
06/03/2022 09:05
Love the Teener stoke (13ers)



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