|Peak Summited||2019 Horseshoe Mountain|
|Type of Hike||Day hike|
|Trailhead||4 Mile Creek|
|Road Conditions||Road rough but passable|
|Bug Status||No bugs|
|Snow Conditions||Intermittent snow - not hard to cross|
|Trail Conditions||Minor obstacles posing few problems|
This trip was quite the adventure!
i started the night before by driving to the trailhead for some overnight camping in my bus conversion. The road in was well established but it was very washboarded most of the way and at around 12 miles to the trailhead it took a long time to get there. But eventually I made it to the upper trailhead and parked for the night. After a quick camp dinner I watched the sunset which was beautiful from nearly 12,000ft then went to bed.
Overnight a storm blew in (literally) and made sleeping a challenge. High winds rocked the bus almost constantly and temps fell well below freezing. Then halfway through the night the snow started falling! This hindered my plans of getting a really early start as I didn’t feel like hiking in snow blowing sideways.
Finally the snow let up and I was able to get my day started around 5:30am. The first hour to hour and a half was hiking in the dark with my headlamp. The “trail” was more of a road so route finding was quite easy and the one right turn was easy to spot with a little help from my gps. I gained the ridgeline at sunrise and got to enjoy another beautiful morning in the mountains. Then ahead of me was a wall of clouds blocking the route to the summit. Hiking through these clouds was quite a surreal experience, and more than a little bit cold and windy. After a while of hiking around the summit in the clouds I found the summit marker and hunkered down for a short snack. That’s when I realized that my water line was frozen and my protein bars were hard as a rock. After a while I managed to down some food and drank some water out of my backup bottle.
After summiting Sherman it was on to the next one in the 4 peak day, Mt. Sheridan. The climb to this summit from the ridge line was fairly simple, there was a pretty well established trail coming from the Sherman side. Once at the top there is a beautiful wind shelter that I took advantage of since it was still really windy and cold. The summit of Sheridan was clear but I still could not see back to the summit of Sherman as it was still socked in. Another short break, and quick snack then I headed for peak 3
The next on the list is Peerless. Well into the hike, warmed up from the vert gain already achieved, this was well worth the short extra climb. On the summit the wind was still quite strong but the sun was starting to warm things up. I spent a little time here and was able to get my water hose thawed out before heading to Horseshoe.
Finally I made the push to the last of the 4 peak day. Down from peerless then back up a short climb to the rim of Horseshoe. Once on the rim, the hiking mellows out significantly and it’s a nice stroll across some very low grade scre. The summit is very non descript but some fellow hikers have built a cairn to mark the spot. I reached the summit around 10:30 am and by this time things were starting to warm up quite a bit which was a welcome relief. At this point the summit of Sherman finally cleared up and I was able to get views of all 4 peaks.
This was quite the adventure and a day of hiking I won’t soon forget!