Day 2 Colorado 2015

Every mountain has a's mine...
My first Colorado 14er!
Mt. Sherman
14ers, hike
"Shaka" from the summit!

Mt. Sherman (14,036 ft)
Colorado’s 45th highest rank peak
Central Mosquito Range
Iowa Gulch Trail (along the West Slopes)
Distance: 4.6 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 2,036 ft

Yesterday we took a ride up to the Iowa Gulch trailhead for Mt. Sherman. Just 10 minutes after getting there I got a massive headache, it was bad enough to make me feel nauseas. Before going to sleep last night  I took some Ibuprofen and when  I awoke this morning my headache was gone. I didn’t want to go hiking as I thought the original plan was to acclimate for a few days. But Jeff assured me that since I awoke with no headache, I would be fine hiking.

At the trailhead I was fine and we started up. There were folks on the ridge to the summit, with more folks coming up behind us as well as from the Class 1 Fourmile Creek Trail. It was a beautiful, blue-sky day and the weekend, so crowds were expected. But only landing in Denver 24 hours ago wasn’t enough time for me to acclimate. As a result, it affected my asthma and I struggled the entire hike up to the summit, and back down as well. Kevin, Kevin II and Geoff, who have a much faster paces, went ahead. Jeff “swept” and stayed with me the entire time. There were many times that I wanted to quit and turn back. I kept telling Jeff he could just go ahead and summit without me. But he was insistent, thank God! And as I got closer to the summit, Kevin, Kevin and Geoff who had already summited, turned around and hiked back up to the summit with me. There were a lot of folks atop the summit. There had to be 100 hikers and a good 2 dozen dogs on the trail. There were folks of all ages, including young children as well. I was so frustrated at not being totally acclimated and at having asthma. It made my climb a struggle, and I was really lucky that I didn't  have an asthma attack on my ascent.

It was an amazing feeling to summit a 14er! I looked back at what I had done, what I had hiked and took it all in. I had just made the biggest climb to date - so this is what it feels like to climb to the summit of a 14er. Around me others were all smiles and celebrating. I was at a loss for words at first, then I started taking photos and got another hiker to take our group photo. I hated to have to descend but I really wanted to get down.

We were at the summit for about 20 minutes when I started to feel a bit sick. On the descent I started feeling a little bit better. But each time I took in water or food, it made me nauseous. I really hadn’t acclimated and definitely not at 13 or 14,000 feet. On the ride back to the hostel I took the window seat with the window all the way down just in case I needed to vomit. Every time we hit a pothole in the dirt road, I felt like throwing up. Once at the hostel I crashed into my bed and had to lay still until the nausea went away. Once  it was gone, I was fine. I stayed back to nap while Jeff, Geoff, Kevin and Kevin took a ride out to Aspen.

High Mountain Pies – Dinner
For dinner we dined at High Mountain Pies on W 4th Street. Small place but the back yard is spacious with lots more room for outdoor dining. I didn’t have the pizza, just a chicken salad sandwich and hit the spot. Just an FYI, they don’t carry any bottled water, but pretty cool place to eat!

At the summit

The ridge is especially windy

Descending the ridge

Looking down the gully between Sherman and Sheridan

I ordered myself a bookshelf model!

Carving by Precision Peaks

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