Dyer Mountain (13er)
Gemini Peak (13er)
Mt. Sherman (14er)
Brad (Mountain Ninja)
James (enjoi 14ers)
We set out on a cold December morning from the Iowa Gulch trailhead. Our goal was Dyer Mountain, which none of us had climbed yet, and maybe a couple extras if we had the energy. Reading the route description, we decided this would be a relatively avalanche safe route for winter with straightforward route finding.
|Iowa Gulch Trailhead
At first the trail follows an old jeep road up to some abandoned mining ruins.
|Brad, James and Jared hiking up the slopes
|James looks like a mountaineer right?
Toward the summit, the wind piked up and grew more intense. It did not relent for the rest of our day.
|Brad and James nearing the summt. The Sawatch Range in the distance.
After a long slow slog uphill, we reached the summit and had some food. James had had enough at this point. Brad and Jared and I continued on to unranked Gemini Peak and over to 14er Mt. Sherman. This would be my 4th time summiting Sherman. It's a great one to take beginners on in the summer months (Summer is the key word here).
We fought against the brutal winds across the saddle toward Gemini peak.
|Gemini (the bump on the left) and the saddle
Now Jared was training for bike races during this time. He had recently won a bike race to the top of 14er Mt. Evans, which is pretty hard core in my book. He was not racing us, but he started gaining on Brad and I. I secretly decided that I would like to test my endurance ability and see if I could catch him. I hiked as fast as my heart would let me. Nope... He beat me up there and didn't even know we were racing. It seems every time my competitive nature kicks in I swallow a large quantity of humility.
|Looking back at Dyer Mountain
Jared must have reached the top a good 15 minutes before Brad and I. I recorded a video of Brad nearing the summit of Gemini to give an idea of how strong the wind was. It was difficult to keep our balance. If the wind was any stronger, we might have become human kites:
With as cold as we were, we did not linger on the summit. We made the short scamper over to Sherman and whipped out our Whichwich bags to take a picture for a free sandwich.
|Whichwich summit photo
It was a long cold day. Needless to say, we were pooped when we got back to the truck at sunset. Every time we do this I think to myself, "Why did I do that?" But, every time the mountains just keep us coming back.
|Parting shot of the Sawatch Range on the descent.