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Routes in Cottonwood Creek (Sherman to Cuba Gulch)

Cotton Picker WI3 M4
Havana Nights WI5-
Open Casket / Closed Casket WI5- M4-
SeƱor Presidente WI5
Sherman Climb WI4
Type: Ice, 4 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 4,806 total · 40/month
Shared By: Jesse Morehouse on Jun 5, 2008
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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18 Opinions

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Description

This climb consists of steps of moderate ice with a long snow or WI2- slog between P1 and P2. It can be made longer by continuing up moderate snow and ice slopes above the upper pillar for as long as your fun meter lets you go.

A popular outing.

P1: Climb to a large bolder on climbers left with bolts (WI3).
Slog through snow with possibly a little WI2-(ish) stuff to the base of the next slab and build an anchor.
P2: Climb slab either to base of pillar or a bolted anchor about 25 feet left of the final pillar under the wall (WI3).
P4: Climb short pillar (2-3 screws or so) and wallow up and left to the first substantial tree which should have a bit of tat on it (WI4).

DESCENT (for DOUBLE 60m ropes)

Rap from tree straight down over the cliff climbers left of the pillar aiming for the bolts at its base. Rap from them to just shy of the boulder above P1 and walk down to said boulder. Rap to ground.

Location

From the Sherman town site winter parking snow shoe or ski up the closed road for 5-15 min until you see the large ice climb on your left across the drainage. Follow the trail or pick the best route over to it. You might be able to hike in boots only if the approach is well beaten down since almost all traffic here is for this climb.

Protection

Screws, double 60m ropes- the raps will not work out well for single rope users. If you insist on doing that, bring tat and V threading stuff.

EDIT: Possibly the most critical gear is your full spectrum of avy condition assessment tools since this is at the bottom of a massive bowl.
Buff Johnson  
 
Tempermental mountain that requires permission from the highest authority; one of those where you sneak up, play position, and quickly & quietly leave. Great route for snow & ice climbing but not worth your life. Mar 4, 2009
Jesse Morehouse   CO
 
Personally, I have always found this route freeakin' COLD. I only get over there in February every year, so take that for what it is worth. The only time I had fun on it was when we racked up in the sun on the road and hiked and simuled almost non-stop up it! That being said, if conditions were just right with a lot of ice above the WI4 step, it seems like it would be a fun adventure to go for the summit! Jan 12, 2011
Bogdan P
Boulder, CO
 
Bogdan P   Boulder, CO
 
Don't stop after the 3rd (crux) pitch if conditions are good (MP describes this as "4th" pitch, but that's probably inaccurate, more in a moment). When we did this, after topping out the crux pitch, we found an ~100m ramp, involving a 50' WI2- bulge and a bit of snow slogging that lead to the base of another full rope length pitch of good WI3. The foreshortening effect was severe and from the WI4 top out the WI3 pitch looked much shorter, closer and smaller than turned out to be the case. This 4th pitch was the second best on the route in my opinion, steeper than the second and more sustained than the first. This WI3 pitch is the big flow visible above the crux in the photo shown in the Roberts guide. Above this pitch I could see nothing more than rolling bulges of ice periodically emerging out of the snow. The difficulty and quality of this pitch was comparable to or exceeded portions of the route below the crux, and only by including this pitch as part of the standard ascent does one reach the 250m length advertised by roberts.

Note: we had 68m ropes. We lead two full pitches either as far as the rope would go or nearly so to reach the bolt anchors left of the base of the WI4 curtain. Another pitch of slightly less than 68m (had as much as 50' to spare) lead to another set of bolts above the curtain (left side). There's little reason to count the crux as pitch 4, the way the route description on MP currently reads. The WI4 curtain can be topped out in 3 pitches from the base. If there's a 4th pitch to consider, it's above the curtain. Don't be lazy. If it's safe to do so, slog another 70-100m past the top out of the WI4 pitch and then decide whether to turn back or to finish the route by climbing another potentially full length pitch of sustained WI3.

Regarding Jesse's point below, this route was indeed cold. Both my partner and I wore Spantiks and had cold toes until around noon when things warmed up (subzero in the morning, high of 20F; our pace was casual). Jan 29, 2018

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