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Ascent of Horseshoe Mountain on 2018-09-14

Climber: William Musser

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, September 14, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Hi-Clearance Vehicle
Peak:Horseshoe Mountain
    Location:USA-Colorado
    Elevation:13898 ft / 4236 m

Ascent Trip Report

I have been eyeballing this one from our cabin for months. The classic cirque is an amazing feature that draws you to want to climb this peak. I had scoped the route out earlier this year when climbing Sheridan and Peerless. I knew the NE shoulder was gentle and the way to go but I had no idea that this route could be taken in such a way as to bag a centennial at nearly 14,000 feet and do it all with a simple class 1 hike! I followed a line that was a combination of historic mining roads, mining trails, alpine grassy slopes and was shocked to have summitted without having any issues with class 2 talus or scree at all! Now mind you there is some of that up there especially near Peerless but if you pick a good line you can avoid it all. The GPS track I posted here will make this one of the easiest centennial routes you will ever find and quite a surprise since the road approaching this unusual glacial cut feature is quite imposing.

I parked near the gate for the standard route of Sherman. I hiked up to the first large mining operation that is dilapidated and instead of heading up and to the right, you will find a level roadway bearing to the left through the wreckage and over toward Sheridan and Peerless. Take that old mining road. When the road wants to drop in elevation, I open country route found my way up to more mining trails and headed up and around several talus fields staying on grassy slopes and avoided the saddle between Peerless and Sheridan. Since I had already climbed both of those, I stayed down hill and to the left of Peerless avoiding more talus. Soon more mining trails on compact rock and dirt will take you to the saddle between Peerless and Horseshoe and from here this is an obvious un-maintained use trail to the summit. An easy walk with outstanding views at the top in all directions.

There is heavily generalized rock everywhere up high from the old mining that took place. Saw some very beautiful crystalline rock along the way. The cirque is hard to see from the top since the walls are so vertical. There is an old mining building still at the top that has not been torn down. The grassy slopes all the way around and to Lamb and Sheep Mountain were inviting but a lot of miles to be out by myself all day so I decided to go tag another small nearby peak (Finnback Knob) and head home.

My time to top was 1 hour and 24 minutes but that included 5 minutes packing (started the clock to soon), talking to a group of ATV riders near the beginning and stopping to look at rocks several times so taking 10 minutes off for all that it was a 1 hour and 14 minute ascent covering 2.8 miles and nearly 2000 feet of gain.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1975 ft / 601 m
    Total Elevation Loss:100 ft / 30 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.6 mi / 9 km
    Grade/Class:1
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
60F warm and not a cloud
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1925 ft / 586 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1875 ft / 572 m; Extra: 50 ft / 15m
    Loss on way in:50 ft / 15 m
    Distance:2.8 mi / 4.5 km
    Route:see GPS track
    Start Trailhead:Mount Sherman Gate   12023 ft / 3664 m
    Time:1 Hours 14 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:50 ft / 15 m
    Gain on way out:50 ft / 15 m
    Distance:2.8 mi / 4.5 km
Ascent Part of Trip: Fairplay-6

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Horseshoe Mountain2018-09-14 a1975 ft / 602 m
2Finnback Knob2018-09-14 b629 ft / 192 m
Total Trip Gain: 2604 ft / 794 m    Total Trip Loss: 600 ft / 182 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by William Musser
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file




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