April 17, 2016
Baker Lake / North Cascades Highway, WA
Sherman Peak is rather a small peak on the rim of Sherman Crater, attached to the much-bigger Mt. Baker, but at elevation of close to 3100 m this peak is higher than most of others in the North Cascades or the SW British Columbia. I don’t think many folks would slog all the way up to the Crater to just ascend Sherman Peak, but for peak-baggers like myself, it makes perfect sense to bag Mt. Baker and Sherman Peak together.
From the low point near Sherman Crator (also the Baker/Sherman col) I trended right skinning up to a low saddle on Sherman Peak’s west ridge. The surface was icy and I could barely get some grips under the skins but I made there nonetheless. The skis were ditched at the saddle and boot-packing began. The snow was in a perfect condition for kicking steps and the majority part of this ridge was easy and tame. The initial few meters was exposed to an open bergschrund and the final 10 m or so was kinda knife-edge (required crampons).
Thank to the pointy nature of this peak, the views were actually better than Mt. Baker in my opinion. I got some unobstructed view down south towards Squak Glacier and Easton Glacier where most folks came up from. The view of the Sherman Crator was also expansive and I could see the yellow-ish volcanic gas emitting.
After taking some obligatory pictures I started the descent as I still had my primary objective (Mt. Baker) unfinished. That knife-edge section required some great caution and the part above the bergschrund required some short section of down-climbing, but other than that it was a fast plunge down the snow. The skiing down to Baker/Sherman col was icy and crusty but at least mellow and short.
All in all I’d say the detour up Sherman Peak was well worth the effort as this little peak offers some unique views that you can’t get from the main peak of Mt. Baker.