Monday, June 4, 2012


I never told anyone, but I had a second home.  Well, maybe my name wasn't on the title, but it definitely felt like home.  Not once or twice, but THREE times.

I'm talking about the hut that sits 1000ft below the summit of Mt. Sherman. Mt. Sherman is a 14,036ft mountain located 7 miles southeast of Leadville, CO.  It's supposed to be one of the easiest 14ers and highly recommended for beginners.  Somehow, I've attempted and failed three times.

We headed up in November of 2010 for the first time.  Drove up on a Friday night to Breck, attended the CAIC (Colorado Avalanche Information Center) benefit event and then drove up to the trailhead for a night of camping.  This time, it was just the man and myself.  There were some strong gusts and it was very cold.  As we hiked up through the abandoned mining structures, we decided to take shelter and take a break at this one little hut:

November 2010

It was small, but luxurious!

The living room

Me in my second home in November 2010. 
After a small break, we continued on.  We hit the ridge only to find out that the gusty winds were even worse up there.  We decided to turn around.  A year later, in November of 2011, we decided to give it a second shot.  After all, we were heading back up for the CAIC benefit event once again.  This time, we had a few more people with us.  My BFF Jo-Jo and a couple of the man's friends came along: Josh and Joe.  The plan was the same: CAIC, drive to trailhead, camp, early start.  Lesson learned?  Maybe not.  Once again it was freezing cold and even windier than the previous year.  At times, we were pinned to the mountain on all 4's.  Brutal.

We made it to the hut.  Only to find out, half our group wanted to push it and half of us were giving up.  I was giving up.  We didn't turn around before taking a picture in the master bedroom:

After he had told me he was continuing on... I wasn't happy he was letting the group split up with such conditions. 

Just for the record, three of us made it down safely and drove to Fairplay for some breakfast.  We were joined by the rest of the crew 15 minutes later only to find out, they had turned around even before hitting the ridge. Failed attempt for us all.

Not wanting to give up, the man and I thought of giving it yet another shot.  Maybe we didn't learn our lesson and we will not be waiting til the summer.  We attempted it in December of 2011.  This time, it wasn't windy.  This time, it was sunny... so what happened??

We started a little lower than usual, the road to the summer trailhead was covered in snow so we started a little farther down. The sun was shining, but I was absolutely exhausted.  We got to the hut... we took a break.  It seems like it is now tradition.

December 2011

While it was chilly (I mean, it's a mountain at 13,000ft in December), the day was gorgeous... so I decided to snack while sitting on my front porch.

Sitting up front while enjoying the views! 

While enjoying my snacks, I saw something... It was a view that I wanted to capture forever.  I took a picture with my new camera which takes some of the best panoramic pictures.  I wanted to capture the image that was making me feel at peace and that made me smile.  Today, this is one of my favorite pictures of ALL times.  It's not only because it's a great picture, but because of what it represents.  The life I chose when I moved to Colorado., how lucky I am to be alive, the views I get to enjoy just because I live in Colorado, the fact that I would never give up (cause I'd been up there 2 times before this one), and of course, it reminds me of how wonderful our world is.

While I wanted to capture this epic view, I wanted the hut to be part of it.  Mostly, because it's been a shelter to me multiple times.  Since I started this blog, this picture has been at the top of my page:

My favorite picture (with part of the hut to the left)

Unfortunately, this third attempt was a failed one.  Again.  I got altitude sickess halfway up the ridge and had to be taken down as fast as possible.  While I know I will be back and conquer that mountain, and I was sure I was going to take shelter at this wonderful and cute little hut, I recently found out it is now gone.  As they said on "Looks like the big bad wolf huffed and puffed."

Damn you wind

There will forever be a special place in my heart for this cute lil home that warmed me and my heart up.


  1. We'll visit it when we go back for your summit day and you can say hi again. It's really still there in spirit. It was a saving grace.

    1. It was a saving grace. Can't wait to go back. We should make it a summer trip this time.

  2. Such a great story Gaby! Kick some butt in your ironman by the way. :)

  3. Love your blog too! You just got a new follower :o)