Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Looking down the southwest ridge of Mount Sherman towards the saddle between Sherman and Mount Sheridan in the background. Mount Sherman. July 2006.


Blogger Gledwood said...

That looks incredibly dry... how come the top of the mountain's so bare... is that what they call above the heatherline?

3:13 PM  
Blogger molson said...

It is dry, but there is enough rain/snow to support trees. Heatherline (sounds so Scottish) or treeline starts around 10,000 feet to 12,000 feet in elevation. Treeline will be higher in areas that offer some sort of shelter from the winter winds. Sherman's summit is very exposed to the winds. Maybe that is why Sherman's trailhead starts above treeline. Maybe the miners cut down all the trees and they never came back. I don't really know for certain. Most of the mountains I've hiked in Colorado start out with a nice hike in the forest before climbing above treeline. I think Sherman's trailhead is also fairly high in elevation. I know Sherman has one of the shortest hikes to get to the summit of all the Colorado fourteeners.

3:39 PM  
Blogger Gledwood said...

so there NEVER IS anything up top o't' mountain (SOUNDS SO NORTHERN!)... 'cept snow...?

heatherline sounds Scottish... what do they call heather Stateside? Summut odd like? Or what?...!>!...??

10:34 AM  
Blogger molson said...

There is no heather in the Rockies that I know of. According to a Wikipedia article, heather is a small perennial shrub growing to 20-50 cm tall (rarely to 1 m), and is found widely in Europe and Asia Minor on well-drained acidic soils in open sunny situations and in moderate shade. An alpine species of willow is very common in the Rockies. The alpine willow is a shrub and doesn't look at all like the willow trees that grow along lakes and rivers. I will have to post a picture of the alpine willows if I can find one.

5:25 PM  
Blogger molson said...

The arctic willow is also common in the alpine tundra of the Rockies.

5:32 PM  
Blogger Gledwood said...

ps i had a pile of cornflour nearly that high during my latest cookery attempt, earlier...!!...!!


7:50 AM  

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