Trip dates: Feb 01 2020
Caltopo map here: https://caltopo.com/m/UTJ5
I probably have more visits to North Sheep Mountain on the northern bank of St. Vrain Creek than any other peak in Boulder County. I don't feel this way because of superior summit views and surrounding terrain to other peaks. The views are great but but do they quite reach those from UN 7828'? Does it have the same sentimental attachment that Fairview Peak does? Does it have the alpine spendor of Mt. Alice or North Arapahoe? Are the scrambles as spectacular as the ridges on the southern slopes of Dinosaur Mt? The answer to all of these questions is no.
But it's got little bits of all of them. It's never alpine but it has the best views of Wild Basin in RMNP. The scrambles are brief but the rock is solid. The views of the St. Vrain and the ridges of South Sheep Mt. are starting to occupy my dreams the way Fairview Peak and the Sawtooth did (see opening photo). Mostly, it's just got a little bit of everything. It's one of those places I keep coming back to and never regretting (though I regret very, very few of my hikes).
It's also got enough crappy bushwacking and poorly maintained trails to keep it from ever being popular, so I'm not too worried about telling you about it.
My actual goal had been to scramble up S. Sheep Mt. just on the other side of St. Vrain Creek. However, I've yet to find a clean descent route off of N. Sheep Mt. to get down to the creek in a reasonable amount of time. From the summit, descending down the south face looks like fun but it deterioates rapidly.
I've come to view these little failures as a positive. They make better memories and it keeps your "to do" list from shrinking too fast.
I'd been looking forward to filling up on water at the St. Vrain Creek but there was a top layer of ice that was about 2" thick. Fortunately there was an ample supply of large Boulders around that I could break through it with.