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Sheep Mountain Sunrise
Sheep Mountain has been on my list of peaks to climb for awhile. In the summer it's possible to drive to the top of this 9,610' mountain. But that's too easy, so I went in the winter. Snow depths varied from bare ground to drifts 15 feet high. After snowshoeing an exhausting 6 miles while carrying a heavy pack, I made it to the top with barely enough time to pitch a tent before dark. The summit itself is too rocky and exposed to the wind, but I found a nearby campsite that was flat enough and more sheltered. At sunrise the next morning the views were incredible. Looking east, I could see parts of the Black Hills well over 100 miles away. When the sun made it over the horizon, it was only visible for a couple minutes. But this ephemeral light show was worth all the effort to get here.