Windy at the saddle.
Wow, what a day. After attempting these two 14ers twice this year and failing both times, I came back today with a vengeance and soloed both mountains! My first summits this year! That makes 23 14ers climbed so far. It's been awhile since I've made a new ascent. Reminds me why I moved out here in the first place!
I set off from the Blank Gulch Trailhead around 05:45 AM with intentions of taking the East Slopes route up and over 14,229 ft. Mount Shavano. I arrived at treeline by 8:00 AM, only saw about 10 other climbers and some casual hikers along the way, but I sped past all of them. Once above the "Angel of Shavano" snowfield (Where I failed last time) I lost the trail for a bit and then picked it back up on Shavano's South Ridge. Boy, was it windy. My hat flew off my head a few times but I ran and was able to apprehend it without further incident. I am estimating wind gusts of about 60 mph, strong enough to knock me down a few times. I picked up the Shavano trail and made the summit around 10:00 AM. Pretty tired but confident, I then proceeded down to the col between Mount Shavano and 14,155 ft. Tabeguache Peak. The way down had no marked trail and was mostly a scramble in 60 mph winds. No one else attempted to go over to Tabeguache, just me for today. At least it was blue skies all day... I descended about 500 ft. down and made the mile journey over to Tabeguache. Once you start climbing down Shavano towards Tabeguache, it is a commitment. There is no escape or bail route. The only practical way back to safety is to re-summit Shavano. What a chore. I climbed up snow to the summit of Tabeguache and made the summit around 11:00 AM. Knowing I had to make it back over Shavano, I didn't stay long. I took out my ice ax and slid down the snow back to the col between the peaks. I regained Shavano by 12:15, drank all my water and made my way back down to treeline by 1:00 PM. From here, it was still a few miles back through the woods to the trail head with no water... I made it back to my vehicle around 2:30 PM.
All in all, two 14ers summited, 5,600 ft. of elevation gained over 11.25 miles in about 8 and 1/2 hours. Glad to be done with them.
Skied from the summit to just below tree line. A fantastic day.
Fun Hike, met some fun people. Clouds started gathering so did not make the traverse to Tabeguache. Was pouring by the time I got back to the trailhead.
Made it to the top
From the east side.
This was a very nice, scenic outing compared to the roads and boulder field of Princeton the day before. Thought weather might be moving in (Summit at 10:45) so we chose to just do Shavano and wisely because rain and hail hit by 1 p.m. and we were below 11k by than.
High winds on saddle. Weather head faked us so we opted against Tabaguache.
A lot of snow this year made for post hole issues below treeline. Great company though, Jon and Jer.
With Rhett and Buster. Very Windy and freezing on top.
Made our own route
Cold, windy, and freezing fog. Camped at 10,800 summit the next morning, hoping for Tageguache too but Mother Nature said no. With Bryan and Buster.
Climbed Shav and Tab in great fall conditions.
Slogged up Shavano only to be turned away from Tabeguache because of weather.. Lookin to climb again in the spring via the Angel
Very crowded. Should have done this is a Spring climb and done the angel instead.
The double summit was surely worth it to be able to climb Tabeguache.
This double summit 2 day climb has renewed my interest in the Sawatch range! Blank cabin meadows are intriguing at the start of trail then a decent trek up thru trees and across streams. The existing camping flats are ideal especially the last high spot at 11,200 offering open air views outside your tent. May is a good month to see the profound Grinch alongside the Angel. After winding thru these characters, the 14er path becomes kinda unclear and turns into a class 2 scramble up to the summit. Strong wind drafts keep you alert on the ridge climb to Tabeguache. Enjoy!
Climbed with EricD - bagged Tabeguache. We were able to skirt around Shavano on the way back to save some time, not sure if any energy was saved as that's a lot of scrambling up there! Some snow drifts were difficult to avoid (and some were even preferred to the rocks). Traction not needed. Great weather and we saw a big-horn sheep and some marmots.
I saw some goats.