Finally found a friend to do this one with me. We camped at Blank
Gulch trailhead sleeping in my truck - not a single person or other
vehicle around. Was glad to be in my truck, too many bears around
this summer! Saw only one hiker the entire day. Went over top of
Shavano then to Tabeguache and back over Shavano. Had all the weather
- sun, wind, thunder and lightning, and snow!
This was number 38, I was hoping to hit 40 this summer but I am busy
with other things (like having a house built in the mountains) and it
is getting more difficult to find climbing partners. Maybe next
summer the Colorado Mt Club will have trips to some of the 14ers I
have not done :).
Got a late start but thankfully mother nature was kind to me....most likely because I picked up a hitch hiker on my way out of leadville. Hit the trailhead at 10:35am after an interesting 4 miles of rough road. Hiked this one solo which allowed for a quick ascent. I was on the summit at 1pm only 2hours 25 minutes later. Then I was off to Shavano and back to Tabeguache for a fun descent down a nice soft scree slope.
Having now done this peak from both the Jennings Creek and Brown's Creek drainages, I can safely say that Browns creek is the ONLY way to do this peak. Your day on the Jennings Creek trail starts and ends with a LOOOONNNGG, steep, pain in the @$$ scree slope, which seems 4 times as long when its the 9th mile of the day coming back down. Do Brown's Creek.
Snow and sleet, fortunately no lightning.
This route is not really discussed in any of the guidebooks that I've seen, but is definately the most solitary way to do it. Plus, if you use this route, it is possible to bag 3 14ers and a centennial 13er in one weekend. not bad.
Take the 4WD road that ascends to the saddle near the top of Mt. Antero, and follow it into the valley to the south - Brown's Creek. (valley between Mt Antero and the Shavano/Tabeguache Ridge). From here, the route up Tabeguache heads southwest to the obvious saddle, then east to the place where it joins the standard route. No trail, but there's really no need for one. From this basin, the summits of Tabeguache, Shavano, Antero, and N. Carbonate (centennial 13er) are all just a few hour's hike. Plus the solitude is well worth it.
night time summit, around 11:30, straight over from shavano, chilly and windy, beautiful starry sky, desceded down a steep draw to browns creek and on towards north carbonate, a 13 'er
Good day and Angel of Shavano snow field is a more direct route to shavano to head over to Tab.
Not bad...a little steep...but a wonderful hike once you are up to the ridge.
Combined with Shavano...long ridge walks...
Since I've always been longer on endurance than speed, we did this by backpacking up the Jennings Creek Trail a ways, then finishing the climb the next day. For some reason, I didn't handle the altitude well that day, and because of nausea and headache, stayed on Tabeguache while my husband ran over to Shavano and back. He met some CMC hikers over there and promised them a ride from the Jennings Creek TH back to their Shavano start TH. By the time they returned to Tabeguache and we started back down, a massive thunderstorm had gathered. I heard this noise and wondered who had a radio on to just static before realizing it was static from the lightning on our ice axes that I was hearing. We placed them a distance away and hunckered down on our packs, as taught in our CMC Wilderness Trekking classes, and waited out the humbling display of thunder and lightning there on the boulders. It was my closest call with lightning on a high peak, and it taught me a healthy respect for storms on a mountain. We later heard on the news that two hikers had been struck by lightning on Grays & Torrey's during that storm, luckily not fatally, and had to have been carried down by other hikers.
This was the first of six 14ers that my friend Duane and I bagged during six wonderful days in September 2000. Actually, Duane did 7 because he successfully summitted Shavano on this same day, whereas I was not doing quite as well with the altitude and am not as strong a hiker as he is. We arrived in the area at around noon and had little time to climb. Our intent was to do both Tabeguache and Shavano in one day. We had driven from sea level the day before, so had not had a chance to acclimatize. However we believed the two peaks could be accomplished regardless. The climb went well but I struggled with the altitude somewhat, and Duane left me on the summit of Tabeguache to attempt Shavano. I watched him get on Shavano's summit ridge, then turned around and carefully made my way down the talus, not wanting to make a mistake in my slightly woozy condition. By taking my time, which I wouldn't have been able to do if I had joined Duane, I successfully negotiated all that talus, keeping a watch for my friend to reappear above me. The sun was getting quite low as I dropped down from the ridge toward Jennings Creek, and by the time I arrived at the vehicle it was nearing twilight. I was marginally worried about Duane because of the possibility of a navigational error in his haste to get down. Just as it became too dark to walk with a flashlight, out of the trees walked Duane, much to my joy. He is a very strong hiker, especially for a 50-year-old, and he once again accomplished what I didn't think he could do.