Mount Shavano and Mount Tabeguache
Peaks #29 and #30: April 12, 2016
Elevation: 14,229’ & 14,155′
Ski Route: East ridge to top of Shavano, north ridge down to saddle, up East ridge to Tabaguache summit. On Descent, skied east ridge and southeast face of Tab, back to top of Shavano, and descent of East ridge to Angel of Shavano on descent of Shavano.
Roundtrip Mileage and Vertical: 12mi / 5,600′ (Includes Tabeguache & Shavano all in the same day)
Ski Partners: Solo Mission
Start Time: 630am
Reached Summit of Shavano: 930am (20 mins on summit)
Reached Summit of Tabaguache: 1030am (15 mins on summit)
Reached Summit of Shavano 2nd time on way back: 11:15am
End Time: 1pm.
I parlayed a twofer to get to my 30th peak of the project by skiing Shavano and Tabeguache together on the southern end of the Sawatch Range.
With the weather being a great concern- I got a 630am start from the east slopes/Blank cabin trailhead and started in Blue skies and morning sunshine.
The climb through the woods was pretty straightforward and I opted first follow some tracks up the standard trail. Instead of climbing towards the Angel of Shavano, I climbed the southeast aspect of the east ridge to gain the ridge above timberline.
Scaring off some bighorn sheep from a distance, I slogged up the bare east ridge. I certainly hoped there would be better snow near the summit, and I was right.
Topping out at 930am on Shavano the clouds were already building and snow flurries began to fly. Fortunately there was no wind. I knew I could move fast so I hustled over the ridge and climbed the east ridge of Tabeguache.
Making that summit by 1030am I was running out of time. Snow was closing in fast from the north and by the time I clicked on my skis I was getting snowed on.
The easy east ridge and southeast slopes of Tab were loaded and I was back to the saddle between the two peaks in like 2 minutes.
A 25 minute climb back to the top of Shavano was the only way to get back down to my trailhead and to ski the angel.
When the hail fell- I was worried that some lighting might follow- so I didn’t waste any time.
It snowed hard for 30 minutes and only let up when I came back up to Shavano’s summit for the second time in less than 2 hours. I looked at the clock- 11:11. Snow was pelting the peak to my south- and Antero to the north was getting hit hard. Fortunately I was in the clear.
I clicked in and made some turns right off the top- only a small section below 13,900′ was a bit bare- otherwise I was lucky to find a small ribbon over to the Angel of Shavano- the prominent feature on the southeast face of the peak.
I was home free- I made turns down the awesome classic Angel to timberline and around noon I escaped into the trees to the sound of thunder and a flash of lightning way above me. Back to the trailhead by 1pm it was an awesome six and a half hour tour covering 12 miles and 5,500′ elevation climbed and skied.
On to Lindsey in the Sangre de Cristos’s for an early start to beat the weather again tomorrow!
Thanks for following along-