Monday, June 13, 2011

Mt. Shavano

Welcome from! I haven't blogged before and I rarely do trip reports. Let me know what you think... Just a little journal action first, but there are just some stats and pics toward the bottom if that's what you're looking for. Hope its okay let me know how to improve!

As this is my first blog, a little about me. My name is Dan. I am 19, from Littleton, CO and a chemistry major Gonzaga University. This was my 15th 14er. Here it goes...

After getting off work late last night (11:30PM) (smh restaurants), I came home threw my pack together (I was impressed that I did not forget anything major, but could have used some chapstick...) and hit the hay. Oh and by the way, I bought a 3" knife that I luckily didn't have to use, and a sweet $11 compass from REI on Monday. I bring this up because the compass included 5 free NatGeo TopoMaps which are pretty awesome and I would recommend. But so I got all my gear and we left Denver right around 5. After quite an uneventful drive (soundtrack: O.A.R. (live)), we arrived at the TH at 7:45 and headed out soon after. We just so happened to find the Pearl-White Subaru pow-wow.

Being away from the Colorado outdoors for apprx. 8 months, it was really good to be welcomed back by this view right off the TH.

Not much going on below was a steady incline with some stream-crossings. Until right around tree-line there is no snow to contend with, but nothing too major and there is good foot pack through. Then we came across the slopes above tree-line to the saddle. It was really windy and all members of the party weren't quite in the best shape. 

And then it got a bit weird...Tim and Shannon told me to go for the summit while they stayed at the saddle. Normally, I don't think separating is ever a good idea. However, given the circumstances (decent weather, heavy traffic on the peaks, and visibility from the saddle to high up the summit), I decided to go for it. 

There was also cell phone reception at the summit and I called the others from the top. 

And then I screwed up. I saw Tabby so tantalizingly close and moseyed my way across the ridge toward it. I saw hikers on the summit and kept an eye on them. I ended up at the saddle between Shavano and Tabby, but with everyone coming off of Tabby, I had to turn myself around. 

Tough pill to swallow, Tabby straight ahead

It was the right decision, but should have been made much, much earlier. It took a taxing amount of calories to regain Shavano, not to mention the time it took while the others remained on the cold, windy saddle. Coming off the peak back and heading back toward the group I was tired (mentally/physically) and I somehow mistook the saddle between Shavano and the peak directly west of Shavano for the saddle between Shavano and Esprit Point. It was not a big deal and I realized my mistake fairly early (embarrassing nonetheless, sheesh!) but just took even more time rejoining the rest of the group.

Anyway, from there the descent until the snow/trees was very windy and whatnot, but once back in the woods not much else to report. Some really nice views in the late afternoon approaching the TH. And finally after a long day, back to the car. Killer tan lines (forgot sunscreen on my legs) and Sanuks (God's gift to mankind). (Too much parenthetical. Will cut down next time.)

Thanks for reading!

Side notes: 

Saw an opportunity for camping here at this spot, maybe for a redemption trip! 

And also, saw this tree on the way out. Our best guesses were either some sort of ropes or bindings? Or infection. We were leaning toward infection. Maybe someone knows?

Misc. Pics.

From the Summit

From the Summit

From the Summit

From the Summit

Date: June 12, 2011
Elevation: 14, 229'
Range: Sawatch Range
Location: 15 miles Northwest of Salida
Climbed With: Tim (Brother) Shannon (Sister-in-Law) Maggie (Tim&Shannon's dog)
Conditions: Sunny, windy, afternoon clouds, no precipitation 
Trailhead: Blank Gulch
Route: East Slopes (Class 2)
Round Trip: 9.25 miles
Elevation Gain: 4600'

Timeline: Denver: 5:00AM
                Trailhead: 7:45AM
                Summit: 1:20PM
                Trailhead: 5:00PM(ish)


Summit Shot


  1. Good read, but I would limit the parentheses, as you pointed out. : ) I climbed Shavano, my first 14er, the same day you did. It was a great day for a hike. I bet I saw y'all at some point.

    We didn't make the Tabby summit, either. Two guys in our party couldn't make the summit, and it was getting late, so we turned around as soon as we summited Shavano.

  2. Hi. Thanks for the report. How was the snow past the treeline? Did you need snowshoes or any other snow gear to get up to top of Shavano?

  3. Yes it was a great day! Plenty of sunshine!

    As far a snow goes... below treeline you dont even see anything at least 11K. It isn't until right around treeline that you must cross snow. It is a considerable distance but there is good foot pack trough it the whole way and stays very close, if not on, the summer trail. None of us had any snow gear and had no regrets afterwards. Above treeline, you have to cross the angel's arm and head. Again, good footpack and nothing to worry about. There is snow on Tabby, but I cannot speak for its condition. I think a lot of people had no trouble without snow gear.