|Peak:||Mt. Shavano (14er)|
|Date of Information:||01/15/2011|
Plenty of snow on the road, previous tire tracks allow for an easy enough drive to 2 miles from TH. Near 2 miles, there is a section with a bit more snow that kept me from going further. I probably could have gone through this section okay, but didn't want to chance getting stuck or running into deeper snow ahead. Someone else had gone past this section quite a bit further, and the road conditions improve just after it. Assess your vehicle's capability - if you can get through this section, you can drive quite a bit further without difficulty. With the impending snow storm, it may be difficult to get very far up this road for awhile. TH reports from previous years indicate the possibility of using 250A as an alternate approach to the TH. I don't know much about the conditions of 250A, but it bears looking into if you decide to go. Keep an eye out for a herd of elk - they were visible from the road both on the way in and on the way out. Booted up the road for the 2 miles, no need for snowshoes yet on the road.
Planned on a solo hike, but ended up hiking with 2 amiable 14ers partners - I had my snowshoes, but they were kicking themselves for leaving them in the car. Bring your snowshoes or you'll be wallowing endlessly through the snow below treeline. There's a lot of deep powder up there. Even with snowshoes, it was not an easy time. Route-finding is critical. This is one winter route on which a GPS is almost mandatory. We did a good job in staying close to route until we reached the creek around 10,800'. After that, route-finding was difficult and we ended up way off trail. Treeline seems to go on forever on this route. Never made it above treeline, but conditions above looked good.
Photos (click for slideshow):