I know it’s a little late, I have been busy and just got around to posting this report, but here it is better late than never:
Crew: Sonny, Cody, Dalton, Megan
Trail Head:7 am
Shav summit: ~1130am
Trail Head: 5 pm
Two years ago Cody, Dalton and myself attempted Shavano (unprepared) as our first 14ers without someone else “guiding” us up the route. We learned a lot that day as we ended up missing the trail head behind the restrooms and continued up the road and ended up climbing up the ridge south of where we were supposed to be. As we got out of treeline we saw a couple people climbing the correct route and we opted to make it to that saddle of Shavano and then return down the correct trail. Somewhere on the decent we lost the trail and ended up spending several hours searching for the trail head. At one point we found a road ( I think it was CO Rd 240) and fortunately a passing biker was able to point us in the direction of the trailhead. Needless to say that long day was a learning experience.
This time we returned more prepared with studied routes and maps as well as a GPS and the mindset to make sure to get on the trail head behind the restroom this time. We arrived in the San Luis Valley on the afternoon of June 21 after driving straight from Minneapolis (17 hours). It wasn’t much time to acclimate but the next morning we woke up at 5am and headed out. Dalton flew in from Bakersfield so he was in the same scenario. I was more worried about my knee holding up as I tore my posterior lateral corner of my knee during last season than the time to acclimate. Luckily I had no problems with the altitude or the knee. The climb went well and Dalton and I were feeling good enough and the weather looked clear for miles so we proceeded to climb over to tabeguache. The view from there was impressive you could see a ton of 14ers throughout Colorado, but on the climb back over shavano we made our mistake. we were dreading re climbing and had heard it was possible to traverse the side of shavano vs re climbing it so it seemed like a great idea at the time. . . worst mistake of the trip by far. We learned a new rule: Always stick to the trail. I guess this mountain teaches you something every time.
Group on Shavano
Dalton and I on tabeguache
Crew: Cody and Sonny
RT-6 hr 30 min
Left Alamosa : 5:15am
Cody and I wanted to get in one more 14er on our vacation home so after a day of panning for gold near Buena Vista I decided we should try Lindsey sometime that week. Wed looked like the best option weather wise so we jumped on it. It was one of the more scenic peaks we have done and the view of Blanca/Little bear/Ellingwood was awesome as I am partial to those peaks having grew up in Alamosa.
Bracelet for Kortney Lake-RIP 2006
Smoke/wind in SLV
On our drive back to Minnesota we stopped in the Black Hills and climbed Harney Peak. The sign at the trail head said allow 4-5 hours to climb since we didn’t get in until 730 pm we decided to hike around Sylvan Lake and then go see if we could get a motel and just climb it in the morning. We ended up sleeping in some parking lot in the car as I could not justify paying $150 for a single room for less than 6 hours sleep. The climb was 3.5 miles and took 1 hour and 10 min up, 10 min at the top and 50 min to return to the trail head. The top was fogged in and we could not see a thing but at least we still were able to climb South Dakotas high point. And on the way back home we realized we were close to the high point in Iowa so we decided to dedicate the 20 required seconds to walk to that point also. Now were back in Minnesota for the time being training and the climbing will have to be postponed until we return in August! I find these reports useful so hopefully it helps someone else out somehow.
Cody on Harney Peak