Peak(s):  Tabeguache Peak  -  14,155 feet
Mt. Shavano  -  14,229 feet
PT 13,712  -  13,712 feet
Post Date:  10/06/2011
Date Climbed:   10/01/2011
Posted By:  spot_coop
Additional Members:   coop_dogg

 Tabequache, Shavano and pt 13,712 from the NW side   

Since we took a not-so-popular route up Tabequache and Shavano, I decided to write a trip report. We hiked Mt. Antero and Cronin Peak in July and kept looking at Tab & Shav to the south. There is a nice saddle between Tabeguache and Carbonate Mtn. that caught our eyes. It looked like we could take our ATV over the Antero/Cronin saddle and down into the valley and hike from there. Just cruise up the saddle between Tab/Carbonate, hike the ridge to Tab, then continue around to Shavano. The thought went to the back of our minds until we decided the weather was going to be really nice again, so we had to go out hiking!

Before we left, I did some probing on the forum for information on heading up the saddle between Tabaguache and Carbonate Mtn. barryraven and a few others had excellent information, so we hit the road feeling confident in our decision. We drove to the lower Antero trailhead, parked our big truck, unloaded the ATV, packed on our gear then took off up the road. We cruised up and over the saddle just west of Antero, then dropped down into the valley towards Brown's Creek. Roach's book has routes described that go up Tabaguache's NE slopes. That looked like a rough route and we were set on the NW slope, so we set up camp on the west side of the valley just off the 4x4 road. We were warned of knee-deep swampy ground on the NW side, so we scouted it out the night before. There was definitely plenty of swampy ground!
Everything in the willows was swampy and mucky

With the initial scouting done, we double checked our way points to go around the swamp, then we crashed. Since we wouldn't be following a trail, we started at 6:00am (one of our latest starts besides Culebra). We stayed on higher ground as we went up the valley, then when it looked dry enough, we made a bee-line for the tundra slope that leads up the NW side of Tabeguache.
The tundra slope that heads up the saddle

The tundra slope was steep, but it was easy walking. Once on the saddle between Tabeguache and Carbonate, we started the long trek across the rocks towards Tab's summit. We went around to the south side of the ridge and kept a diagonal path. We thought we'd run into the Jenning's Creek trail fairly soon, but it's actually a lot farther along than we thought. The rocks on Tabeguache are fairly solid, so it wasn't too bad. Just lots of rock hopping.
Headed across the rocky slope

Almost to the summit of Tabeguache looking back at the SW slope we crossed

Eventually we came across more of a trail which helped speed us up. After a few false summits, we finally saw the true one ahead! We didn't realize how long of a traverse it was across Tab to get to the summit.
The summit of Tabequache Peak

Once on top, we relaxed and enjoyed the sunshine with another couple who had hiked up from Jenning's Creek. They were celebrating their 10th anniversary with a nap in the sun.
Tabeguache Peak summit shot

After a nice visit and a snack, we took off towards Shavano. There's nothing overly exciting about the traverse - just more rocks with a little bit of a trail here and there. There was a little bit of snow from the night before, but nothing to slow us down. It took us an hour to get over to Mt. Shavano's summit and there were about 6-8 people up there who came up the standard route.
Headed up Mt. Shavano

After another snack, photos and more visiting, we started back down the trail. Thanks to a friend getting us the 13ers book, my husband decided we might as well make it a loop and hit pt 13,712 while we're there. After all - it was right there! We took a NE diagonal path off Shavano to the saddle between Tabequache and pt 13,712.
Headed off Shavano and over to pt 13,712

There was more rock hopping, but it went pretty quick. Once we were on the saddle, we went east and up even more rocks to pt 13,712 (#140). I think we spent 1-2 minutes up there, then quickly started to head down since we had quite a ways to go to get back to our camp spot and the clouds were rolling in.
Our start/camping spot in the valley below

Roach has a route that goes up the NE side of Tabequache so I was excited to possibly have a trail to go back down. We got to the saddle and looked down at the route to come and there was no real trail in sight - sigh... What did we see? More rocks!
The NE slope off Tabeguache that leads to Browns Creek

The rocky slope headed off Tabequche was a bit of a bear. There were some loose sections, some that weren't so loose and it was plenty steep. I definitely would not want to hike up this slope.
Our route down the NE slope

Off the main rocky slope and skirting the N side of Tabeguache

We knew we wanted to try and stay high on the north side of Tabequache to avoid the any swampy areas in the willows or a long hike on the road. Once we got to the bottom of the rock slide area, we got into the trees and followed game trails around the side of the mountain. It was so nice to be on soft dirt trails! We got to a point where the road was close and the stream was narrow with hardly any swampy stuff around, so we crossed the stream and got back on the 4x4 road. We followed the road back to our camp site and enjoyed the view of the valley below and what we had accomplished.
Almost back to our starting point, looking down the valley

As we packed up and went back up the 4x4 road, we took some pictures to show the entire route.
Panorama with our route in yellow

Our GPS route mapped into Google Earth

The final elevation profile

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

Unique Route     10/08/2011 12:59
Did Shav/Tab in early August this year from Brown's Lake using the NE route. Essentially went up your descent route; the one you said you would not want to hike up? It was just as steep for us going up as it was for the two of you going down! Did Antero the next day and were amazed at how steep the route looked from across the valley. Nice job planning your route. Your route and the one we did are both real crowd avoiders in that basin.


Comparing your ascent and descent routes     08/15/2015 11:46
I know this report is years old, but just in case you’ll still see this note. I’ve seen a few reports of people ascending/descending the NE route that Roach describes - and that you descended. Sounds like no one really likes it. I haven’t seen that much for your ascent route to the saddle between Tabeguache and Carbonate. I was interested in linking up Antero with Shavano/Tab on a one way traverse - and was comparing these two routes. Since you did both - and made your ascent route sound appealing - do you think that would be a good way to descend Tabegauche and approach Antero? If you hadn’t been going for pt 13,712 would have descended the way you came up? Sounds like it had better footing and you were able to avoid the worst of the swampy stuff too... Any thoughts are appreciated.


Shav/Tab from the north     08/15/2015 21:10
Hey Karine. We really enjoyed Shav/Tab from the way we went and hadn’t planned on doing 13,712, we only did it because after getting to Shav – we didn’t want to go all the way back up and over Tab to come back the way we came. If you were doing a one–way traverse, say going up the East Slopes of Shav and then to Tab, down the way we went up and over to Antero, it would make a good long hike if you have two cars or someone to pick you up on the other side. You’d get a ton of solitude and a nice alternative to the normal route. Looking back at our trip report, if you did Antero first, I would come down the valley and go up the way we did trying to stay out of the swamp and avoiding the loose rock going up Roach’s route. If you did Shav first, I’d go over to Tab, come back to the saddle and then down the route we did and then hit Antero because it’s pretty long going back to our ascent route and headed down the NE route isn’t that bad.

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