July 10, 2013 - Summit Day 2 PT 13,712, Shavano, Tabeguache
This route qualifies as the road less traveled , involved some nasty lose *boulders* - not just talus, a lot of route-finding, and was pretty long.
First target: the high point (PT 13,712) above and behind the slob in this photo in order to reach the Shav-Tab saddle.
Not a morning person?
Viewed from much higher (on the previous day's hike), you can see today's targets and their connecting ridges. We took several photos since it was not really clear where to approach this mountain. The gully gets loose and steep, sot the challenge is to find a route to gain the GREEN portion of PT 13,712's flank, continue to half-way up and then hopefully find stable footing to continue to the ridge, or in my case, to the PT 13,712 summit. The different colored routes scribbled on this photo are conceptual approximations of the different routes the members of our group scouted - we bumped into Andrew and Monica, who we had met the previous night and more or less hiked together for the first part of the day.
BUT FIRST, we had to get through the forest to the flank of the mountain. There *IS* a cairned route up one of the avalanche gullies, but the lower stretches are so covered with downed trees that it's of little use until the forest thins out.
WATCH OUT FOR SPIDERS -- they OWN this slope.
Spider suspended in foreground with Andrew and Will behind
Hey, brah, want some dried fruit?
on of the more pleasant stretches of ascent up PT 13,712
Here's a heavily edited mashup video of the ascent up PT 13,712: Crumbly rock, sand, soft tundra, talus, boulders. A little bit of everything. I've retained more video on this bit than on other parts of the hike since the Tav-Shav ridges are heavily travelled and documented. In contrast, this odd North-side approach to PT 13,712 is not well known. Hopefully someone finds it useful.
If you watch the video, it's interesting that we found a long-unused trail which served us for a short distance. It had clearly been pounded into the mountain, but it had also grown back over with vegetation, leaving a soft green depression rather than the beat-out trails I usually see. It must see very infrequent traffic. If you can locate the trail earlier than we did, it can make your route more enjoyable and less steep)
Andrew and Monica had no intention of doing PT 13,712 so they made more or less direct progress to the low part of the ridgeline (blue route). I hewed to the East (red route) even though this meant more vert and Young Master William went somewhere in between (green route), finally deciding to ascent the ridge to the summit of PT 13,712 as he only had to gain a 150 feet or so on the ridgeline. In retrospect, I would recommend starting on red (and perhaps not going QUITE so far to the right). At the midpoint, switch to green, gain the ridge and use THAT to summit 13,712.
Summit PT 13,712
Summit PT 13,712, Mt. Shavano in background
Home sweet camp
After a moment of mirth, merriment and trail mix, Young Master William took off down the ridge en route to Shavano.
The routes ahead, taken from part way descended off PT 13,712
I stayed lower and took a more gradual tack up Shavano. Descend PT 13,712 on stable talus/boulders, cross to Shavano's slopes on tundra, ascend Shavano on stable rock embedded in a relatively forgiving hillside. The main challenge here is mental (at least for me!): Shavano has multiple falsies when you approach from the North. Here's a bit of video to illustrate how every time it looks like I'm topping out, the ridge stretches further South and an even higher point appears.
As you see in the video, Andrew and Monica bomb out of Shavano before I reach the summit with Young Master William 10 minutes behind. Apparently there was concern about the weather. Looked fine to me!
Shavano summit looking NW. Tab summit is obscured by my mighty beard
Urine-obsessed ?? marmot. This guy did not look at me ONCE. Must have been good stuff. *no, it was not me*
View of Tabeguache Pk (NW) from Mt. Shavano summit
View North from Mt. Shavano summit
In CONTRAST to Shavano's long ridge to the North, Tabeguache presents little in the way of a definable ridge line to the East/Southeast. This Eastern face of Tab is gentler than Shavano but the rock isn't as secure, perhaps because the soil is not well developed on this face. Closer to the summit, you get typical Sawatch talus, but again, the pitch is gentle enough that balance is not much of an issue. Here are a few video frames to show what I mean:
Summitting Tabeguache Pk
Behold, I hath brought sunshine for my people!
Andrew and Monica on Tab
Summit Tabeguache Pk
Tab summit looking West
Back to the useful beta: GO WAY EAST WHEN DESCENDING TAB TO BROWNS LAKE . First, get all the way back over the the PT 13,712-Shav ridge rather than dropping off the side of the Tab-Shav ridge. Once clearly on the ridge to PT 13,712, go ahead and upclimb 100 vert feet or so. The work put into doing this partial re-ascent of PT 13,712 will be less than the struggle with the long, tipsy boulder traverse we did. We dropped in too early, which resulted in a protracted descending traverse of teeter-totter boulder surfing. These big rocks are not secure -- not that they often slide, but that they tip, rock and in some cases flip over.
PT 13,712 in the background. We have yet to cross to the North (left) onto our descent slope
From the slope of PT 13,712 looking back at Tab
I just got out of the shifty boulders and into the nice ones!
Still my favorite...
Back at camp -- we had descended that most prominent diagonal from upper left to lower right -- just rolled over the lip from what you can see here -- that's where the grassy slope/boulder field mix is. The distant high point at right is Tab's western false summit. You can't quite make out Tab's main summit in this picture -- it more or less coincides with the foreground ridge line of PT 13,712
Well, that was fun. What else you got?
View from camp out the mouth of the valley
Browns Lake Camp
Preceding Report: Antero from South - 2013 Summer Trek: Rpt 1 of 7 Subsequent Report: Uncompahgre - 2013 Summer Trek Rpt 3 of 7
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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