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 Peak(s):  Mt. Shavano  -  14,229 feet
Tabeguache Peak  -  14,155 feet
 Post Date:  09/18/2005 Modified: 07/23/2006
 Date Climbed:   09/18/2005
 Posted By:  Aubrey

 Shavano/Tabeguache - Blank Cabin TH   

To increase our odds of doing Shav AND Tab, we left our hotel room in Salida at around 5 a.m. The dirt road (250/252) wasn't bad at all, but be sure to slow down for the many run-off dips or you'll bottom out (even at just 20-25 mph). Oh, and also, watch out for bunnies in the early morning -- we had to slam on the brakes many times (we weren't driving fast, either). BTW, you also wanna watch out for cows, as they roam freely around there (hence, all the cattle guard crossings).

We left the trailhead at 5:30 a.m. and traversed north on the Colorado Trail for a short distance. There's a clearly marked sign designating the trail that heads to the left to Shavano. From there, we headed on up a steady slope along a pretty good trail, albeit very rocky and rooty. Even though we had a full moon and Petzl headlamps, we had to pay attention (wouldn't be difficult to wander off trail into the woods).

Above treeline, climbing along the slope, the wind picked up and made climbing much more difficult ... and a lot colder. Fighting off a mild cold, I felt really sluggish and slow ... and as if the climbing wasn't hard enough, we had to push up against the wind. Thought that was bad until we made it to the saddle. Damn it was cold! Wind gusts had to be at least 40 mph -- enough to push me a little sideways on many occasions. My backpack was acting like a sail, twisting me about. From the saddle Shavano looked much easier than it actually was. That said, it wasnt so bad. Summitted Shav at 9 a.m.

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The weather (aside from the cold wind) was INCREDIBLE. Sunny and blue, with absolutely NO CLOUDS in the sky for as far as the eye could see. Pretty much stayed that way all day, too. Anyway, we boulder hopped the easy rocks down to the saddle between Shav and Tab, and then made the arduous climb up Tab on the easy scree ... with the trail (we occasionally drifted onto and off of) making it even easier. Summitted Tabeguache at 10 a.m. After climbing back down to the saddle, the first 10 or so yards back up Shavano burned. Got into a groove, though, and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be (after having already climbed almost 5,000 feet). It was fairly gradual, and steps on the boulders were easy to find. Finally made it back up to Shavano's summit at 11 a.m., and that was the first time we came across anyone else the entire day.

Great fall foliage flickering in the sunlight on the way down.

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Made it back to the TH just before 1 p.m. Quite the endurance run ... but quite a bit of fun ... and great views.

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