I was falling behind on my attempt to summit 6 14ers this year so I decided to try Shavano/Tabeguache. Woke up at 3am, was on the road by about 3:15. It took me 3 hours to make it to the trailhead from Englewood (Just south of the DTC.) No problems getting my car to the trailhead. After a brief false start where I forgot my poles, I started on the trail proper at 6:45.
Not much to report. The weather below treeline was spectacular, not a cloud in the sky. The clear skies continued above treeline, but some very intense winds started to pick up, eventually they were intense enough to knock me over twice when I wasn't paying attention. No idea how fast they were, but they tipped my poles past 45 degrees when I let them dangle in the wind. The winds were particularly intense right at the saddle just south of the summit.
Despite the wind, it was not that cold, I had a jacket and headsock but never bothered to put them on, although almost everyone else on the trail had them.
The trail up to Shavano is fairly clear, although you have to be a little careful at a few points. The trail is hardly smooth however, and it was pretty hard on my ankles.
Past tree line the ascent up Shavano was simple enough. I summited at about 10:10, slower then I expected. Skies were still clear so I decided to try for Tabeguache. I went on the east side of the ridge because of the winds coming from the west. Once past the saddle between the two peaks I lost the trail, despite periodically finding a few cairns, I really couldn't find any consistent trial markers past that so I just made my way up to the peak. Compared to Shavano, Tabeguache was deserted. After a quick candy bar and some pictures I headed back down.
I got back to the Shavano summit at 12:15, so its about a 2 hour round trip to Tabegauche. Sky was still cloudless, but I need to get back home so I tried to hustle down. It was hard to make a good pace going downhill, and I got back to the car around 2:30, roughly a 8 hour round trip. I took 2 liters of water, which was sufficient.
The views were nice, although I would have to rate Huron as a higher reward/effort peak. The trail is fairly rugged, making this a longer hike then it appears on paper.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):