| Sweet 16 in the South Sawatch
Mount Shavano/Tabaguache Peak
July 6th, 2008
Round Trip: ~11 miles
Elevation Gain: 4500'
covfrrider, Mel McKinney, Dave
Mel had originally planned on joining KeithK and I (and the Holy Cross group) for the 4th of July outing, but after Keith broke his wrist, alternate plans were necessary. As the weekend approached, Mel had mentioned a group going to Shav/Tab. I glommed on to what was originally 6 or 7, but became just the 3 of us. this would be my 15th and 16th 14ers, and 14 and 15 this year.
I drove down to Buena Vista mid day Saturday, had lunch and went by CKS. I hadn't been to their store in since 1987, 21 years ago when I purchased my Perception Dancer Xt, paddle, jacket and other whitewater garb from them. Things have certainly changed in the paddling world. Perception no longer makes whitewater products, boats are shorter, and prices have gone up!
I met up with Mel and Dave at the Blank Cabin TH around 4. We drove up 254 Rd and found a nice, relatively flat area with 2 fire rings and views of the north Sangre de Cristo's. We set up camp, had some beers, food and laughs.
Fire! (Photo by Mel McKinney)
I awoke at 5 Sunday morning, to find Dave cooking up Bacon and eggs... I had my blueberry muffin and milk, broke down my tent and prepped for the climb, while Mel and Dave had their 4 course Denny's breakfast.
We left camp at about 6:25, and bushwhacked over to the main shavano trail.
Heading up the faint road into the woods (Photo by Mel McKinney)
Dave surveys the route (Photo by Mel McKinney)
Climbing up through the Forest (Photo by Mel McKinney)
We met up with the main trail near the stream crossing after about 45 minutes of adventurous bushwhacking in the trees. We broke above timberline around 8:30.
Dave near timberline (Photo by Mel McKinney)
Mount Ouray dominates the view to the south for the first half of the route
The Crestones on the southeast horizon
Dave with the Arkansas River in the background
Mel with the Arkansas River in the background
Dave and I enjoy a snack above timberline (Photo by Mel McKinney)
The standard route to the Shavano saddle
The upper part of the standard route
Dave and I caught up to a gentlemen and his 2 kids right below the summit block. The 5 of us had a short chat, they were here from Oklahoma and Shav/Tab was their final climb of their vacation before heading home on Monday. We all continued on to the summit, arriving right about 10:00. I lingered for a few minutes, Dave headed back down to the saddle and joined Mel, as she wasn't feeling well and decided to hang out and wait for our return. I took off for Tab, and summited at about 11:00. I was alone on the summit for about 15 minutes, long enough to take a couple of pictures, and confirm that Dave and Mel were at the saddle.
Artsy hero shot
At this point, I started back down Tab, and when I got to the saddle between Shav/Tab, noticed that the sky to the south was getting a little darker.
The west face of Mount Shavano
North to Antero and the rest of the Sawatch
I decided to traverse around the east face of Shavano to avoid the 500 feet or so of climbing over the top. It was fun class 2/2+ scrambling. An occasional class 3 spot would present itself, making route finding somewhat challenging. I tried to just stay in a 50 foot vertical zone. I arrived on the east saddle at about 12:10, called Dave and Mel on the radio and told them to get going, as now the weather was threatening.
I met them right at the top of the angel body, and Mel and I opted for glissade. Dave continued on the trail with the agreement we'd meet near the stream crossing.
Mel after the big glissade
Flowers! (Photo by Mel McKinney)
Enough with the flowers already...
We met up with Dave, and attempted to retrace out route back through the trees. Somehow, we ended up a couple of hundred feet off route, but found our way back to camp around 2:00. The last 30 minutes or so we got rained and hailed on. 10 minutes after arriving at the cars, the sun came out. Welcome to Colorado in July!
Dave packing his tent, and me, trying to dry out (Photo by Mel McKinney)
A parting shot was in order.
Mount Shavano from Road 250
We reconvened in Buena Vista, with the thoughts of greasy cheeseburgers and french fries. K's was swamped, so we headed across the street to Pizza Work's. A 20" pie was demolished in no time, and it was time to head home.
Thanks Dave and Mel for sharing my sweet 16th with me! It was a great weekend with some new friends... looking forward to more climbs with these fine folks from the Vail Valley!