| Angel of Shavano snow climb - and assorted fun
The Angel of Shavano: an epic day.
So, my buddy and I hit the trail at 7:30 planning to do Shavano up the angel, and then proceed over to Tabeguache. The angel's in great condition, and the climb was fantastic. Most fun I've had on a 14er thusfar. There was a pair of gray jays that followed up up to about 12,000. We took a snack break at the base of the angel and then proceeded straight up the angel. We climbed straight up the fantastic snow all the way to the top of the head (i.e. we did not take either arm, just went straight up).
Looking up into the angel. Great snow climbing!! About 100 feet below the summit, the wind picked up. Boy, did it pick up. It was slow going to the summit, and both of us got blown over (literally) a few times.
We descended off the summit toward Tabeguache. At the saddle between Tabeguache and Jones Peak, we had a choice. I started up Tab while my buddy hung back. I got about 1/4 up Tab, but then thick clouds rolled in, I couldn't see the summit anymore, and the crazy wind was just hammering me with snow. I turned around.
When I met up with my buddy at the saddle, we knew we needed to get down quickly due to weather and remaining daylight. Due to the outlook of the weather, we decided we had to go down the nasty gulch east of the saddle because the thick clouds were rolling onto/around the summit of Shavano. That gulch was NOT fun. The wind was kicking out the jams the whole time. Blew us over multiple times. Had to very carefully descend down the really steep snow(ice really)-covered cliff, getting pelted by wind-blown chunks of snow the whole time. Finally, finally got down that steep disaster. No one should go down that. Too dangerous.
Descent down nasty cliff. You can see our tracks near the group of small rocks in the middle.
Descended into the drainage and had to work our way around the ridge where Shavano's Eastern Slopes trail is. The snow was rather soft, and we sank countless times, even with snowshoes. We eventually got back to the car at 20:00. Grateful to be leaving, we headed home, but Tab wasn't done messing with us yet. There was a rather large oak tree laying across the road (Chaffee 252) about 2.5 miles before the trailhead. There wasn't a way around it in his Accord, nor anyway for 2 people to move it. We backtracked and connected with Chaffee 250A to 250 and out to the highway. Once we hit Colorado Springs, it started snowing. We finally drug back into Ft. Collins at 2 in the morning, a full 24 hours after we left. Quite the day, but fun in its own weird way
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