| Glissading Mt. Shavano
This is my first trip report, so be kind . This hike on Mt. Shavano was my 23rd new 14er, and probably 35 or so ascents counting all my repeat climbs.
This was the kind of hike that helped to remind me why I love hiking the 14ers and why I decided to retire in Colorado after my 25 years in the Army. The day was beautiful (windy, but beautiful), and I met several very friendly people on the trail. It always amazes me how quickly you can converse like old friends with fellow hikers. I guess it takes a special breed to get up early, wear yourself to a frazzle, dare the hazards of falls, scarce oxygen, and muscle aches, and then call all of that fun!
I started out Saturday morning in Colorado Springs: up at 3:00; out the door at 0330; heading out for the Angel from Blank Gulch Trailhead at 0630. My first picture shows first light on the Angel of Shavano shortly before I arrived at the trailhead.
First light on the Angel
I started out on the trail planning to climb up the angel, but ended up taking a higher trail on the right and caught the angel around where the right arm branched off. I traversed the arm with some mild post-holing and kind of made my way up to the summit in between the arm and the head. The snow was already getting soft so I stayed off as much as possible. There were a couple other small groups that seemed to be path-finding as well. One group of two had a hiker who had just arrived from Kansas. He made it to the top while I was eating lunch. Way to go Kansas!!!
It took me 4 1/2 hours to summit and I felt pretty good. Here is a picture of me at the top
While on top I took several pictures of the area which again reminded me of why I love hiking 14ers. The hike across to Tabeguache looked a little sketchy with the soft snow so I decided to return another day for that one. The first picture below is a shot across to Tabeguache. Following that is one of the better shots from the top along with a shot back down the way I came up.
View across to Tabeguache
Back down the valley
For the last 100 yards or so to the top (seemed like 100 miles) I started talking with a couple guys from the east; Missouri, etc. They had just climbed Yale the day before. They were doing awesome! After lunch on top I caught up with them as they were beginning to plan their slide down the mountain. I had read about glissading and had even bought a new ice axe in REI's big sale. Now was my chance to try it out!
Tim, Nick, Chris, and Paul graciously allowed me into their team and I can honestly say I have never had so much fun falling down a mountain! Until this experience, running down the scree trail on Mt. Bross had been the best. But this beat all. The following picture is me after just finishing glissading down the body of the Angel. The next picture shows Tim, Nick, Chris, and Paul the young guys that helped this "old man" down the hill.
After the Angel slide
Tim, Nick, Chris, and Paul
I stuck with my new friends for the walk back to the trailhead. On the walk down I took a couple shots of the beautiful streams. Here is one that shows some of the snow still to melt off in the trees.
The Angel's tears on the walk down
After only 2 1/2 hours for the descent, I dropped the top on the Rubicon for the long drive home and said so long to Tim, Nick, Chris, and Paul. Just want to say thanks guys for the great experience and making Mt. Shavano a great memory. I took these last two pictures on the drive out. I cannot say for sure, but I think I see more of a smile on that Angel's face now than when I saw her in the morning
Angel waving goodbye
Number 23 in the bag
Well, number 23 is in the bag and already can't wait to hit the trail for number 24! The last day of June is my 50th birthday and I am struggling with which mountain to do that day. Guess I will close with my favorite quote that I repeat when facing challenges:
"Never measure the height of a mountain until you reach the top, then you will see how low it was" Dag Hammarskjold.
Until next time; Dr. Dave signing out!
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):