Trip started with a 6 mile hike from the Browns Lake trailhead up to Browns Lake. Nice backpack trip not too steep only 2500 feet over the 6 miles.
on the trail about 2 miles in with Mt Shavano in background
Many campsites on the road side of the hike; the best one for backpackers is on the far end of the lake away from the 4x road. We camped about 1/2 mile from the end of Browns Lake on the road side headed toward the route.
view of the lake from the end of the trail. nice campsite just to the left of the picture
There are a million different cairns in the drainage leading up to the base of Tabegauche and point 13,712; follow any group of them and they will lead to the gully. This is a general idea of the direction you are headed for.
the green arrows show the route up the drainage to the gully
From here we took a direct line up the gully to a ridge headed to the saddle between Tab and Shavano. Roach's route says to head to the left up a ridge to the saddle between point 13,712 and Tabeguache (we descended this route, and found the ascent route a nicer overall hike).
you may see this mountain goat jawbone on the ridge
or some of these flowers...
looking back on the gully at Laura and I from the ridgeline. Just hike straight up!
looking up from the ridgeline toward the Tab/Shavano saddle
looking back toward the saddle between Tab and Pt 13,712 (Roach's route)
From here this route follows the same path as the standard route up Tabegauche back down to the saddle and up Shavano.
Laura and I on Tabegauche
Sam and I on summit
some of the upper route up Shavano from the saddle
Shavano summit with clouds chasing us down
This picture shows Roach's route (green line). It involves more talus scrambling than the gully, but isn't as loose. It also seemed to be less direct than following the gully. Either way it appears that both roues are used, although Roach's route seems to have higher mtn goat traffic as we were following their footprints most of the way down!
looking down roach's route (in green) the route we took up is red
There is also a beautiful waterfall that is 1/4 mile off the Browns Lake trail that is worth checking out.
Browns falls, great place to cool off!
Also of note this is a really HOT trail in the summer; get an early start if you don't like roasting on the trail. There are also 4 or 5 bridge crossings, that can be a little tricky with a heavy pack and tired legs (as Laura can note, she almost fell in Little Browns Creek on the way back down!) .
Total mileage:18.5 miles
Total elevation: apprx 7000 ft
GPS of the acsent and descent routes
GPS of browns lake trail