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 Peak(s):  Mt. Shavano  -  14,229 feet
 Post Date:  08/08/2010
 Date Climbed:   08/06/2010
 Posted By:  Mooney Pilot

 Salida By Air, Shavano By Foot   

Mt. Shavano, near Salida, is known for the "Angel of Shavano" snowfield. During the spring snowmelt, the last of the mountainside snow to melt is in the shape of an angel.

Flying to Salida from Texas, my first Colorado waypoint is Walsenburg. The Spanish Peaks near Walsenburg:

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At Walsenburg it's decison time. Continue northwest toward Westcliffe, or turn west over La Veta Pass, then north up the San Luis Valley? I opted for the La Veta Pass route, as it had fewer clouds.

The Blanca group after flying over La Veta Pass:

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The Great Sand Dunes, after turning north near Alamosa:

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My hiking destination, Mt. Shavano, from the Salida airport. Hopefully there will be fewer clouds during my hike:

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On climbing day I hit the trail around daybreak. The trail is obvious until you get near the stream crossing. Then, according to the route description on the 14ers.com website, the trail "can be hard to follow". I thought that "bewildering" might be a more apt description. Some more cairns would be helpful.

After breaking past treeline, I looked back and had this view of Salida:

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As I approached the saddle, although by August the snow had melted, I could make out a faint outline of the famous Angel of Shavano:

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A view of the summit from the saddle:

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A closer view of the summit. Be warned, there are several false summits as you make your final ascent:

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At last, the final, yes final, summit pitch:

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And a couple of views from the summit:

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On my descent, I noticed that it was raining near Salida, and wondered whether my airplane was getting a free wash job:

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For my return flight home I opted for the Westcliffe route. Here's a shot of the Crestones from over Westcliffe:

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And, over Walsenburg, a final shot of the Spanish Peaks, this time sans clouds:

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All in all, an excellent adventure.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (4)
Flood


Pick me up     2010-08-09 08:42:40
Next time... make a stop at borger airport.. I drove and did Shavano and Tab this weekend. Flying so much nicer than driving... or is it?


Mooney Pilot


Flying     2010-08-09 09:48:54
If the weather is nice, flying beats driving. But it's an expensive hobby.


huffy13


Love the shots from the plane....     2010-08-22 18:20:09
I always enjoy the drive from Borger to the mountains, but it is fun to try and recognize peaks when I fly from Amarillo to Denver. Which airport do you fly out of? Hey Flood, when we finally get to go hike something together, I'll drive!
Great report, Mooney!


Mooney Pilot


Flying     2010-08-22 20:17:52
Flood & huffy13: I live in Livingston, TX (just north of Houston). On my trips to Colorado I stop for gas and a visit with my mother in Pampa. The three of us should get together for dinner, drinks, and mountain climbing stories sometime when I'm in the panhandle.



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