Climbing 14ers can be very dangerous, please read the Mountaineering Safety Page and make sure you have a map+compass and can use them effectively, without the help of electronic devices.
Route #3) Tabeguache Peak - From Jennings Creek (CLOSED)
Drive to the intersection of U.S. 285 and U.S. 50 in Poncha Springs. Go west on U.S. 50 for 6 miles and turn right on County Road (CR) 240. After 3 miles, CR 240 turns to dirt. Continue 0.6 mile to the Angel of Shavano trailhead, campground and picnic area. After the campground, the road turns to 4WD. Continue another 3.8 miles to reach the unmarked trailhead on the right. The total drive from U.S. 50 is approx. 7.6 miles. Since the "trailhead" signs have been removed, it‘s easy to miss; here are the coordinates: N 38.60050, W 106.27888
From 10,500‘, hike up the hill through dense, young Aspen trees. The trail is thin but easy to follow. Before 11,200‘, the trees thin out a bit and the trail crosses a flat area near a small tarn before starting to climb up the steep hillside towards the ridge - Photo #1. You must gain 2,000‘ to get to the top of the ridge. Between 11,500‘ and 12,200‘ the slope is in bad shape. In 2002, the CFI installed log steps/dams here to reduce soil erosion. Gently hike toward the ridge above.
Reach the ridge near 13,200‘ where the trail will briefly go around the right side and avoid going over the highest point on the start of the ridge. Photo #2 and Photo #3 show much of the remaining route, but not the summit ridge. The trail then goes straight along the ridge (north). Go up and over a few rock piles and bypass others on either side. Take the easiest route you can find. At 13,300‘, you are on the north end of the ridge and the trail begins to climb towards the peak in front of you (north). After about 100‘ of gain, the trail turns right and begins to cross the south slope of an unnamed peak (13,935‘). Photo #4 looks back down on the route. Traverse this slope on a trail that often disappears. Aim for the saddle between the unnamed peak and the false summit up to your right. The terrain never gets that difficult but watch out for loose talus. Reach the saddle near 13,800‘. Photo #5 looks back down on this slope.
From the saddle, the remaining route is visible to the east - Photo #6. Hike along the ridge up to the top of the false summit seen on the right of Photo #7. From the false summit, you are only 0.2 miles from the Tabeguache summit - Photo #8. Hike over and around rocks along the summit ridge to a notch before the summit - Photo #9. Climb down a bit and then ascend the final summit pitch. Taken from the summit, Photo #10 looks back on the upper route.
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