Peak:  Mt. Shavano
 Route:  Angel of Shavano
 Range:  Sawatch
 Posted By:  seeking timberline
 Date of Info:  5/5/2023
 Date Posted:  5/5/2023

Skied the Angel of Shavano today. CR 250 and 252 are clear of snow all the way to the Blanks Cabin trailhead. A large drift just past Placer Creek is melted enough that you can skirt by it. The Colorado Trail is completely dry. The Shavano trail is its normal rocky, miserable self up to about 10,400 then intermittent snow. At 10,700 the snow became continuous and I put on skins for the climb up to the base of the Angel.

There is stable, continuous snow from the base of the Angel all the way up to the Esprit Point / Shavano saddle at 13,500 feet. Going up in the morning the body of the Angel was rock-hard ice. Crampons are definitely recommended. Above the Angel the snow is windblown but skiable. Dropped in from the saddle at 10:00 a.m. and by then the Angel had turned to perfect corn snow, making for some fun turns all the way back to tree line.

Once the trees got too tight to ski, I put skins back on for flotation through the snow in the trees which by mid-day was wet and slushy.

Comments or Questions
Microspikes only?
05/06/2023 08:22
Can this be done in microspikes with a early morning start in your opinion? Or would you bring snowshoes?

seeking timberline
Maybe both?
05/06/2023 10:41
If your snowshoes have good teeth on the bottom they would be better than microspikes because you will definitely need flotation for your decent back through the trees by mid-day. On my descent I was at the base of Angel by 11:00 a.m. and in the sun the snow was already too soft to support you without skis or snowshoes. The problem with snowshoes, I'd think, is going up the body of the Angel in the morning when the snow is rock hard. That slope is 28-30 degrees. With crampons you've got those two big teeth sticking out of the toes so you can dig your foot in and walk up like stairs. With snowshoes you're going to be more flat footed and your calves are going to get a heck of a stretching. Maybe bring both? Microspikes for up; snowshoes for down.

Thank you
05/06/2023 11:24
Thank you!

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