Peak(s):  Mt. Shavano  -  14,229 feet
Date Posted:  05/06/2012
Date Climbed:   05/05/2012
Author:  Hunter
 Shavano's new challenge  

Hiked Shavano yesterday.
The Route:
The standard route was like a war zone from the Colorado Trail all the way to treeline. Complete devastation of the forest. Thousands of pine trees 2' (yes, two feet) in diameter blown over their roots now reaching to the sky along with rock and soil creating craters 5' deep & 10' wide. We were walking amongst sleeping giants. Needles still soft, it had to have occurred in the past two weeks. No semblance of trail was possible from 9,800' to 12,200'- over 2 miles. A WORD OF CAUTION- WITHOUT A GPS, YOU MUST HAVE A STRONG KNOWLEDGE OF THE ROUTE AND POSSESS STRONG ROUTE FINDING SKILLS. This this section added 1 hour to our journey up. Climbing over, under, through, while meandering around the forest. It will take more than this year and a concerted and dedicated effort either re-route the trail (cheaper option) or remove the downed trees.

This is a summer hike. No snow below treeline. Above treeline several small pockets to hop over or go around, but absolutely no need for crampons, micro spikes, gators, or snowshoes. Windy as was my experience 3 years ago, but not as strong. Happy I took a down jacket for the summit rest as it was 60F, but we were experiencing 30-40 MPH sustained winds (feels like 40F-43F) with an occasional lull.

I have quite a bit of experience hiking at night which has helped me hone my orienteering skills. FOR THE CONDITIONS I'VE LISTED ABOVE, I HIGHLY DISCOURAGE ANYONE FROM BEGINNING THIS ROUTE PRE-DAWN. Be safe.

 Comments or Questions

I agree...
05/07/2012 18:55
We experienced some delays going up the standard route because of the tree fall (about an extra hour). I don't know if it was luck or not, but we managed to stay on or close to the trail for most of the way up, much in thanks to the GPS.

We decided to go down Angel on the way back due to bad weather rolling in. BIG MISTAKE!!! Even with the GPS, we got lost and had to bushwhack through dense tree fall for 4 extra hours! One of the worst experiences I've had to date.

Of the several groups that were on the mountain with us, only one solo hiker managed not to get lost or experience heavy delays due to bushwhacking. The previous night, we met a group of hikers that left the top of Shavano at 1:30pm and didn't make it down until 9:30pm.

If you decide to give Shavano a try, bring a GPS and use the standard route.


Pictures of th tree fall?
05/17/2012 01:46
Does anyone have pictures of the tree fall there? I live in Arkansas, so climbing 14ers is a once every three or four years thing for me. I have seven days of climbing planned for June and seven peaks planned for that time. Shavano and Tabeguache were our last two peaks to hit. We do plenty of bushwacking when we go waterfall hunting here, but I want to see some of the damage to make sure some of my less experienced guys will be able to make it.

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