Peak(s):  Mt. Shavano  -  14,229 feet
Date Posted:  05/12/2005
Date Climbed:   02/12/2005
Author:  jho

Ive meant to post our trip report for some time now, this might be as good a chance as ever. I and my lovely wife climbed Shavano from the Angel trailhead in February 2005. I will make this brief, but please know that our day turned into a 12 hour epic with a few mistakes made and some valuable lessons.

We started early, and climbed straight up, staying to the right of couloir. Snowshoes were not needed. Snow was patchy and we just kept them strapped to our packs. We reached treeline and still were able to proceed fairly easily without them. Once we neared the summit of Esprit point, the going was a bit tougher as we were postholing, but alas, we pressed on sans snowshoes. Up to that summit, it was pretty smooth climbing. Perfect day. Blue sky. We used our axes a lot for stability.

Then the adventure began. We decided to take a different route down as we thought going down the same way we came up would be too sketchy. Mistake 1. We took the long way, which actually was going to put us nearly 3 miles away from our truck around the base of the big mountain. We glissaded down to below treeline. Put on the snowshoes and started trudging through waist deep untouched pow pow for the next 6 hours. It sucked. Kinda peaceful, but mostly it started to suck quickly.

Long story short, had it not been for our compass and topo, wed have been in a snow cave that night. The sun went down on us, we had no headlamps, we ran out of food and water and the trees seemed endless.

We finally reached our truck 12 hours after we had left it that morning. Good thing we had a burger king and hotel room in Salida. Lessons learned... Wiser route finding, more food, more water, and most importantly, we ALWAYS carry a compass and map!

Ultimately, we didnt even summit! We had bonked on Esprit point which made the next 6 hours that much worse. Alas, the mountains will still be there this summer.

Have fun, eager to read your trip report. God Bless.

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