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Peak(s):  Mt. Shavano  -  14,230 feet
Tabeguache Peak  -  14,158 feet
Date Posted:  08/09/2023
Date Climbed:   08/05/2023
Author:  Jonesey721
 Shavano & Tabeguache   

Shavano and Tabeguache were my 4th and 5th CO 14ers. Coming from Alamosa at 4:30 in the morning I figured the trailhead wouldn't be super packed on a Saturday. But I was wrong as I barely got one of the last parking spots in the second parking lot. Weather was great all day long, no chance of thunderstorms and a warm 85 degrees. I took my best friend with me for his 2nd and 3rd 14ers. We both are in college and figured we'd have a good challenge.

I must say that once again every time I summit a new 14er it is always longer and tougher than I think. Same went for Shavano and Tabeguache. We began hiking at around 6:45 and made great time up to tree line. A little bit of getting used to the altitude and battling tired legs but we were feeling good up to that point. At tree line the remaining route up to the saddle becomes visible. This part was definitely steep but the trail was well used and not bad hiking. At the saddle the remaining route is in sight. I was actually surprised at Shavano, I had thought that once I reached the saddle the mountain would look mighty tall. However, the class 2 climb up to the top was not bad at all.

After taking in some views and pointing out other 14ers to my friend we headed down the northwest ridge of Shavano. We cruised our way down fairly quick and found ourselves at the bottom of Tabeguache. As we began up Tabeguache we quickly realized how draining it was to go back up the 600ft we lost in elevation. At this point we took it slower than Shavano but still made the summit quicker than I thought.

In my opinion, Tabeguache might have had the better views. So much of the Sawatch range was visible and pointing out 14ers in the Elk, San Juan, Mosquito, Sangre de Christo, and Front range was a blast. We also got a great view of the area directly northwest of the 14ers with small streams and lakes down below.

As we descended Tabeguache our spirits were high from the accomplishment of both 14ers. We lost the "trail" on the way down and took a bit longer but still made it down fast. Unfortunately, once again we had another 600ft climb back up to Shavano to go. This portion of the trip I felt was the most tiring to me, we took multiple breaks coming back up and felt our legs yelling at us. After a couple false summits we made it back up Shavano. Here we decided to take a long rest before the 4.5 miles back down to the truck.

Coming down Shavano and down the saddle was very steep. At the few switchbacks right below the saddle the trail is a bit loose. We took a few slides the next mile or so but nothing of concern. After a bit longer we reached tree line and were glad to be back in some shade. At this point my body was so tired I was ready to be done hiking. But my friend and I both felt that the remaining way down through the tress felt WAY longer than it did on the way up. We must have just been very tired and whiny.

We made our way back to the truck right around 3 and felt a huge relief. Reflecting on the trip we agreed that it was definitely worth the trek over to Tabeguache. I guess we just were not in good enough shape to enjoy that last bit. All in all the trip was so much fun and the route was a great challenge for a couple of young climbers like ourselves :)

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