Peak(s):  Mt. Shavano  -  14,229 feet
Date Posted:  05/21/2007
Date Climbed:   05/20/2007
Author:  p_tolley

 Mt. Shavano  

After a whirlwind adventure that took my wife and me from Denver to Pueblo, then to Grand Junction and finally to the Shavano/Tabeguache trailhead in a little under 48 hours we finally managed to get some sleep in the back of our truck. However, the alarm soon went off and we started down the trail at 4:22 am. At the lower elevations, and even for the most part at higher elevations there was relatively little snow on the trail. This photo shows the junction of the Colorado Trail and the Shav/Tab Trail.
We made good time as the trail was in good shape. Near where the trail parallels the stream there was some snow, but the tracks of previous climbers provided an apparent and stable path to follow. This photo shows the summer trail above timberline as it approaches the Angel of Shavano.
Once the summer trail intersected the right arm of the Angel we donned our snowshoes and started to climb up. We started climbing the right arm around 8:15 am and the snow was hard enough that for the most part we could climb easily. This photo shows the top portion of the Angel as seen from an open area on FR 252.
After caching our snowshoes, we continued on to the summit and were able to follow some tracks that had been laid down the previous day. We took our time and topped out at around 9:30 am. This photo shows Tabeguache Peak as seen from the summit of Mt. Shavano.
After taking a few photos my wife and I decided to start the traverse to Tabeguache Peak. We hadn't made it far down the ridge when we noticed a fast building cloud forming over Mt. Shavano. We decided at that point that we should head back over the summit, leaving Tabeguache Peak for another day. This photo shows the cloud that formed directly over Mt. Shavano as we were trying to regain the summit.
We regained the summit of Mt. Shavano at 10:00 am and it started to snow lightly. As we moved lower the snow turned into pea-sized hail. Then, I was surprised to feel a static shock from my trekking poles. I turned, looked at my wife, and noticed that some of her hair was standing on end. Needless to say we didn't take the time to do anything but lose elevation as fast as we could. We dropped from the top of the right arm of the Angel down to treeline as quickly as we could, not taking the time to look back. We never heard any thunder or saw any lighting, but the static in my poles and the buzzing that my wife could hear were enough to convince us that our stay on top was over.

Thankfully, the rest of the hike out was uneventful and we arrived back at the trailhead at 12:58 pm. We were a little sore from the forced march/rapid descent we had made from the top, but we were glad to be in one piece. Hopefully, we will get back soon and be able to make it all the way to Tabeguache Peak. *Just remember watch out for lightning/dangerous weather it can come on fast.*

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