Peak(s):  Mt. Shavano  -  14,229 feet
Tabeguache Peak  -  14,155 feet
Date Posted:  06/22/2008
Date Climbed:   06/21/2008
Author:  ll262

 Blank Gulch TH  

After climbing Mt Antero Friday morning, I arrived at the Blank Gulch TH in the mid-afternoon. There were still a fair number of cars at the main trailhead and a few people along the camping sites but I found a nice shaded area to park and rest. Being the first night of summer it didn't get dark until after 9pm but I managed to get some sleep for a few hours and was up shortly after 4am. The moon was out and the skies were fairly clear, so it looked like it was going to be another nice day to hike. I hit the trail around 5:15 with the skies already being light and the temperature being cool but not cold. The trail was easy enough to follow and the stream along the trail was running fast due to the melt off also.
As I got closer to tree line I encountered a few small snow fields to cross.
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Crossing the snow fields was easy enough in the morning as the snow is well compacted and there are foot prints from previous hikers to follow. There are about 5-6 snow fields right now, with the first 2 being the widest and the remainder being just a few steps each.
There were also some great views at this time as the trees started to thin and you could see to the east and south, clouds blanketed the entire area.
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After making it above tree line the trail was mostly clear, there are still some small snow fields along the switch backs just before reaching the saddle but only one small section of trail is covered.
Once I reached the saddle I took a quick break to get some more pictures of the valley below.
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The remaining hike to the summit followed many different broken trails but fairly easy. A look at the approach to the summit.

After 3hrs of hiking I was on the summit. I sat alone for about 20min, eating and enjoying the views, before anyone else arrived. Looking to the north at Mt Antero.

After 30min I decided to head over to Tabegauche as the weather was perfect. The climb over was easy enough, there is a snow field in the saddle to cross but the snow is still compacted enough that you don't posthole. Stay to the left of the snow fields on Tabegauche and follow the broken trails to the summit.

Just under an hour later I was on the summit. There were 2 other guys on the summit, one of whom was doing not only Shavano and Tabeguache but also planning on summiting Antero, all from the Brown's creek TH. That's a long day.
After a 15min break it was back to Shavano. The return trip was faster, as it took only about 40min to reach the summit of Shavano once again. Here is the view from the saddle looking towards Shavano, you can see part of the snow field.

The trails and summit were getting more crowded with people now so after a quick break I was headed back to the TH. The hike back was easy enough, the only area to watch is crossing back over the snow fields at tree line. While you don't posthole the snow does start to melt some and it does become a little slick. While tempting to stay another day to play in the mountains I headed back to Denver. It was a good start to the summer.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

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