Peak(s):  Mt. Shavano  -  14,229 feet
Tabeguache Peak  -  14,155 feet
Date Posted:  08/31/2009
Date Climbed:   08/29/2009
Author:  astromwall

 A not so fun day.  

I thought these 2 peaks were going to be easy, almost identical distance and vertical gain as Belford and Oxford, but these were much more difficult to me. Maybe it was the new boots or how late we were leaving the summit or my wife losing her Ipod, but i think mostly it was the lack of variety in terrain and those fricken boots.

We camped out in the big field past the trailhead on Friday night hoping not to be eaten by cows, thankfully we weren't! We started on the trail at 6 and had awesome sunrise views while passing the giant aspen trees.
Shortly after the nice stroll through the trees you hit the Shavano trail and the trail takes a not so nice change. I don't have alot of pictures because our go-to lens broke so I only have a larger zoom lens right now. But it changes from nice packed dirt to lot-o-rocks and steep. This part of the trail seemed to be never ending. It didn't help that I was wearing a new pair of Montrail Torre GTX boots, I read some reviews that said no break in time needed. I found that to be a lie, no real blisters just extremely stiff boot that I wasn't use too.
It made for a painful day. Here is what that looks like.
Working our way to treeline took two hours. Maybe this is a good hike but the lack of variety and painful feet may have ruined my time on these peaks. If I never go there again I think I would be OK with that. Here is about the only thing interesting we saw below treeline.
No matter how my wife and I were feeling our four legged pal, Daisy, was having a good time.
Finally above treeline we got some decent views, however I was just wanting to get up and get off this thing. We could see down to the Crestone group and some other pretty big peaks closer by to the South.
The traverse back to the saddle was not to bad for the first part. Then the trail gets steep as it makes the final climb to the saddle.
Once on top of the saddle the peak seams fairly close. Don't be fooled, it still takes a while to get up there.
You also get your first look back to Tabeguache from there.
The last 100 feet or so on to the summit had some fun little scramble opportunities if your into that sort of fun! After being tortured for 4 hours I was just glad to be up there. We ate and hung around a little before deciding our next move.
This is the point where our day could have turned out even worse. We decided that we didn't want to take Daisy across to Tab because of the rockiness and length of the traverse. We didn't want to stress her paws more than needed. Here is a shot of the first part of the descent off Shavano.
We decided it would be better to go across one at a time while the other person waited on the summit with the pup. I stayed on Shavano with Daisy while Julie headed across first, into sunny skies. 40 minutes later she called to let me know she was on top and would be coming back soon.
While Julie was on here way back I was constantly watching the clouds getting darker. I had pretty much made the decision to call it and head down when Julie made it back. I really really was hating that choice. I didn't ever want to have to come up this peak again. Julie showed up about 35 minutes after calling and it was now 1:00 PM. Off to the west you could see rain and darkness heading toward us. Then Julie helped me make a choice that I knew probably wasn't the smartest thing, but again I didn't want to come back up Shavano another time. A few minutes after 1:00 I was hauling down the saddle to Tabeguache. Nobody else was going that way for obvious reasons. I passed a few people that were on there way back up Shavano and then I was alone. I stopped for a couple short breaks and was standing on Tabeguache's summit 25 minutes after making a questionable choice. I took my picture and called Julie to let her know I was heading back and within a minute of reaching the summit I was heading down again. This is what a 25 minute slightly over a mile with 500 feet of elevation loss and gain at 14,000 feet looks like on me.
I took my time getting back across while the clouds chased me. This time it took me 30 minutes. My pup was waiting so patiently and I'm sure she was thinking that I was an Idiot and we needed to be off this mountain long ago. I was thinking the same thing.
While approaching Shavano's summit it got pretty windy and started to snow a bit. I could hear some thunder in the distance and wanted nothing more than to be back to treeline.
(im on the right in this shot)
After some speedy hiking and really wanting to get off this mountain this is what I looked like arriving back onto Shavano.
We started down not far behind people I had passed on my decent off Shavano toward Tabaguache. As we got closer to treeline we got rained on for a maybe 10 minutes and then the clouds started to break apart. Also at treel line Julie realized she may have left her Ipod at the summit. We got back to the trailhead at around 4:15 after a miserable descent through the steep and rocky trail through the woods. The plan was to head to Antero and set up camp for a go at that guy on Sunday. We decided to say screw that. We headed to Salida for some Sonics. We even got Daisy her own burger for being such a trooper. Then headed back to Summit for some good sleep and a lazy Sunday.
What a weekend.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Nice push
09/01/2009 02:59
My hike up those two seemed almost identical to your ascent, although last year I had to turn around on Shavano because of cramping legs. I pushed it through questionable weather as well!


Brings back memories
09/01/2009 05:41
When I had climbed many fewer mountains, Shav/Tab seemed like a long grunt to me, too. But, if you made it from the one to the other in only 25 min., you‘re really doing pretty well! I think you might have underestimated Daisy. Unless she was actually having problems with her paws, you should probably have let her go on with you. She looks fit, and dogs can amaze you! Sorry about the iPod, but they really shouldn‘t be taken above about 10K anyway...(low air pressure causes crashes).


Snowboarding Barney
09/01/2009 14:36
Sweet shirt!
Sorry to hear about the iPod.

Doctor No

Difficult slog
09/01/2009 14:53
Although I haven‘t climbed many fourteeners yet, I found this to be more arduous than Longs‘ Keyhole route - I hiked it the same day as you, and ended up with a strained right quad going across the saddle (perfect for the long hike down to the trailhead afterwards).

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