Peak(s):  Mt. Shavano  -  14,229 feet
Tabeguache Peak  -  14,155 feet
Date Posted:  04/16/2010
Modified:  05/15/2010
Date Climbed:   04/11/2010
Author:  Dancesatmoonrise

 Mashed Potatoes & Gravy: Shav/Tab in Spring  

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy:
Springtime on Shavano and Tabeguache

Peaks: Shavano, Tabeguache
Route: East Ridge
Date: 4-11-10
Length: 14 miles RT
Vertical: 6200 feet
Ascent time to Shavano: 4 hours
Total time: 12.5 hours
Ascent Party: Ken, Micah, Jim

Morning's Glow on the Colorado Trail


January 16, 2010
Breaking from long winter routes for a gorgeous day on G&T, I bump into two guys going in at sundown. We greet.
They're planning a nighttime ascent of Kelso Ridge with full packs to camp on Torreys summit. I'm thinking, these guys are crazy.
Welcome to Matt and Micah.

Matt and Micah, in shadow, just left of center, going after Kelso at dark.

Matt leading Ripple Effect, 5.11a/b, RRCOS, 4-14-10. Micah is belaying.

February 6, 2010
I meet Ken on Huron Peak this winter. I'm skiing the road to the TH to help keep it a daytrip; Ken slogs the entire 26 miles – in a day.
Ken is possessed by something he calls "The Grid." It makes him do weeks in excess of 20,000 verts. I'm thinking Ken is indefatigable.

R to L, Jim, Dominic, Kirk, and Ken, on the Winfield road, Huron Peak trip, 2-6-10.

Ken on Culebra Peak, 3-6-10.

April 5, 2010
Ken and I talk about doing Shavano and Tabeguache for a developing weather window Th-Sun.
Ken decides to hit Bel/Ox on Thursday, and Harvard on Saturday, so I'm thinking Shav/Tab today is out.
Meanwhile, Micah still needs Tabeguache - I'll let him tell that story.

On Route

April 11, 2010
Micah and I are at the Angel of Shavano CG Sunday morning, hitting the trail at 6:45 am.
To my pleasant surprise, Ken is on the register, only 90 minutes ahead.

We luck out with a frozen track. Only, the tracks are one way: Up.
Must have been put in the night before. We wonder where the trackmaker is.

Warm morning on the CT.


We make pretty good time on the CT from AoS CG to Blank's Cabin trail, where the tracks appear to continue our way.
Ten minutes later, they turn left up the Shavano trail. We're still in boots.

After catching Ken near treeline, still no sign of our benefactor. Micah begins to wonder why the guy never made it down.
Ken conjectures that a dead body would really liven up a TR.

Micah finds a body bag - empty! Clearly the work of body-snatchers.

Micah, at treeline, carefully inspecting potential remains.

Fifty yards up the hill - the skull!


Micah and I get back to work, pulling good time to Shavano's summit.




Seeing the ascent route first-hand, we're less concerned about afternoon wet slides and decide to relax on the summit.
Tabeguache looks pretty snowy from here.

Shavano Summit. ET 3:59. "Nice work, dude!"

Ken's a motor. He never seems to run out of gas.

Ken's moving fast; we put away lunch and head for Tabeguache, where we find everything from hard snow
to mashed potatoes and red gravy. The red dirt layer gives us a nice visual analog scale for snow firmness.

Antero, Mashed Potatoes, and Red Gravy.

Tab goes a lot more quickly than we thought.
The wind dies completely and Ken joins us, looking fashionable in his trademark zip polo and ultra-functional groucho nose guard.

Ken arriving on Tabeguache.

Summit Party on Tabeguache.

Leaving the summit of Tabeguache, Micah inquires if Ken is retired now and just climbs mountains full time.
Ken replies his boss is beginning to think so.

At treeline we spend a little time below the surface - let's just say Ken remarks he won't need a shower tonight.
Photography withheld to preserve the dignity of the descent party. What little decent dignity remained at that point, anyway.

Looking back on Shavano as storm clouds roll in.

It gradually got better as we got to the CT. I think Ken swore off 14ers for a while.
It wasn't until the following Wednesday that he did Missouri.

Let's see, Ken, nearly 30K verts this week, Thursday through Wednesday?
Hope that Grid Disease is not contagious.

Thanks to Micah and Ken for a great time on Le Tour de Red Dirt today.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

yeah baby... yeah
02/05/2011 00:22
Mashed potatoes and gravy is right. Speedy ascent.... Leisurely descent. That‘s the way I like to eat them.

Doctor No

04/17/2010 01:27
Always love the photos in your reports, Jim.


Great Job!
04/17/2010 03:16
Thanks for posting this! Looks like you guys had an awesome day! But c‘mon the non-dignified pictures are always the best ones!


01/05/2011 17:27
Anothet 5 star report Jim, first picture is from another world !


11/30/2010 17:28
That dust layer is wild. I saw it mentioned in a thread someplace but seeing it is something else. Mmm - looks like gravy

Enjoyed the artful report as always, Jim. The photos and narrative capture our experience at is most surreal. History is a nice touch.

As for camping on Torrey's summit in January - nice.

I'll be climbing Shavano (via the Angel) on May 15. Now I can't wait


04/17/2010 04:36
Micah, sure enjoyed the climb with you, too. Taking time on the descent is so critical to avoid injuries. And nice for eating lunch and taking photos.
Dr. No - Thanks, you‘re too kind! I just read your S&T TR from last summer - sweet! Sure looked different then. We didn‘t have to negotiate that rocky ground in the trees. Looks like you‘re a wildlife magnet! Love the goat shot.
Regina - We did have a fun day - I was whining a little on the descent, but as Ken says, it‘s the price of admission. Seriously, we were so busy at treeline trying to get up out of quick-snow that taking photos didn‘t much occur to me at the time. Missed you on this trip - will have to catch you on the next.
Sen - yes, it is another world. The world of Photoshop. But what the heck, this is not photojournalism class. It‘s art class.
Kimo - Hope you have an Angel left by then. If so, I just may join you! Thanks again for your kind comments.


Visions of an Angel
04/18/2010 01:03
Great day. I would have loved to have been able to join you all on this one.
Maybe next time. Until then, I‘ll just have to settle for good old solid rock.


04/19/2010 23:14
I know exactly what you mean! I went up there Sunday.. and I know how you feel! The descent was torture! Next time I‘ll definitely have to join you guys!


04/20/2010 04:36
Brunton, the way you climb hard, dry, hot rock - ... Well, we‘ll just have to throw you in the Angel to cool you off! Sorry I missed you guys at Shelf. I know you had a good time. Hope you enjoyed John. He‘s a great guy and he really enjoyed climbing with you guys.

Yalegirl - Yes, please do join us guys. We need some rockin‘ females like you to share this torture. : )

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