Friday, June 4, 2010

Climbing Mt Shavano and Tabeguache Peak

Yesterday we decided to see how our legs are doing, recovery-wise, and to check out the upper reaches of the peaks across from Buena Vista, CO. After reading a few recent trip reports from people who had climbed several local 14ers, I decided that Mt Shavano/Tabeguache Peak might not be too snow-covered for us. So we set out for an attempt at our first "double" of two 14ers in one day.

Heading up the pretty trail through the pretty woods next to a pretty creek:

Our legs were doing well on the ascent, and our lungs didn't seem to have too much problem with the higher elevation. So far, so good.

There were a couple of snowy spots on the traverse as we popped out from treeline, but they were easy to cross:

We made it up to the top of Mt Shavano without incident. Here's John trying to reach the broken summit register down in the rock pile (but not succeeding):

The view from the top - awesome!

Mt Shavano summit pose:

A different kind of summit pose:

A look across to Tabeguache Peak - a mile and several hundred feet of down/up away:

There was more snow (and looser rocks) on that side:

It was a bit tougher reaching the 2nd summit, but we finally got there.

John floating in the sky at the top of Tabeguache Peak:

At this point I was wondering, "What the heck was I thinking?" because we had to go back to the saddle and BACK up to Mt Shavano to get off the mountain(s). As the trail description says, "the only practical escape is to return over Shavano." The word "escape" caught my notice.

The view back to Mt Shavano:

Yet another summit pose:

The Tabeguache summit register is intact:

The views!

Ah, the views:

Harvey demonstrating the wind gusts at the top, on our way back to Shavano:

John emulating Harvey, sans cape, after our 2nd climb to the top of Mt Shavano:

My legs and lungs got pretty tired during that last climb, but after that it was all downhill to the finish.

Looking back at the "Angel of Shavano", a figure in the snow that John says looks more like a Dr Suess character (we glissaded down one section but decided it might be easier to take the trail down):

I love the Colorado Trail!!

Yay for the Colorado Trail and the Shavano Trail!

Looking back during our drive out, with the Angel circled:

Phew, a tiring but rewarding day. We look forward to more 14er adventures in the coming weeks. It's great training and we really enjoy it. Thank you, Colorado!
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