Shavano, Mount -Angel of Shavano

elevation: 4,336 m. height gain: 1,400 m.
area: Poncha Springs, Colorado, USA
map USGS 1:24,000 Maysville, CO
         38106E2
2017-May-11


Ref: 14ers.com
mount shavano


Esprit Point (left) and Mount Shavano from the access road, the shape of the angel is discernible.
Snowshoe trip: RT 9.0 (includes Tabeguache Peak); 4.25 up. I had wanted to climb Shavano and Tabeguache for quite some time now. I knew that at this time of the year I could take advantage of the angel-shaped snow gully, it's a popular easy route. I also wanted to ascend a couple of 14ers before heading back home to Golden (Canada). Unfortunately, the forecast wasn't looking that good with rain and T-storms predicted for around noon. I decided to try anyway and planned to leave during the night, just like my trip to Mount Antero. I slept a couple of hours and awoke at midnight, the full moon was illuminating the starry night sky; although my alarm was set for later, I got up and grabbed my stuff. The trail was easy to follow with the headlamp. Further along, when I encountered snow, I remained vigilant and followed people's tracks to stay on the trail. Once I reached the bottom of the gully and open terrain, the route to the angel was very straightforward. The snow climb is pretty easy, the grade isn't steep; I climbed with my snowshoes to benefit from the heel raises. The moon was less discernible and the stars were fewer than when I left the truck at midnight, clearly an overcast sky was already materializing. This night walk evoked a meditative state, I could almost make out my surroundings without the headlamp. I climbed the lower angel and then veered climber's right, up "the angel's right arm" to gain the east ridge. From there, it didn't take too long before I reached the talus slopes that precede the summit. It was kinda odd to step onto the summit in total darkness. I could see the lights of Salida below but the moon and stars had become obstructed. I decided to carry on to Tabeguache Peak. I couldn't see the connecting ridge, I had to turn on my headlamp to negotiate the blocky terrain on the traverse. I felt more alone on this part of the trip.
trailhead

Trailhead at half past midnight.

bottom of the angel

Reaching the bottom of the Angel of Shavano in pitch dark.

full moon

The full moon is a great companion.

summit of shavano

Summit of Shavano now in daylight as I come back from Tabeguache Peak.

shavano's east ridge

Mount Shavano's east ridge.

weather has greatly improved


The weather has greatly improved since my traverse to and from Tabeguache.


esprit point


Esprit Point should be called "Le Point de l'Esprit"!


nice place for a break


The saddle in the sun is an appealling place for an extended break.


resuming my descent


After a fine break, I resumed my descent on firm snow.


glissading the angel


Glissading the Angel's right arm with Shavano's summit to the left.


looking down


Looking down as I head to the body of the angel.


firm and drifted snow


Hitting pockets of drifted snow between crazy fast firm snow.


more fun ahead


More fun ahead of me!


a look back


A look back at the Angel of Shavano.


casual descent


Casual descent.


blue sky


Blue sky was totally unexpected.


stay on the trail folks


Stay on the trail folks, bushwhacking here would be horrendous...


self-promotion


Self-promotion, why not.


Continue on to Tabeguache Peak
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