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Mount Shavano
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mini location map2016-07-18
14 by photographer avatarfriendofThundergod
photographer avatar
 
Mount ShavanoSouth Central, CO
South Central, CO
Hiking avatar Jul 18 2016
friendofThundergod
Hiking8.01 Miles 4,347 AEG
Hiking8.01 Miles
4,347 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was my last 14er I did along the Colorado Trail. After Mt. Yale, I covered just under 30 miles of backpacking to reach the turn-off trail for Mt. Shavano where I camped for an early morning summit the following day. The plan was to bag Shavano and then knock out its neighboring 14er Tabegauache Peak.

I got another very early start and woke up around 0330. I broke camp, hung my gear and then headed for the two 14ers. The trail through the treeline was a little more rugged than the other 14ers I had did and the first few miles were a bit of a slog with roots, ankle breaker rocks and low light to contend with. Nevertheless, I managed to reach the treeline around some of the best parts of the morning. I know I have gone on record in the past with this, but I will say it again, "there really is no better place to be in the world than a mountain side somewhere during first light." Naturally, I feel this experience is enhanced even more at the higher elevations. Its hard to explain, but this is really my zen moment. The eerie calm, watching the lower elevations wake-up, the birds chirping and the contrast the new day's lights and shadows cast over the mountain all contribute to an amazing experience and I would highly recommend it.

The trail up Shavano really becomes amazing after the treeline. One can immediately see the high saddle that marks the final push to Shavano and the surrounding high country views only get better as one makes their way to the flower dominated tundra and saddle area. Along the way, I ran into easily the largest herd of bighorns I had ever seen. They all seemed to be babies and maybe I misidentified them, but there were easily a couple dozen sheep, or goats grazing the tundra, as I made my way up.

After reaching the saddle, its a pretty good scramble up to the peak, but nothing unmanageable. As far as I know, I only shared the mountain with one other person that Monday morning and this only further enhanced my experience. Between the views and the stunning saddle area, I would have no problem placing this 14er above nearly all of the nine 14ers I completed while in Colorado. Immediately after reaching the summit, I started scouting my route to Tabegauche. However, something crossed my mind. Why not enjoy this summit a little? My legs and body were fatigued, the views were amazing and I still needed to finish the rest of the segment anyways. Therefore, instead of pushing ahead which is usually the case with me, I sat in one place and simply enjoyed perhaps the best conditions I have endured on a 14er, along with some of the best views. A Great choice! Tabegauche was not going anywhere and on this day discretion would be the better part of valor.

I ran into a few people coming down, but the hike was generally uneventful and fast, as is the case with most 14er descents. Upon reaching camp, it was a quick snack, a transition back to the heavy pack and back on the Colorado Trail, next stop U.S. 50.
Named place
Named place
Mount Shavano
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friendofThunder's
730 Photosets

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