The primary goal of this trip was to get a summit ski of Tabeguache Peak. With a current mission to crank out a bunch of Sawatch 14er skis before summer, it's been one "easy" 14er ski after another and this would be no exception. Oh well, next year the focus switches to the Sangres... Not being able to get good access to Tabe from the north, I decided it was time to sack up and ski it after climbing over Shavano. Most people that ski with me will tell you I'm not usually up for putting myself through this much punishment, but this was a special time. Special because I was ON STEROIDS. Seriously. Well, not the "good" kind that I was accused of using in college but the anti-inflammatory kind. I can climb all day on this stuff!
Public Service Announcement: Kids, don't smoke (cigarettes) and don't drink too much Jack Daniels. If you do, you'll end up an unhealthy old fart that pops pills all day. Oh, and don't pop pills.
Aaaanyway, this trip report is brought to you by Prednisone. Oh, and don't take this medication as it will hollow out your bones.
Routes: Angel of Shavano to summit of Mt. Shavano, traverse to Tabeguache Peak, Tabeguache ski down east ridge/northeast gully, return to Shavano and ski of Shavano's east slopes and Angel
Date: 5/25 and 5/26/2010
Elevation Gain: 6,600'
Ski Vertical: 3,600'
RT Mileage: 12.5 miles
Topo of the route (blue=hike, red=ski):
With the early start required, I hiked up and set up camp at 11,600', just below the Angel.
What a great place to camp
Starting at 4:30am, I climbed the Angel and was greeted with a wonderful sunrise.
Pikes Peak at sunrise
Looking to the Sangres
This sunrise wouldn't quit
Above the Angel, approaching the summit
Near the Shavano summit
On top, looking to Tabeguache
At the saddle, I got a chance to preview the snow leading into the gully I planned on skiing below Tabeguache's east ridge.
At the Shav/Tabe saddle
Tabe's east ridge
Fun on the ridge
For those of you (Ben, Matt?) interested in the current condition of Tabe's main, north face couloir, here's a shot looking down from the summit ridge. The top is almost melted out and would require a tricky entry, but the couloir is still full. I seriously considered dropping into this line but knew I'd have to 1) ski it to the bottom or 2) re-climb it. Since I didn't want to ski just half of it, I stuck with my original plan.
Peering down Tabe's main north face couloir. Just looks like another good "Advanced" ski, not extreme.
The summit had plenty of snow.
Skiing east off the summit
Near the saddle after skiing the east ridge
Skiing Tabeguache's east ridge and then down the gully north of the Tabe/Shav saddle. Yes, this meant I had to climb back out after I skied it - no biggie, the roids were on the case.
Dropping north into the gully
A mellow ski down the north side
Don't forget that you have to climb back out!
Taken from Mt. Antero, by Dancesatmoonrise, here's a shot of Shav/Tab - the gully I skied is right of center.
Here's another shot of the descent gully, from Mt. Antero from July.
I stopped at 12,800' and as I was putting my crampons back on, I began to question the point of skiing down here and having to hike back up. For those of you out there that don't ski or ride...yes, it's that much fun.
Back to work...
Re-climbing the gully
Top of the gully, looking west at the ski line off of Tabeguache
The boot back up could have been worse
Back to Shavano
Pretty happy to see this summit!
The top of Shavano was missing some snow so the ski began after a 150-foot downclimb.
Starting the ski down Shavano
A look back
Dropping into the angel's east arm
Looking up and across the upper angel
Skiing the remaining angel back to camp
A look back at the Grinch and Angel. Inset is close-up of angel after skiing Shavano