Peak(s):  Mt. Shavano  -  14,229 feet
Date Posted:  06/13/2008
Date Climbed:   06/12/2008
Author:  EatinHardtack
 A Year Wait for the Angel   

Well after a year of waiting to do the Angel I finally got my chance Thursday. I climbed Mt. Shavano last June and totally missed the turnoff for the Angel snow climb and ended up on the standard trail. So after a year's wait it was time to do this climb.

I picked up lostsheep5 (Eric) in Colorado Springs around 5 pm on Wednesday afternoon and by 5:30 we were finally out of the city and heading south on 115. We arrived at the Blank Cabin area around 8 pm, set up camp, ate dinner, and in bed by 9pm. I crashed in my truck while Eric slept outside in a nice grassy area. We were up by 3:30am and got on the trail by 4:15am. The trail was dry and not a bit of snow anywhere to begin with. Around 10,600ish we got off the trail and ended up heading over in the direction of the Angel of Shavano TH, it was still dark so we had to have missed a turn or something. We ended up bushwhacking through the woods a few hundred yards and finally met back up with the trail. We over heard some campers to our right and after being on the trail for quarter of a mile or so we headed left into the basin for the Angel.

The sun broke out right as we were entering the basin and made quick work up to the base of the Angel. Before the base Eric stopped for a little while to take a break while I kept going. This is where Eric probably lost his GPS and on the decent we looked for it but no luck. If anyone is up there in the next few days just take a look around while you are on your way up. We both strapped on our crampons and started our accent of the Angel. I took my time and enjoyed the climb while Eric pushed ahead of me. We took a short break near the top of the body to snap a few pics and decide our route. We chose the head for a more direct route and to leave the left arm for our glissade and speedy decent. We climbed the head and took another break to take the crampons off and then off to make our summit push. We took the right ridge leading to the summit and not left ridge that the standard trail is on. Eric was the first to summit and I was about 5 minutes behind him. We had the summit to ourselves for about 15 minutes when Brain from Broomfield made it to the top. He said he had two others with him but were a little behind. We all snapped some photo's, ate some food and took in the views. Brian's partners made it up about 20 minutes later. Eric and I thought about the traverse to Tabeguache but decided not to go even though the weather looked great. One of Brian's climbing partners (John) didn't want to make the traverse either so he made the decent with us back to his camp.

We were off the summit and on the way back to glissade the Angel and saw a group of climbers (25 people) going up. Asked another climber not associated with the big group about them and he said it was a guided climb of 4-5 guides and 20 tourists. This is the first time I had seen a guided climb on a 14er. So watching them was kinda funny to see. We made it back to the Angel and started our glissade of the left arm then the body. The body of the Angel was a great glissade and fast! We got out of the basin and proceeded back down below timberline. We took John right into his camp and had a little more food then back to the car. We took our time on the decent and were back at the car at 1pm. It was a great day and I am glad I finally did the Angel after a year long wait. Good Times.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions

I‘m bummed...
06/14/2008 10:01
My son and I had planned to bag Shavano and Tabeguache late last month but due to baseball and remodeling projects at the house, we didn‘t have the time. Looks like the snow is really melting fast. Great report, glad you made it safely, have a safe and productive 14er season!


Finally got it...
06/14/2008 14:20
Good to hear you finally got the angel although is seems a little disturbing to hear about guided tours of that size our 14ers. They seem to be crowded enough. Congrts.


guided climbs
06/14/2008 23:51
Dave - It was interesting to see this group going up the mountain. I thought it was a church/boyscout/who knows what type of climb. They looked like the climb was killing them when I was watching. I hope I don‘t have to see something like that again anytime soon.


06/15/2008 23:32
Nice climb... too bad about the gps... When I went up it a few weeks ago.. i forgot my gps at home... woulda been nice to have it, considering we got a little lost in the woods.. Glad the weather held out for ya!


06/16/2008 01:40
The Angel is a memorable climb. I hoped that you enjoyed it as much as your dog did!

I have a long lanyard on my GPS, and keep it attached to a belt loop or a backpack strap at all times. I‘m absent-minded enough to leave it laying somewhere and unlucky enough to have it bounce out of my holster. I‘m also too cash-deprived to be able to replace it!

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