After a cold breakfast of doughnuts and bagels with no coffee, because I bought the wrong propane canister for my camp stove, Suzy and I started up Mt Shavano from the Blank Gulch Trailhead. Our goal was to reach the 14,229 ft summit via the Angel of Shavano route: class 2, easy snow - seasonal, and, a classic.
In the picture below, you can see Mt Shavano to the right of the angel with her right arm melted out. An Indian legend claims that the angel is really a princess who sacrificed herself during a time of severe drought, and has appeared each year since as the Angel of Shavano, giving water to the region in her tears as she melts.
I took this next shot, looking down from the body of the angel, while giving my screaming calves a break. We had planned to simply kick-step our way up the snowfield, but at 8:40 am, the snow was still too hard, and crampons were needed for the accent, which included roughly 1,000 of the 4,400 feet of vertical gain on this route. With the right arm melted out, I continued up the left to the saddle.
From the summit, the view northwest shows Tabeguache Peak at 14,155 ft, which can be done in combination with Mt Shavano. However, Suzy had already done Tabeguache and was only offering to wait on Shavano while I ran over to bag it, so I whimped out. Update: I did bag Tabeguache via the combo route couple years later.
As we sat at the top of the angel's left arm preparing to glissade down, I got this shot of one of the many Mountain Goats we had been seeing throughout the day. They spend most of their time maintaining as much distance as possible from the peak baggers; however, with a full zoom, I was able to get a fairly good shot of this one climbing the ridge just south of us.
Even with the harsh shadows, in which Suzy was well hidden, I like this picture of the forest with the stream running along side the trail back below tree line. One more hour, and we would be sitting by the fire enjoying some beer and brats.
Colorado's Fourteeners: From Hikes to Climbs
Colorado's Fourteeners: Companion Map Package with Cdrom and Map
A Climbing Guide to Colorado's Fourteeners
The Colorado Mountain Club Pocket Guide to the Colorado 14ers
Dawson's Guide To Colorado's Fourteeners - Vol 1