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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    The Ranch
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    3,537

    TR: Mount Shavano and Tabeguache Slog and Ski

    climb2ski and I had an epic day in the Slogwatch this past Saturday. We climbed and skied Shavano and Tabegauche from the Angel of Shavano trailhead. Total stats were 6,300 vertical over the course of about 15 miles. The debacle took us 15 hours mainly because of the horrific snow conditions encountered on the descent, but I hold gravity partially accountable.

    The snow encountered in the trees below the Angel snowfield was the worst snow I've ever encountered. I liken it to trying to steer two wooden planks through a massive bowl of cottage cheese while someone is simulataneously smashing you in the shin with a 2 inch block of ice. Regardless of the heinous ski the climb was fantastic and we were able to ski directly off the summit of two fourteeners.

    The day started at 5:30 at the famous Angel of Shava campground. I'd like to say thanks to our unofficial sponsors Fritschi and Salomon without whom climbing and skiing in the mountains would be appreciably more difficult.


    The eastern glow bathes the aspen groves in a serene scene.


    You know the drill, you climb up. The weather was great all morning long, making the Clif bars even that much more enjoyable.


    climb2ski getting into the gnar on the ups, living up to his moniker.


    Upon reaching the summit of Shavano at 1pm, we decided to head over to Tabeguache. It looked so far away and we were so tired but we decided to go on anyways. We dropped down to the saddle that connects these two peaks then made it over to the summit of Tab. The ridge was fun to climb.


    On the summit of Tabeguache high clouds were turning into low clouds, obscuring the sun.


    Happy brothers on the second summit of the day.


    Time to ski. We were able to ski right off the summit of Tab down the north ridge.


    Here are some pictures of tracks that show the route. Where there are no tracks the snow was impermeable sastrugi.


    Back to the saddle we had to reclimb Shavano and made it back around 4pm to the summit. Snow started falling and the clouds were starting to envelope us, we gritted our teeth and greeted the fierceness.


    We were able to ski directly off the summit of Shavano, through some gnar down to the Angel.


    climb2ski in the sickter


    I've been waiting for this all year long.


    There was about a 500 foot section where the snow wasn't too bad, so climb2ski decided to make some turns on it.


    After this point in the day conditions turned much worse, a storm rolled in dropping visibility to 100 feet or less. The snow turned crustier and crustier, it was manageable in the Angel but once we entered the trees it was an accident waiting to happen. We actually walked down about 1,000 vertical feet, as it was dark and we couldn't see where we were going and there were trees all around and we were tired. Once we made it back to the flat section we came upon a clearing where the stars distracted us from our lot and Orion guided us back to the trailhead. At 8:30 we made it to the car, drank some water and then fell asleep in the trees.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    SLC
    Posts
    1,125
    Big Day! You look toasted in this pic, awesome. The sunrise shot is sick

    Quote Originally Posted by Ireallyliketoski View Post
    We were able to ski directly off the summit of Shavano, through some gnar down to the Angel.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    2,584
    Very nice. I was thinking about that this weekend, might have to get up there if things can get a little bit stable.
    "It need not be fun to be fun." - Big Steve

    throughpolarizedeyes.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    salida
    Posts
    222
    Nice effort! Also loved the aspen shot. Good thing you weren't up there Sunday!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    5th Switchback
    Posts
    395
    I was up there last Friday. I am sure you saw my tracks. It got way too warm for me though. Sloppy mess. Nice work on the climb and ski.
    -You can't get hurt if you are in the air.

    Caleb Wray Photography

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Eagle, CO
    Posts
    2,237
    Nice job bros!

    Hey, you guys need to do some 14ers, both of you skiing on some Bros. That would be sweet.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    cb, co
    Posts
    3,121
    S Sawatch looking as good as it ever does, for sure

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    denver
    Posts
    1,860
    Sounds miserable
    I can't believe you are a rando racer because I look so much better in Lycra than you.

    People who don't think the Earth is flat haven't skied Vail.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Golden, CO
    Posts
    465
    Strong effort on getting Tab too.

    Almost went for it Sat. with Bean. Did you have continuous snow through the trees to the Angel of Shavano campground? Was weighing that approach versus stopping 3 miles from the summer TH and skinning the road. Skied Shavano a couple years ago but put the skis on 200ft below the summit. Suppose it's about time to head back and get it from the top, and hit Tab.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Where the Butte is Crested
    Posts
    3,339
    Wow, the Angel looked blower last Thursday, but it looks like a lot of it just blew off!

    Way to get it done! Always feels good to bang 2 out in 1 day!
    -
    14erskiers.com

    "Don't be afraid of the spaces between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so." - Belva Davis

    "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle"--Albert Einstein

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    The Ranch
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    3,537
    The snow was continuous until the south facing slope that drops you down to the campground, from there it was dry for about 500 vertical feet and then the snow resumed back in the woods. Based on what I read from some recent tr's on 14ers.com stopping before the road seems preferable, because the ski from Blank Gulch back to the AOS TH isn't all that downhill. We did it without skins but it wasn't fun.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    706
    Quote Originally Posted by Ireallyliketoski View Post
    We did it without skins but it wasn't fun.
    This is true...
    We hold daggers in the side of the Moon...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    SLC
    Posts
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by Ireallyliketoski View Post
    The snow encountered in the trees below the Angel snowfield was the worst snow I've ever encountered. I liken it to trying to steer two wooden planks through a massive bowl of cottage cheese while someone is simulataneously smashing you in the shin with a 2 inch block of ice.
    I'm actually glad to hear someone else say this. My girlfriend and I climbed and skied Shavano the week before, and we couldnt believe how bad the conditions were in that forest. At first we thought we had gone from pretty good skiers to really terrible skiers over the course of a few minutes, but in reality that snow was the worst I had ever tried to ski as well.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Golden, CO
    Posts
    465
    Post holing while skiing does suck. And fatter skis don't help, as I'm sure NPG recalls from two years ago.

    Thanks for the additional beta.

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