Mt. Shavano, Tabeguache Peak, and Esprit Point

As mentioned in the previous post, my carefully-laid plans to tackle some 14ers in the Sangre de Cristo range had been shot to pieces by a forecast full of thunderstorms. The weather in the Sawatch Range wasn’t much better, but I knew that these mountains at least had shorter approaches. So at the (literal) last minute, I settled upon Mt. Shavano (14,229′), Tabeguache Peak (14,155′), and Esprit Point (13,637′) for my 7/8/15 climb.

I knew that my only hope for bagging all three peaks would be to start very early. Thunderstorms were projected to roll in around 1:00 pm. So I awoke at 2:30 am and was hiking by 3:45 am. The first hour-and-a-half or so was completely silent, almost completely dark, and more than a little eerie. No other cars at the trailhead, and no other people on the trail. I gave a loud shout once every couple of minutes to keep from accidentally sneaking up on a bear, and kept my can of pepper spray in my front pocket.

The sun broke over the horizon just as I reached treeline.

Sunrise view from the treeline

Sunrise peaking through the clouds.

I heard a few distant rolls of thunder, but nothing that seemed too close. So I continued upward.

Looking across toward Esprit Point

Looking across toward Esprit Point.

When I reached the Esprit-Shavano saddle, I turned right and followed the faint path to the summit of Mt. Shavano. The views from the top were completely obscured by cloud.

Mt. Shavano, from the Shavano-Esprit saddle.

Mt. Shavano, from the Shavano-Esprit saddle.

From Shavano, the route to Tabeguache was a long and tedious ridgeline scattered with car-sized boulders. It was very slow going, and I was still completely encased in a cloud. Here’s the summit shot:

Tabeguache Peak

Tabeguache Peak

I then backtracked all the way to the Shavano-Esprit saddle, and made the short jog up to the top of Esprit Point. Not the most exciting climb, but it was nice to bag a bonus 13er with such little effort.

Stunning views of the San Isabel National Forest, off to the right behind those clouds.

Stunning views of the San Isabel National Forest, off to the right behind those clouds.

I made it back to the trailhead around 1:00 pm, then drove up to Frisco, CO for a short night’s sleep in yet another Walmart parking lot.

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Published in: on July 19, 2015 at 6:20 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Sounds like this worked out better than the Sangre de Cristo range due to the weather.

  2. Matthew, I hope you are being very careful ensuring that you have good footing on these climbs.
    G’pa


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