Ascent of Mount Shavano on 2020-10-16

Climber: Bo Saunders

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Friday, October 16, 2020
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Mount Shavano
    Elevation:13535 ft / 4125 m

Ascent Trip Report

Got started around 7am. The car thermometer said it was 21 degrees. Even though you gain a lot of elevation, it's fairly gradual for the vast majority of the hike, so it's not too bad of an approach. Once you get above treeline, it sort of feels like you're almost to the saddle, but it's still a pretty good haul and took longer than I expected. The closer I got to the saddle, the stronger the wind gusts became. It wasn't constant wind, but the gusts were really strong. So I knew it was gonna be blowing hard once I got to the saddle, but it was probably the strongest wind I've ever experienced. I started up towards Shavano and the wind was tossing me around. I couldn't walk in a straight line and was relying on my poles to keep me upright. This wasn't only gusts, it was steady massively strong wind too. I lost my beanie. It was hard to breathe. As soon as snot left my nostril, it was getting blown right off my face. My eyes were watering and the wind was then blurring my vision. I went less than 100 yards along the saddle before I turned around. I was so close to Shavano's summit and if I wasn't going for Tabeguache too, I'd have probably tried to persevere and make the summit. But the idea of spending several hours in those conditions going back and forth out to Tabeguache was not appealing. I wondered if maybe I got out of the saddle, the wind might die down, but I opted to just call it off. Real bummer because this would've put me over 20 peaks for the year and would've gotten me into the 40s for my 14er count. In the end, I only spent ~2 hours getting up there and it wasn't too difficult of a hike, so I'm not too worried about having to go back. Just disappointed I couldn't add to my mountain haul for the season. Passed a few groups on the way down and warned them of the winds. One young gal had a small dog on a leash and was actually carrying her cat in her arms. I gave her the most frank warning possible. She continued on but there's no way she made it. That cat would've freaked out and might've been blown right out of her arms and off the mountain. I will say that was a first - I'm certain I've never seen someone carrying a cat up a mountain.
Start: 7:04am
Proper Tree Line: 8:35am
Saddle: 9:15am
Turned back: 9:24am
Proper Tree Line: 9:51am
Finish: 11:12am
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3785 ft / 1153 m
    Round-Trip Distance:8 mi / 12.9 km
    Route:East Slopes
    Trailhead:Shavano/Tabeguache Trailhead  9750 ft / 2971 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Cool, Extremely Windy, Clear
Very cold to start, but warmed up, wind was strongest I've ever experienced - forced me to turn back
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 11 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 48 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Bo Saunders
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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