Mt. Edwards and Mt. Shavano, Colorado
Spring Mountain Climbs
Leader: Gina Pasquale
Participants: Gina Pasquale, Steve Doorn and Tasha (the climbing wolf dog)
Due to an overwhelming number of requests (1) that I post reports on private trips, I humbly submit this trip report.
Mt. Edwards (13,850') is one of the Centennials in Colorado. We had tried to climb this peak during our club trip in April (see Grays & Torreys). We were unsuccessful in our April attempt, due to avalanche danger on the ridge between Grays and Edwards. So, this time, being highly motivated for this peak bag, I chose a different approach: the "north" ridge.
This turned out to be a really cool route! We car camped at 10,400' in Steven's Gulch, just a couple miles from I-70. We were able to start right from our camp and gain the ridge leading to Edwards. However, this was a LONG ridge: we figured 3 miles (one-way), and all those miles were above 12,000'. Needless to say, the views were great. The route took us over 2 named summits, including Mt. McClellan, 13,587' (an awesome looking sub-peak).
The weather was nice on the summit, but being Memorial Day weekend, I knew that would change. Sure enough, at about 1pm on our way down, we were blasted by a short blizzard! But _ hour later, the weather was nice and clear. We even saw a couple mountain goats on the ridge (maybe they came over from Grays?)
That night, we headed over to Mt. Shavano (14,229'), to give the Angel a try. We car camped at Blank Gulch trailhead, one of the most beautiful car camps we've ever done. Large stands of mature aspens were just greening up. Beautiful grassy meadows all around. The only downside was the mobs of 14'er climbers camping nearby. (Now you know why I like 13'ers.)
We got an alpine start, 5-ish, towards the Angel. By the time we reached the Angel, the snow was already getting kinda soft, and was balling up on our crampons. We took the right fork of the Angel and the snow was a bit better up high. When we topped out, I noticed that my shins had nice, large, painful bumps on them, compliments of my plastic boots. Bummer. So, I hung out on the summit (in perfect, sunny conditions), while Steve and Tasha bopped on over to Tabeguache (14,155'). 1.5 hours later, Steve was back to join me for a nice lunch on Shavano.
By now, 12:30 or so, the snow was in perfect condition for a 2000' glissade down the Angel! We whooped and hollered all the way down, passing several people on their way up (nothing like those lazy alpine starts)!
At the base of the Angel, we donned our snowshoes, but still had a bit of miserable postholing to get back to the dry trail. We were at the trailhead in no time. We finished off the evening with dinner at Angelina's in Espanola. It was a treat eating in their bright and shiny new establishment, but we do miss the jail!