12 June 2012

Mount Shavano

Mount Shavano

Yet another trip report from my old Geocities website...

6 June 2006

I made it!

Last time I went up Shavano, the leaves were gold. This time, the flowers were gold.

Last time, I went with friends Mike and Mike. My adopted son, whose name once was Michael, was on the lamb. My adopted daughter was in lockdown. My knee was bothering me, and I had a sinus infection. I took my film Nikon and all my lenses. Shot two rolls of film, I think. The wind was blowing so hard, we didn’t think we could make Tabeguache, so we didn’t try. We ate at Kentucky Fried Chicken in Salida before heading home.

This time, I went with The Lizard. My son’s still on the lamb, and my daughter’s finally in one place, although there are no guarantees how long it will last. My knee hasn’t recovered from Elephant Rock. My back is sore, but not as sore as last year on San Luis. Or any of the other how many attempts... I carried my pack all the way. I took a digital camera and shot about 128 photos. I was strong until I hit the saddle, and then the wind sucked the air right out of me. I didn’t do Tabeguache because of the wind, my knee, blisters on my foot, lack of energy, taking so long, and because I couldn’t make The Lizard go back across to Tabeguache in that wind.

This was a trip of nostalgia.

Shavano Bear

I remembered the trip with The Lizard’s best friend, being out on the snow on the Angel of Shavano trailhead and not making it because of postholing.

I remembered climbing my nemesis, Princeton, with The Lizard, our first 14er together, two years ago this weekend. I remembered the last 14er I successfully climbed with him, San Luis, the day before I got engaged. I was crying at the top. The Lizard was pulling me and gently pushing my back to give me support to get me up that mountain.

I remembered Castle and Conundrum, the only double-bagger to date I’ve been able to get up on the first attempt.

I remembered the Delicabro, the last 14ers we did before my surgery. (Not counting the unsuccessful attempt at Culebra because of my back.) I remembered Bross; what a nightmare that descent was! And then The Lizard told me I wouldn’t want to do Tabeguache today because it was just like Bross – no trail to follow, ball-bearing gravel, the official trail buried by a snowfield.

I think I’d have taken the snowfield!

But I couldn’t go that far, so the point is moot.

I made Shavano's summit because the entire time I was climbing, my goal was Tabeguache. I knew at the base of the steep section I wasn’t going to be able to do Tabegauche, but I kept telling myself I would, and that got me up Shavano. If I hadn’t had Tabeguache as a goal, I’d have turned back ten minutes into the wind.

I’m glad now I didn’t turn back, even though everything is sore, because I made it. It was a successful climb. I needed that. I’m glad I celebrated the second anniversary of our first 14er with a successful 14er. I’m glad we chose Shavano because it helped me break the six-mile curse. The Lizard said I am making better time. He said I stayed strong longer. He said I’m healing.

Food is finally beginning to be a factor, I think. I think my body is adjusting to the new diet after being diagnosed with diabetes four months ago, and I think I’m finally hitting the right combination to stay powered up.

I had chicken for dinner last night. I ate plain yogurt with a couple spoons of sugarless white chocolate pudding mix stirred in for breakfast this morning. I ate a whole wheat bagel, a blueberry bar, some dried fruit and my homemade trail mix along the trail. I drank almost all the herbal tea I mixed in my Camelbak.

I truly did feel strong going up. Amazingly strong. I thought all the way to the saddle I’d make it. Up both peaks.

Now I’m kind of glad I didn’t. Man, do my feet hurt. And I’m so stiff!

But I feel good. I don’t feel wiped out. I don’t feel as if I have to sleep 12 hours to recover.

Most important part of the day; save the best for last. Can’t believe I almost forgot to include it.

I prayed I would be able to make it, that I would have determination, courage and endurance.

And that’s exactly what happened.

I know a summit seems like a silly thing to pray for, but I have pioneer blood in my veins. I have a heritage to live up to. I used to dream my endurance would be useful one day in the future. I need to build my endurance back up. Today was a step in the right direction. Or, well, a whole bunch of steps...

Tabeguache Peak from Mount Shavano


  1. You are amazing! What a climb.

  2. What a beautifully sunny picture that first one is!

    "Pray about everything." It does help. :)

  3. You go, girl! You are AMAZING!!!!

  4. It seems like places come to represent parts of your life. E.g. Shavano reminds you of that tough time years ago and then lifts you up years later with the Lizard.

    I'm similar. There is one bike ride that I will always and forever associate with the passing of my previous dog, Acadia. Every time I do it, I remember her last days. It's not a bad memory, but one filled with love.

    Your photos are whimsical and fabulous. I'm really impressed that you can climb 14ers with your back. I've given up on any thought of it... You are a strong woman!

    I bet that you're at Ride the Rockies now. I hope that you're enjoying the riding.


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