A Double Adventure: Mt. Shavano and Tabeguache

A little before five a.m. Thursday morning, we reached the trailhead for our next 14er adventure. This time, we had two more climbers–Nathan and Christopher. Our first goal was Mount Shavano, followed by Mount Tabeguache (pronounced Ta-ba-wash) for all except Dad and Mom.




We saw dawn breaking across the valley, and a flock of mountain sheep springing down the mountainside. We left the treeline after seven as we came to the ascent to the saddle and broke into several different groups, everyone going whatever pace they could. The climb was steep, causing us to take breaks at different points. The family is good at motivating each other, and often you’ll hear an encouraging comment. If one person is struggling, the other will ask if he needs a break and patiently wait while the person recovers and is ready to press forward.





Jesse reached Shavano’s summit first, and with amazing energy, he went back down to offer to carry Dad and Mom’s packs the rest of the way. After everyone summited Shavano, we grabbed a family picture, and the eight Maxwell children began the 1 mile traverse to Tabeguache, while Dad and Mom waited on Shavano.




To help you gain perspective, I’ve circled some in our climbing group.

Going to Tabeguache was difficult. First, we climbed over rock fields, slowly making our way down 600 feet to a dip in between the mountains. Then, we faced a somewhat daunting ascent 500 feet. We enjoyed a little time on the summit before tackling the route back to Shavano. Then, we made our final descent to the trail head. Often, on a 14er, we’ll meet someone who is by himself. I can’t imagine doing it alone; I love company and encouragement!

Christopher was a great encouragement to me, and the only reason I made the second summit. He could have gone way faster, but he stayed near me. Again, notice those circles. What a distance we had to climb! The uppermost circle group wasn’t even at the summit yet.



Anna signed the registry.



All eight Maxwell children!



Coming down was an interesting experience.


Nathan was my encouragement coming down, and we saw mountain goats. Wow!
We saw many trees that were laid over. We assume a major storm went through at some point.





We missed the little ones and Melanie and Anna Marie, but they gave us a great “welcome home” when we arrived back at the cabin. Anna Marie prepared a delicious “refueling” meal, which we enjoyed.

Climbing can be likened to our spiritual journey.

Sometimes as you climb, you gasp for breath, your legs burn, and you pause to catch your breath. Spiritually, we must remember that “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).

Sometimes the incline seems too steep to the summit, and you don’t know how you will make it. But, you press on, looking for the next rock cairn (pile of rocks) which marks the path. Spiritually, we must be continually looking to God’s Word to guide us: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalms 119:105).

When you reach the top, you realize the climb was worth it. The views are breathtaking! Spiritually, we can remember that we “… press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14).

“I will walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.”
Psalms 116:9

9 thoughts on “A Double Adventure: Mt. Shavano and Tabeguache”

  1. Thank you again for such glorious photos but especially for the analogy you made at the end between climbing and our spiritual journey. It was just what I needed to read today and I would never have made that leap on my own. We can all encourage each other, as your family does for its different members, as we navigate our daily challenges. Thank you for encouraging me to keep climbing!

    Love, Cate N. PS I am so pleased that you are enjoying your break.
    Thank you. Back home now. The Lord is good.

  2. Beautiful pics of the family and God’s creation. Just wondering, do the climbers sign in at the beginning and then at the summit? Don’t think I remember ever hearing about this process. That 30 minutes of excerise each morning that you all do really pays off. I’m sure you must be in really good physical shape to tackle such quests.
    Hope you all have made the trip safely home by now.

    In Christ,
    Sometimes there is a place to sign in and sometimes not. If we sign in, we sign out.

  3. I am curious – does each 14er have a “registry” to sign at the top? How is the registry stored? Great pics – we have really enjoyed these Colorado posts – thanks so much for sharing!!
    Some do and some don’t. Usually, they are rolled up in a pvc pipe with an endcap that screws on to protect from the weather.

  4. Wonderful post and photos, and I especially enjoyed your message at the end–comparing climbing a mountain to our spiritual journey. 🙂
    Thank you for sharing and being such an encouragement to so many. What a blessing that all of the Maxwell family could be together for part of the trip. I’m sure your parents were so happy having all 8 children (plus daughters-in-law and grandchildren) with them! 🙂
    Love, Mrs. Patti
    It was truly a wonderful time.

  5. You all amaze me! So fun to see a family enjoying being together! I pray that others will catch the vision

  6. Your pictures are just beautiful! You all seem like you are enjoying yourselves. I just wanted to say “Thank you” for the words at the bottom of this post. I was really encouraged and blessed by what you wrote.
    Thank you!

  7. “When you reach the top, you realize the climb was worth it.” – This comment you made was very encouraging to me today. – Alicia

    Wow! That’s a lot of hiking! One time when I went to the Smoky Mountains, we hiked Clingmans Dome. I thought that was hard. Looking at your pictures, ours looks like strolling! 🙂 It looks like a nice family time. – Alanna
    It was a good of everyone working hard together and encouraging each other on the way.

  8. You are all so incredible! Sometimes just seeing your hikes makes me tired, but mostly, they inspire me to get more exercise. I started by climbing at hill (oh, maybe a 12-footer) at the edge of the soccer field the other day with my 5 year old granddaughter, Annie. Exhausting and exhilarating!

Comments are closed.