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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2014-03-21||Route: Raspberry Gulch/East Ridge
Info: County Rd 272 is closed at the intersection with CR274 about 1.75 miles from the summer trailhead. The snow in the valley near the summer trailhead is unpredictable at best and there is definitely unconsolidated sugar to sink into. I highly recommend avoiding the summer trailhead altogether by making an ascending traverse across the mostly-dry south side of Pt. 11038 to the saddle (We did this on the way down and it was definitely preferable). Above the saddle lies about 1600 vertical feet of postholey garbage, the first 1000 feet of which being a life-force sucking 35 degree slope. Although it‘s roughly a mile from the saddle to treeline (probably more due to our switchbacks and meandering in search of supportive snow), we spent 3 hours wallowing through this section. Above treeline, conditions were ideal - tolerable wind and a mostly-dry ridge. We made it from treeline to Pt. 13105 in an hour, but had reached our previously agreed upon turn-around time and with nasty looking storm clouds moving in, we made our retreat. It could be said that a "trench" is in place from the saddle to treeline, but I‘ll offer zero warranty of its suitability. Also note that the uphill and downhill trenches vary slightly in sections and although the downhill trench will be deeper and more visible, the uphill trench is a more reasonable route if you can follow it. Much of the trip downhill was sort of waist-deep snowshoe plunge-stepping and the resulting trench would be miserable to climb.
|2014-03-09||Route: West Slopes
Info: There are no problems driving to the Baldwin Gulch 2WD trailhead, but that is as far as you can get currently. There is a good packed trail all the way to the turnoff for Upper Browns Road that continues toward Baldwin Lake, but there was no apparent packed trail going up Upper Browns Road. The spurs are largely windblown. I only made it to 13,750--no summit this time. Image # 1: At treeline along Upper Browns Road, looking south. The spur I used is in the middle of the two gullies. Image # 2: Looking up the spur I used (the one just south of the gully where Upper Browns Road switchbacks) with Antero in the distance. Image # 3: Looking back down the spur, with Point 13,870 in the background. Image #4: Looking north at the final 0.6 miles of the ridge from around 13,700.
|2013-12-31||Route: West Slopes
Info: Solid trench to creek crossing. High winds have been filling in parts of the trench above the crossing, but you can still make out where the packed snow is. I tried a little bit w/o snowshoes near treeline and was sinking in even in the trench, so would recommend bringing snowshoes. I went straight up the 3rd (last) gully. Snow conditions were very stable (like a green groomed run). At the final road crossing, I went up the road/trail to the plateau and then started traversing to the saddle. Was pretty slow crossing the large talus with very high winds. From the saddle, the bootpack is still there. Bring ice axe if you want to glissade the gully. I just walked down with microspikes.
|2013-12-26||Route: West Slopes
Info: Well established trench all the way up to ~11.7k, ~3 miles from TH (possibly even further, but didn‘t check). Ascended the rock rib (short-cutting switchbacks) angling for the saddle @13.7k. Frozen talus made it an acceptable ascent route. Little bit of snow near the summit ridge. Existing bootpack minimizes post-holing. Go get it!
|2013-12-21||Route: West Slopes
Info: Decent trench up to treeline via Baldwin Gulch. Very little snow above treeline. Did not attempt to summit (treeline was enough of a workout for Annie dog).
|2013-10-19||Route: West Slopes
Info: The road has snow it as soon as you leave the 2wd trailhead. We were able to drive up to about 10,700ft in a modified 4wd. We stopped because there was water flowing down the road and it was covered in ice. A stock xtera made it less than a mile past the 2wd trailhead and stopped before a steep icy bit in the road. The snow is not deep, but the road is very slippery in places. People on ATV‘s made it up above 12,000 fit a ways into the switchbacks. The trail was a mix of dry conditions and walking through ankle deep snow. The deepest drifts were knee deep. Did not need gators, traction, or snow shoes.
|2013-10-13||Route: West Slopes
Info: Very little snow on the trail except on the road above 13k and no snow on the peak
|2013-10-06||Route: West Slopes
Info: Antero pic, 10/06/2013 from Johnson Village.
|2013-10-02||Route: West Slopes
Info: This was before the latest storm of 10/4: Water eroding down the road as mentioned in earlier reports has subsided, but the road is still rough. Multiple good campsites along the road about 12,000‘. The switchbacks above 12,500 have snow, limiting access to UTVs/ATVs only, but easy to hike, no traction needed.........Just a drag hiking up the road. Final pitch was snow-free, but I took the SE aspect to avoid the brutal, cold wind. I saw nobody on the peak or the road above the switchbacks, except for one mineral hunter. Some wildman had taken a bike to the summit on 10/1 - I saw the tire tracks!
|2013-09-25||Route: West Slopes
Info: The last snow storm was hit and miss in the Sawatch. The 14ers, Princeton, Antero, Shav and Tab didn‘t have much snow visible from the highway. However, the 13ers in the immediate area looked pasted. Weird. On Antero, where it did accumulate was right on the jeep road that you hike on. Some spots it was drifted over knee deep. A lot of it is avoidable if you want to wreck your ankles, and sidehill around it on steep loose crap rock. Gaiters are advisable for taking the direct path through the snow. The winds were incredibly strong and shove you around, so you stumble like a drunken sailor. Poles helped to keep your balance and to avoid getting knocked down. Glad the route didn‘t have any exposure. Expended more energy than I would have thought on a "walk up" jeep road hike ... due to fighting the wind and punching through deep snow. Had microspikes, never used them, as I had a warm sunny day. I would recommend bringing them though, in case the snow was firm.
|2013-08-21||Route: West Slopes
Info: I hiked up Mt. Antero from the Baldwin Gulch two wheel drive trailhead. The road is pretty rough and I do not recommend trying to drive a crossover SUV such as a Subaru Outback up this road. The stream crossing three miles up the trail is passable by high clearance four wheel drive vehicles. Above the creek crossing the road has pretty much turned into a small stream, but still easily passable by a four wheel drive vehicle. At treeline the road actually improves a bit. However there are some sharp turns that longer four wheel drive vehicles may have problems with. On the way up early in the morning the only people I saw were the Weather Channel‘s Prospectors crew heading up the mountain in Jeeps. I ran into them later at the end of the road at 13,800 feet. It was interesting watching them do their reality show thing on the mountain. The ridge from the end of the road is a class 2 climb. Nothing too difficult but I recommend that hikers just be careful and take their time on the loose rock in order to prevent ankle or knee sprains.
|2013-07-20||Route: West Slopes
Info: Never thought I‘d be adding a conditions report for Mount Antero of all things, let alone the route from the road. Anyhow, I just got back from Antero (via road) - there has been so much rain up there that the Little Baldwin (the tributary that comes down from the Antero side) is going directly down the road, starting shortly above the creek crossing, all the way to 12,100‘ or so. In some places, it‘s pretty much the entire flow of the creek (see pictures one and two). Then, at 12,300‘, the same creek has washed out the entire road (see pictures three and four). It‘s *possible* that someone could get a car up to 12,000‘ or so, but I don‘t think there‘s anyway a car will get past the washout at 12,300‘. (We did see two ATVs up higher, and I‘m not sure how they managed that). Hopefully the pictures help!
|2013-06-24||Route: West Slopes
Info: The road on Antero is driveable to about 12,800‘ where a snowdrift about 20 yards wide blocks the road. I suppose a high clearance jeep could make it across, but you better have a shovel and a few extra hands to help or it could be an ugly day! Creek crossing is no problem, stock vehicles were having no trouble at all.
|2013-06-22||Route: West Slopes
Info: There is a large amount of snow in the road at 12,800 feet that is blocking the road, but can easily be walked around. The rest of road up to that point and past that point is clear, and road-free route from point 13,800 to the summit is snowfree too. Photo one - mountain bike for showing how deep the snow is at 12,800 Photo two - looking towards the summit from point 13,800 Photo three - looking south towards point 13,800 and Shav/Tab
|2013-06-08||Route: West Slopes
Info: Went up Baldwin Gulch. Trail was pretty much clear of snow until about 100-200 meters before the 4wd parking. There is a small field of 1-2.5 ft deep snow just prior to the 4wd parking. Also prior to the 4wd parking are 2 flowing creeks that look like they would be hard go cross without getting wet. The creek also flows down the middle of the trail prior to the 4wd parking. I would not want to drive anything above the 4wd parking. There are a number of snow fields and icy sections that block 2/3 to 3/4 of the 4wd road. Most of the snow is avoidable, except for a couple of sections, which will have you walking across 100-200 ft of steep ice/snow. I would suggest microspikes for these sections, but will most likely be melted out in a week or two. Also, for the final climb to the peak only the ridgeline is open and the other option to hike below the ridgeline is covered in snow. All in all I would say its practically summer conditions. I took my two boys (12 & 8yr old) up this and they did great.
|2013-04-07||Route: West Slopes
Info: Went for Mt. White via Baldwin Gulch (no joy) With the storm coming in, this report may have no bearing but to say that there is a good packed route all the way to the creek crossing, that will be under the new stuff. From the creek crossing, no appreciable pack, just some prior tracks. Got really soft on our way down, no shoes on way up and used them all the way down. Lower road has 4" and there was 18" to 24" at the creek crossing. Avi warning is already up and we found lots of collapsing (read as "whumpfing and shooting cracks"). Dunno if new will crush down old rotten layer but the warning to steer clear of the wrong slopes was sounded on Sunday mid morning.
|2013-02-02||Route: West Slopes
Info: Woodrow Wooderson and I trenched Baldwin Gulch yesterday. We were on snowshoes from the bottom of the road to 12,000 feet. While she broke probably 60% of the trail, I did lose a quadriceps muscle up there near treeline and will put something up in Lost and Found so keep your eyes peeled. There are terrain traps that come into play around treeline. There was a thread on this last year: http://14ers.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=33472 While I thought the road would offer a reprieve and allow us to get into a rhythm, the switchbacks were loading up so we took steep grass and made a direct line for the ridge at 13K. From here, we followed the road all the way to 13,900 and then took the ridge to the summit. For the descent, we scree surfed down a slope that wasn‘t terrible. I‘d gone up this way a few years back but found it lose and nightmarish. That is why we took a more conservative and roundabout way up. We did enter a gully (the gully in d_baker‘s post in the thread above) that got us to our stash without worry. I guess the only questionable terrain we encountered the whole day was a 30-yard stretch near treeline where we decided to split up. In retrospect, I would have cut into the trees for this stretch (at least that was my gut feeling laying in bed this morning). Image 1: Terrain trap Image 2: Switchbacks above treeline Image 3: Summit ridge Image 4: Faint descent path Snowshoes to 12K. Microspikes for the ridge. Never once thought of going to the axe. I believe it helps to have familiarity with this area and/or a good eye for safe travel with snow. There is a chance for trouble up there, more than on some of the popular winter routes. 6:27 up 3:19 down (had to get home to feed the cat)
|2012-11-24||Route: From Browns Creek
Info: Little Browns Creek Trail - A Few Patches of thin snow and a handful of small trees down. 4WD Road - 6" deep snow but mostly avoidable with A few Patches of snow on the ridge. Browns Creek Trail - Route is completely clear of Down trees. *Great Job by the Forest Service. A few patches of thin snow. No MicroSpikes needed but it wouldn‘t hurt to bring them along. Very Windy
|2012-10-08||Route: Baldwin Gulch
Info: 4wd road clear past the stream crossing. Heavy ice on road not far past there and about 1 foot deep snow on the road above 13,000 in sections. Cold and windy on the day we summited.
|2012-09-23||Route: West Slopes
Info: 4wd road is open and passable. Both the BMW X5 & Toyota 4runner made it up with no issues. Although snow hit the peak and remnants remain in places, none is on the trail or on the road. Some ice does exist at the end of the 4wd road about a half mile from the summit, however it‘s not currently a threat to vehicles. The river crossings were low and had no issues. It is the tail end of big horn sheep season with many ATVs on the road, so if you camp along the gulch florescent clothing is recommended.