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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|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.
|2012-09-16||Route: Little Browns Creek
Info: The aspens are in full color along the trail and many groves decorate the views from the summit. The creek is flowing from just above treeline. There was a bit of snow lingering on the north slopes but none on the route. There is a four man mining operation happening on the ridge between the 13,700 top of the road and the summit. They are trundling a lot of rocks but there is a trail above their activities. There are several (fifteen?) fallen trees on the trail that require just a bit of detouring.
|2012-09-15||Route: West Slopes
Info: The standard route is entirely snow free. I camped about 100-200 feet above the stream crossing where there are 2-3 decent camp sites. Many more campsites around 11,800-12,000‘ Light dusting of snow on the north-facing slopes of Antero, PT 13,800‘, Tabeguache. As far as the road goes, it‘s definitely solid grade 4/6 to the stream crossing and I chose to not take my 2011 Forester up it. I ended up meeting a hiker on the trail who offered me a ride down in his Toyota Venza, and he ended up with a busted fender :O Several puddles on the road but no more than 1-2" in depth.
|2012-09-07||Route: From Browns Creek
Info: The trail to Brown‘s Lake (unofficial name) is excellent due to what appears to be recent chainsaw work on large areas of blow-down timber. There are ambiguous directions to the trail head. The one starting with County Road 270 are correct. The trail takes you past a short spur trail to Gunnison Falls, a nice place to break. Above Brown‘s Lake, just past the high point of the road, there is no apparent trail and one needs to use some map skills and contour cross country to the east bank overlooking the stream. Follow this drainage all the way up to the jeep crossroads. When the gulley narrows and becomes rocky, there are segments of a trail here and there. It would appear that almost all climbers either use 4WD access or walk up the jeep trails from the west.
|2012-05-28||Route: West Slopes
Info: Almost completely clear of snow throughout the route. There are a few minor snowfields remaining toward the top, but nothing difficult to walk over or around. The 4.2 mile "jeep" road to get up to timberline is pretty rough. We made it in our Ford Explorer, but we thought it might knock every bolt loose a few times. Do not attempt this road without 4x4 and decent clearance! You will not make it and there are very few places to turn around. Hats off to the trip reporter who drove that road in a Subaru -- Not sure how you made it! The hike itself is relatively easy since you follow the remaining jeep/atv trail most of the hike from timberline. The last section is just a steep scramble up a lot of scree. We were blasted with cold wind most of the hike and didn‘t spend much time on top due to the wind. Very deserted hike for us as we only encountered a few other people the entire route, and this was over Memorial Day weekend!
|2012-05-20||Route: West Slopes
Info: Most of the snow on the road to treeline is gone. The snow thats left above treeline is avoidable. Looks like summer
|2012-05-14||Route: From Browns Creek
Info: The blow-down trees begin just after the side trip to the falls along Browns Creek. However, on 5/15/2012 a crew was beginning to clear trees. They anticipated help from the forest service beginning 5/16, so it is possible that by now (5/1 the trees are cleared all the way to Browns Lake. Trail maintenance will still need to be done. Anyway, Tim and I hopped, skipped, and jumped our way through the downed trees. Ascending the gully to 12,700 feet was a mostly snow-free affair. Beyond that we were on and off of snow on the ridge, never needing micro-spikes. Antero (and Tab, for that matter), should once again be considered climbable from Browns Lake via Browns Creek due to the work of the chainsaw wielders.
|2012-03-24||Route: West Slopes
Info: Started at 7am, the snow was rock solid all the way up through treeline. Took the center gully (see picture) that bisects the jeep road up to the point where it last intersects the road. Gully snow was in great shape all the way up. Then followed the snow-covered road up to 13,100 and took the completely dry rock and talus route up to 13,800. Ran out of gas at 13,800 at noon and descended back down the gully. See second picture for a view of the route from 13,800 to the summit. The snow back down the gully stayed solid to about 11,800 at 1pm. Post-hole nightmare from there down to the junction at 10,900, then occasional post-holing in the last 3 miles to the TH.
|2012-03-04||Route: West Slopes
Info: Broke trail to the base of the mountain. Below the jeep road junction, this was nothing more than compacting an inch or two of spindrift in an existing trench. Above the jeep road junction, new trench was needed, never exceeding knee deep (there‘s a lot of new snow just below timberline). From the base of the mountain, climbed snow, talus, and ridge to the summit (the west flank of the mountain is fairly wind-scoured). Snowshoes and ice axe were necessary, with crampons greatly appreciated for the final stretch of ridge before the summit homestretch.
|2012-02-17||Route: West Slopes
Info: 2-17-12: Started 6:40 am. There was about 2-3 feet of snow on the lower part of Baldwin gulch road and about 3-5 up higher. Dow low there was a packed trail, and I was able to walk without snowshoes the first 1.5 miles. Up higher the snow was deeper and looser, and thus I had to uses the snowshoes. Once above treeline, I stayed as high as possible to avoid crossing a couple of suspicous tougues of snow, and then stayed on the high point of the ridge to reach Antero‘s summit by noon. Down by 4 pm. Great day!!! Janet Lightburn