I have decided that there is too much arbitrariness in climbing whether it be how you define a 14er or the proper way to climb one. Some say they only count if you climb at least 3,000 vertical feet, others get all fussy about how much or little gear you should or shouldn't use. If we are honest, it is all personal opinion. My opinion is that climbing a 14er should be done in a fun manner and with this in mind I felt that walking up and down a jeep road for seven miles each way didn't sound like fun.
In order to make it fun I left Copper Mountain at 5:45 and rode my KTM 990 Adventure motorcycle with my daughter on the back and headed for Mt Antero's Baldwin Gulch. The ride was beautiful and cool with very little traffic. I was nervous about riding such a big bike with a passenger up and down a somewhat rough jeep road, but everything went well. It took us almost exactly two hours to go from Copper to about the 13,200' mark where we shed our motorcycle jackets and pants and took off on foot for the final 1,000' up Antero.
Sure beats walking up a dirt road for seven miles.
The climb went quickly and we were on top after about 40 minutes where we enjoyed some beautiful views, ate some sandwiches, took photos and chatted with some other hikers.
Climbing the final few feet to the summit.
Looking west from the summit of Antero
Shavano and Tabeguache from Antero
Beautiful daughter, beautiful day, beautiful Colorado - I am truly blessed.
After almost thirty minutes on top we headed back down to our bike, donned our riding gear and headed back down towards 162.
There were a few sections where the road was a little too rough and steep for descending with a passenger, so my daughter got a little extra hiking than expected. We were back in Copper by 12:30 in spite of stopping for gas and to call home.
I realize my method will upset the purists, but we had a great time!