| Antero - W.Slopes. Kids, storms and celebrities...oh my!
4:30am - depart Littleton foothills
7:00am – begin hike at 9,400’, Baldwin Gulch 2WD TH
12:00pm – summit Mt. Antero
12:01pm – depart Mt. Antero summit
1:00pm – taking shelter and break at tree line
3:15pm – return to TH
DeerCreekDave – 21st 14er.
Jesse – 3rd 14er.
Jordan – 2nd 14er
Antero was the longest 14er hike for all of us!
6:30am, Hwy 285 just west of Buena Vista. Antero is roughly at 12-o’clock and Princeton is at 1-o’clock.
7:00am, 2WD Baldwin Gulch parking area and trail head
7:30am, a mile into our easy stroll up West Slopes route on the trail/4WD jeep road. The trail grade is easy for hikers and tame for 4WD vehicles. The trail condition is rounded cobblestones, with occasional large, and embedded boulders that require simple navigation. I could have easily taken my 4Runner up this trail, but we opted for a longer, more pleasant, jaunt in the forest, versus a 2-mile long bumpy car ride. I’m glad we did. The soothing sounds of the rushing Baldwin Creek, the sweet smells of the forest and the constant laughs from my kids were worth every extra step.
9:00am. Before we knew it, we were at the 10,850’ stream crossing. Had a GORP break and continued onward.
9:30am. Near 12,000’, this is the upper 4WD small parking area with a few camp spots. Another hundred feet, Jesse and I strike a pose and we are out of tree line.
The scenery got better with every step.
The trail from here to the summit is a very easy grade, which makes for a quick pace, but lots of mileage.
10am. We chill (pun intended) at 12,700’, next to one of the rare patches of remaining snow. Antero's spiny ridge line and summit are in clear view to our East. To our West is colorful 13,600' Cronin Peak. Here is where the trail heads directly southward and wraps another 1.5 mi around Point 13,800 and eventually up to Antero’s saddle.
Opting for adventure, we vote unanimously to leave the established (kind of boring) jeep trail and blaze a new route up the NW ridge of Point 13,800. If you have extra time, like Class 3 scrambling and don’t mind getting hassled by nervous prospectors, then you will love this extra credit route of 1,100' gain.
SLOWLY scrambling our way up on solid, sticky talus and occasional loose scree. Approx. 13,500'.
11:30am. Finally summitting Point 13,800. Antero’s ridge and summit await us.
With clouds darkening, we hastily make our way up the ridge line. No time for pics as we blaze up around the spires and up the boulders.
11:50am. Jesse summits first, with Jordan and I peaking exactly at Noon, when the first clap of thunder erupts from the West. Taking only moments to snap a couple pics, we bolt (pun again) off of the summit and jog down to tree line for shelter and lunch.
Looking down the ridge with Jordan about to summit.
Looking West at approaching storms. Yikes! Gotta go!
Jesse on summit with ugly storms to the North/Northeast.
Jordan's 2nd (what a tough kid!) and my 21st. No time for lunch...gotta get off this summit!!!
Ok, maybe time for one more pic on our rapid descent.
1:00pm. Treeline...whew! After we recharge with some much needed summer sausage, Babybel and Gatorade, we make our way back down to the trail head. Storms roll in fast and hard, sprinkling us with brief rain, small hail and chilling flashes of light and rumbles of thunder that were too close for comfort.
2:45pm. With 1 mile remaining, a nice couple in a truck offered us a ride down. Like true climbers, we kindly refused and wanted to finish the hike on our own two feet. The nice couple turned out to be celebrity Amanda Adkins and her friend from Weather Channel’s TV show, The Prospectors. Pretty cool! You never know who you will meet on a 14er!
Amanda Adkins from the TV show, The Prospectors.
What a fun, adventurous, memorable day on Colorado’s 10th highest peak. Can’t want to do many more with my two hiking buddies!
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):