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 Peak(s):  Mt. Antero  -  14,269 feet
 Post Date:  05/30/2006
 Date Climbed:   05/28/2006
 Posted By:  zacob

 Mt Antero Baldwin Jeep trail   

A quick summer evening jaunt to the top of a simple 14er. That's how I sold the plan to Kent; little did we know what the weather had in store for us. we left Erie around 2pm arrived at the Baldwin creek around 5:30pm (no speeding tickets for me) we decided with Shavano and Tabeguache on the agenda for the next day to abandon the 3000 foot rule for this ascent and drove through the creek. We made it another 1/4 mile up the road before we encounter a jeep, he had just dug himself out of hole. A snow field blocks the normal road, some other drivers had made a slight detour, only problem was it went through a deep ditch my Dakota was a 50/50 shot to make it. We decided to pile a few rocks in the ditch to build a bridge and coaxed my old Dakota onward. We were able to drive up just past the second switch back, before a snow drift brought an end to our mechanical advancement, it was 6:30.

We grabbed our gear and headed out. I just can't handle mountains like Antero going the Standard route so we opted for a little adventure. Instead of following the road we high tailed it up the slopes cutting off the switch back and moved around to the north, it was a loose scree slope but not that bad half way around the large southern shoulder of Antero we encounter a wonderful snow slope It was awesome I wish that had been our vertical ascent route but alas it was just a horizontal crossing... it was great solid enough to kick step across but soft enough not to require crampons it was perfect.
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For a change everything was going right and then as it always happens when Kent and I climb things start getting bad. I had booked it across the snow and was stopping to take Kent's picture when my water bottle fell it tumble about 90 feet down the slope Oh well down I go... all and all not bad but that should have been a warning to us things were about to get ugly... we began to feel it getting a little colder, no big deal we thought the sun is heading down it's bound to be cooling off... then we noticed it was getting windy...well we were on a 14er what should we expect...we looked up and the sky was dark...we began to laugh seems every time we climb the sky goes dark the winds come up the temperature goes through the floor...
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We push on to the Antero shoulder and back on to the standard route after we totally enjoyed our little detour... now with the final summit push right before us we had a choice push on is winds gusting up to 70mph with the temperature hovering in the mid 20's or accepting defeat and heading down. No way this was almost the first of June we were too close so we pushed on keeping our heads down we pushed on no words were spoken we just pushed. We each kept asking ourselves why we had to climb in blizzard like conditions in MAY.... all of a sudden we looked around and there was no more up we had made it! It was 8:15. A quick high five a couple of pictures and it was time to get down.

The way down we opted to stick to the road instead of losing the truck in the dark and descending too far. When the wind would allow we literally ran, and scree skied as much as we could we got to the long flat section of the road and quickly crossed that hump to the western slope and raced down those slopes cutting across the as much as we could all of a sudden we spot the truck aim for it. We reach the truck as the last rays of light disappear. All and all a good day and an enjoyable summit. We loaded up and headed to Blank Cabin for the next days adventure



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