| Mt. Antero via Raspberry Gulch
Freeze posted our alternate route up Antero. Here are some pictures and some additional details. We chose this route because we did not want to fight the ATV‘s going up the standard route. This turned a "downer" mountain into a real adventure.
We started climbing at about 5:20 am. The route starts on an old road (elevation that seems quite popular for horses. We hiked on this trail for just under a mile to an obvious saddle between two hills. This was the first level spot we had reached since we had first started. We then turned to the left and proceed up the hill about 1000 feet. The saddle sits at about 10,400 feet and the top of the hill sits about 11,483 feet. It is a very steep section. Here is a picture of the grade. The camera is level. Note the angle of the trees.
After topping out this challenging section (I don‘t know if it was challenging for my hiking buddy, but it killed me) you are on a ridge that you can follow all the way to the peak. Here is a picture of the route from once we got above tree line. You can just see the Antero poking up above the ridge. It has the snow on it. You can also see the ridge as it winds to the left and heads up to the peak. We still had a ways to go.
ASIDE: I was having a very hard day. I was just in Montana living at 3000 feet for the past 3 weeks and just drove home a couple of days before the hike. I don‘t know if I was dehydrated, suffering from altitude, or both...but I was whooped. I actually wanted to quit several times, but I figured the weather was still good and so I just kept taking one step at a time. Poor Freeze...he had to wait on the summit for 45 minutes for me to finally catch up.
Once we got on the ridge, we a head of big horn sheep. There were several ewes and lambs in the group which was really cool.
So then we started climbing the exposed ridge. This was probably the most dangerous section of the climb. Basically, as freeze (my climbing buddy‘s nickname) said, this was very durable terrain which meant we were scrambling through rock fields for over a mile.
Here is a picture looking back on our route about half way up the ridge after clearing treeline. You can get an idea of how steep it was. There were numerous spiders in the rocks with very interesting webs.
When I finally got close to the summit I was able to look up and see the final push. The standard route enters about halfway up this slope. Overall, this was a really fun climb, a challenge, and a great mountain to climb to help orphans (www.hike-for-hope.com).
Here are the directions freeze posted:
Drive up into Raspberry Gulch. From Highway 285, you go south past Nathrop and turn west on highway 270. Then you take 270 to an intersection a little over a mile in. 270 turns to the right, but you stay straight and the road turns to dirt. Then you follow that road PAST the Browns creek turnoff, taking the first left on a forest service road past the Browns creek turnoff. Then you 4wd to the end of the forest service road.)
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):