| Mt. Antero- Baldwin Gulch TH
Date: September 17, 2006
Team: USAKeller and TalusMonkey
Route: West Slopes (standard) from Baldwin Gulch TH
TalusMonkey and I had planned on going to the 14ers.com Fall Gathering to climb Columbia, but, because the weather didn't look good, we entertained the idea to climb Mt. Antero instead. I left Boulder at 3:00am to pick up TalusMonkey. We left Denver at 4:00am and made it to the TH at 7:00am. We drove about 2.7 miles up the Baldwin Creek road (Road 277) to the Baldwin Creek crossing on the left (N38deg 40m56.6s, W106deg 16m22.4s). Although the road was rough and narrow in some places, it was no problem for my stock Dodge Durango. It was also the prettiest road I have been on so far, with all of the aspens changing color! We parked on the right side of the road, but you can drive across the creek to find parking spots along the road on the other side. We began hiking up the road at 7:15am (temperature: 27 deg.) and found that we would have easily been able to drive up the rest of the road.
The area where we parked, on the right side of the road:
We decided to avoid the switchbacks on the jeep road and took a climber's trail up a gully.
A view looking back down the gully from the jeep road (after the switchbacks):
We reached the southwest ridge and the weather got cold! The wind chill made the temperature feel like 0 degrees. There were only a few patches of snow in this area. Around the south side of Antero, we were more protected from the wind. The jeep road is an easy, steady climb.
The remaining part of the route seen from the end of the jeep road (13,720ft.):
The lower portion of this section also had some trivial patches of snow, but the upper part was mostly snow-free. Past the jeep road, you can follow a steeper, faint trail. We reached the summit in 2hrs. 35min. It was a little breezy and cold, but very nice for the most part! The summit had a marginal amount of snow as well.
TalusMonkey and USAKeller on the summit of Mt. Antero with Mt. Princeton behind to the right (top photo).
A view of the Elks from the summit (upper right part of the photo; bottom photo):
We stayed on the summit for half an hour, and ate all of TalusMonkey's food (I forgot mine in the car)! We saw a group of six people drive almost all the way up the road and decide to climb from there, and passed them on the way down. We decided to take the jeep road back to the car… and once we hit the switchbacks, we took shortcuts down the grassy patches. We set a goal of descending an hour less that it took us to summit, and made it back to my truck in 1hr. 28min (temperature: near 40 deg.).
TalusMonkey and USAKeller on the south side of Mt. Antero, with the current
snow conditions of Mt. Shavano (left), and Tabeguache Peak (right):
A picture of some of the fall colors taken from the jeep road, near the stream crossing:
We packed up, drove back to drop TalusMonkey off in Lakewood, and I had to be back by 4:00pm for a soccer game- I made it back at 4:10pm!!
Ok, so most of this site probably knows that TalusMonkey isn't quite a big fan of snow ascents (thus far), but I had the rare opportunity to catch him climbing in the snow on camera!! It was necessary to include this in the trip report!!! Now we will have to see how many winter climbs he will participate in this season!
TalusMonkey caught in the act of partaking in a snow climb:
Although we bailed on the Fall Gathering, and because I had to be back for a soccer game, I still wanted to climb a Fourteener. We were unsure of the weather, but came to realize that it was the best choice to decide to go anyway! It was a beautiful day up at 14,000 feet!
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):