| Attemped Cinco de Mayo Climb of Antero
Hey guys this is my first trip report posting, so tranquilo. So, sorry about how amateur this report is.
In the middle of the week a buddy and I decided we wanted to get some backcountry in later in the week. It's always tough for us to make a decision on what we want to do. So, we were thinking of doing some backcountry around Breck, but then we just decided that we wanted to go big. So, Friday during the day, we planned our trip. Checked the weather, it didn't look good; they were calling for 1-2 inches Friday night and 3-5 Saturday. We both decided, "That we can always turn around." Since we both had to work that evening, we were just going to leave after work and get a quick nap in before hiking. We talked another one of our friends into coming along.
So the 3 of us left Breck about 11:30 that night for Baldwin Gulch Rd. On the way down it was a mix of snow and sleet, and a couple flashes of lightning. Got to the road and we were only able to drive a short distance up. Removed a couple of larger rocks from the middle of the road about a ¼ mile up, but that was about as far as we could get. Took a short nap, and started hiking about 3:30 A.M.
Started skinning up the road, then had to take the skis off and shoulder them, then put the skis on again, then had to take them off once again, and then I decided I would just put them on my pack and just boot it up the road. Didn't like the fact that I couldn't skin up. Finally, we were able to put on the skis/snowshoes for good around 10,700. Continued up the road till we had to cross Baldwin Creek, was snowing pretty good at that point. Hiked up through the trees, and it basically started puking. At 7:30, Nick turned back, this was his first time on snowshoes ever, so he was pretty happy w/how far he had made it.
Chris and I rolled on, we had to turn around last Sat. trying to climb Missouri Mt. because of super sketchy snow and warm temps, so we really wanted a winter decent on a 14er. As we made our way above tree line we saw blue sky, so we thought we had a real chance at the summit. At 7:45 we got to the base of the gully and where the switchback road starts up, since the snow seemed to be pretty stable we ascended right up the middle of the gully instead of taking on the switchbacks.
Not much vis up the gully
Chris making his way up the gully
About ¾ up the gully the pitch got a little steeper and my skins were slipping, so I had to boot it up the final pitch to the ridgeline. That was a little scary, the snowpack seemed stable, but w/ 3-4 inches of fresh snow, and a pitch that was ranging from 35-45 degrees, we were anxious to get to that ridgeline. At that point we were in the doughnut, blue skies above us, and nasty looking clouds all around us.
At 9:15, we got to where the last switchback went to the viewers right to gain the ridgeline and we took a bit of a break to get a quick snack, mmm… mojo bars, after opening my pack my helmet slid down the gully that we had just hiked up, so that eliminated any questions of what route we were going to take down.
We decided with the fresh snow and the angle of the road to the ridge that it would be difficult to take the road, so, we decided the best way from point A to C was to skip B and go straight up to Point 13,800. We had a tough time going straight up the 40 degree pitch the final ½ mile to the point.
clouds around Tabeguache Peak
Finally made it around 10:45 to the point and saw the summit of Antero looming in front of us.
Nasty Clouds around us
Trying to decide the best way to the ridge we both heard a loud rumble of thunder. We both decided instantly that we had to get down quickly. So, I removed my skins, put on my skis, and Chris put on his snowboard we traversed through the rocks to a patch of snow to the right. We had to go back and get my helmet, ended up getting some nice turns down through the gully.
Some nice turns down
Rode down as far as we could with boards under our feet, and then began the long walk back to the truck where Nick was in the middle of a long nap. Chris and I were a little disappointed with not being able to summit Antero, but we were happy to get some good turns in the backcountry. As we drove on 285, we looked all around us and saw storm clouds everywhere, I guess we were lucky to get as far as we did considering the nasty weather going down in Colorado that day. So, still looking for my first winter decent of a 14er.
Happy Cinco De Mayo
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