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 Peak(s):  Mt. Antero  -  14,269 feet
 Post Date:  06/16/2008
 Date Climbed:   06/14/2008
 Posted By:  Weegie5

 Antero mid-June   

For my first 14er of the season, I met Mike at the base of the Baldwin Gulch Road around 6:30 Friday evening. He put his gear in my Jeep Liberty and we headed up the bouncy, rocky road a touch under three miles before crossing Baldwin Creek (around 10,850). There was a second creek about 0.3mi past the first, and we parked and camped another 0.3mi beyond that, near 11,350.

We were on the trail by 6:30 Saturday morning with Brady, my dog. There were some snow patches on the road as we approached tree line.

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Photo 1 looks up at the switchbacks as we neared tree line.

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Photo 2 is looking back from the same location at the first. The snow here had melted substantially by the descent and was passable by any 4×4 that had made it past the creek.

We made the first switchback (very deep snow still- see Photo 3) and then noticed as we approached the first gully that everyone ahead of us was taking the snowy gully shortcut- Photo 4. We elected to do the same and shave some mileage off the total hike.

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Photo 3 - Lots of snow across the road.

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Photo 4 - Four climbers and a dog are visible hiking up the gully.

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Photo 5 looks down from the top of the first section of the gully.

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Photo 6 shows Mike & Brady continuing up the gully.

We exited the gully where the road crosses it for the last time and took the road. Around the bend we saw a trail leading up from the road- Photo 7. This saves some unnecessary time on the road.

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Photo 7 - Exit the road on this trail and gain the ridge.

As we began this shortcut trail, we looked down what I call "gully #2" and saw two hikers taking that route; they are visible in Photo 8.

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Photo 8 - Two hikers are coming up "gully #2"

This shortcut takes you to the ridge and you should climb the ridge to reach point 13,800. No trail was real clear up the ridge, so we continued south and rejoined the road. The road was pretty flat as it continued east until we reached a 'Y' in the road.

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Photo 9 - Go up the road (left) at the 'Y'.

We stayed on the road as it switched-back up the south side of Point 13,800 and the road ended near the top of Point 13,800.

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Photo 10 - The switchbacks up the south side.

From 13,800 we finally had a good view of the remaining route to the summit.
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Photo 11 - the remaining route from Point 13,800.

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Photos 12 (above) & 13 (below) - As we approached the snow on the traverse, we stayed up high to avoid the worst of snow.
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With just the final ridge between us and the summit, it was within reach. We stayed left of the snow. Oddly, the route-finding was easier on the way up this final ridge than on the return trip. This final ridge was by far the windiest part of the whole day (up & down).

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Photo 14 - Looking up the final ridge to the summit.

We passed several people coming down on the rest of our traverse and on the final ridge, likely the same folks above us in Photo 4. We summited at 9:35, just a touch over 3 hours.


Mike, Brady, and me on the summit.

Shortly after we topped off, some guys joined us on the summit, likely the same two from "gully #2". We ended up spending over an hour on the summit, just taking in the view. It was absolutely beautiful with not a cloud in the sky. Amazing.

Anyway, we started back down at 10:45. The route was the same, except when we got to "gully #2" I convinced Mike that a glissade would save a lot of time. We used our poles since neither of us had brought ice axes. The snow was rather bumpy and hard, so it took a minute to pick out my wedgie.

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Photo 15 - Mike on the glissade with Brady looking on.

The top half of the gully was pretty quick, but it flattened out a bit and then it was time to shed a few layers. The gully dumped us on the road just above tree line and we headed back to the car.

As I already mentioned, the snow patches on the road had melted a lot throughout the morning, so most 4×4 vehicles could make it almost to tree line (11,800).

We were back to the Jeep at 1:15. According to Mike's GPS (mine kept losing signal and turning off), we covered 5.86 miles in just under seven hours.

It took us half an hour to pack up camp and another thirty minutes to drive back to 162. After unloading Mike's stuff, I hit the road at 2:30 and was back to Denver by 5:15 (162 to 285 to 9 to 70 for a change of scenery).

In all, it was a great first hike of the season and I can't wait for more!

~James



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (7)
USAKeller


Congrats on the first of the season     2011-02-04 17:22:14
That was comin2getcha and I that you passed on that little ‘traverse‘ just before the summit ridge! It was a great day to be out!


Lynnie


Thank you for the TR     2008-06-16 10:09:42
We‘ll be hiking to the summit of Antero this weekend. Would you recommend snowshoes or can we leave them at home? Thanks!


Weegie5


no snowshoes needed     2008-06-16 10:20:39
The only time I even needed my gaiters was during the glissade on the way down. Snowshoes would just weigh you down.


Greenhouseguy


Good Beta     2008-06-17 16:53:28
I would have seen you Saturday, but my Jeep died on the Baldwin Gulch Jeep Road. THAT kind of killed my day. It could have been worse, I suppose. The Jeep is good to go this weekend, so I‘ll have another go at it. Your pics should be helpful; thanks for posting.


PolarBearCO


NICE TR! THANKS!     2010-11-30 10:28:44
Lynnie and others going "this weekend,"

Are any of you going on Sunday? My climbing partner and I will be heading up from Lakewood Saturday afternoon and should be up there pitching camp around 8pm. If you guys are there Saturday night and climbing Sunday, I'd love to meet. (We were going to do Notch Mtn but Tigiwon is still closed to snow.)


(Edited to add: Do you think a 2007 AWD Honda CRV can make it up the road okay? I don‘t have lockable 4WD. Thanks)


Weegie5


AWD response     2008-06-20 23:01:26
Thanks GHGuy & PB-CO

GHGuy, bummer of a break on your Jeep. Glad to hear you have it back in working order. Good luck this weekend; it should be a good trip if you can avoid the afternoon weather that‘s forecasted.

When driving Baldwin Gulch Rd I had my Jeep Liberty in 4LO, mostly to maintain speed without riding the gas or brake excessively. Granted, I do have rock rails + engine & tranny skid plates, which I did use on more than one occasion, but I think careful line selection is a far bigger factor than any amount of armor especially on this road.

I‘d bet a careful AWD driver could make it up & down with far less scraping (mostly downhill) than I did, though it may require some spotting where you are uncomfortable.

All that being said, Mike, the guy with whom I hiked, had a(n AWD) Subaru that he left at the head of Baldwin Gulch Rd and elected to ride in my Jeep averaging 6 mph.

It all boils down to how careful a driver you are, and can you or a spotter pick out some halfway clean lines for your wheelbase.


rleclair


Great TR!     2008-06-22 10:40:52
Amazing to me how much 1 weeks time makes with regard to melting snow. The amount of snow on the short traverse has melted considerably when we were on Antero June 21st. Great trip though!

BTW, I too have a Honda CRV AWD and I decided against driving up Baldwin Gulch road as I was losing traction on the steeper parts of the road - only made it 0.5 miles up. A true 4x4 would have no problem getting up the road, but I was concerned about trashing the underside of my car - not as much clearance. With that said, the 3 mile hike to the stream only took me an hour while driving up would take 30-40 minutes (my guess).



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