| Antero - North Ridge - Winter
Mt. Antero 14269
January 16-17 2009
North Ridge from Cascade Campground
Roundtrip distance: 7+ miles
Elevation: ~5400 ft
Having wanted to finish off the Sawatch range in the winter, I only have Elbert, Massive, and Shav/Tab left. I decided to attempt Mt. Antero. Unsure of the road conditions to Baldwin Gulch, I decided to try the North Ridge route. I was unsure though because of the lack of information reguarding this route. The only sure info I had was from Roach's book, where he says "route is not for the casual 14er hiker... Direct and Steep". I figured I'd give it a go however, and looked foward to writing this report simply to give people advice and beta on a seemingly rarely taken route.
I left from Denver Friday morning, and arrived at Cascade Campground around 130 pm. Got all my gear together and began my hike/climb toward the first obstacle.
The desired gully is on the right
Looking down towards the campground
The route description in Roach's book states to take the westernmost gully up to the saddle at 12200. This gully is on the right of the above photo. Luckily there was pretty good snow all the way up. There was still a ton of loose scree and talus to navigate. I was beginning to understand why Roach said this is a "steep and direct" route. Getting to the top of the saddle from the campground took me nearly 3.5 hours and I finally staggered into my predetermined campsite around 530 pm.
Mt. Princeton from my high camp
I set up camp, boiled water for the following day, then bedded down. The winds began to pick up around 1000 pm and I was forced to do the old hold the tent up with your body while trying to sleep routine. Finally at around 245 am the wind died, and I managed to get a few more solid hours of sleeping in before the 500 am alarm went off. Began the day to clear skies and alpenglow lighting up the surrounding mountains. I picked up the N ridge of Antero right away, and arrived near pt 13265 where somewhat discouraging views of Antero in the distance await. That ridge is the final summit push.
Antero from the N Ridge
I crossed the flat area, and began the last push up to the summit of Mt. Antero. I gained the top around 930 am. Slightly windy, but for January at 14269 it was absolutely beautiful. Took the obligatory summit shot for a free sandwich, and began the descent. Spent exactly 7 minutes on top.
Took my ascent route all the way back down, and arrived back at my gear stash at 12200 feet around 1100 am. Ate some food, and then pushed on down the gully to arrive at the car around 130 pm. Thank goodness for the snow conditions, it would have been much more difficult without that good ole plunge step. Also got to practice my self arrest skills for the first time in earnest while descending... definitely glad for my ice axe. Anyways, this is a pretty good route aside from the loose scree near the beginning and end of the gully. Good winter route if conditions are right.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):