| Fine Winter 13ener Duo Near Antero
Mt. Mamma 13,646
Boulder Mountain 13,528
February 3, 2009
12.4 Miles, ~5,000 Gain
I camped at my car so I could get an early start on these two peaks. I awoke at 4:30 AM, and was skinning up the Baldwin Gulch trail by 4:50 AM. I seemed a bit sluggish and tired as I started up the trail; probably since I just got back from a four day trip to Ouray and Canyonlands. I was hoping the trail would have been broken by some snowmobilers to Baldwin Lake, but I wasn't so lucky. Fortunately, some other skiers and snowshoers had the trail broken to the Mt. Antero - Baldwin Lake junction. The next three miles after this junction were brutal. There was deep power in the trees and it was time consuming to break trail, even on skis.
Apparently I followed the wrong road at ~11,800 and ended up following the road leading to the mine at ~12,000 which is shown on the topo. The junction wasn't obvious to me in the winter. After making the wrong turn, I traversed further up the north side of the gulch into a high basin north of Baldwin Lake. Once I got out of the trees, the snow was a bit more consolidated and trail breaking was much easier.
I took off my skis close to the mine near point 12,585 and started climbing northeast up a rock rib to the Mt. Mamma - Boulder Mountain saddle. At this point, I could definitely feel I wasn't 100% as my pack was heavier hauling my skis and the hopping on boulders to stay out of the deep snow between the rocks seemed more brutal than usual. I reached the ridge at ~13,000, ditched my pack, and made a quick .3 mile dash to the summit of Mt. Mamma where I arrived at 11:00 AM. The views were excellent.
After a 15 minute break on the summit, I made my way back to my pack, ate a snack and made the long 1.4 mile traverse over to Boulder Mountain. The traverse was easy class 2, where I arrived on the summit of Boulder Mountain at 12:40 PM. I took a longer 20 minute break while I absorbed the views and rested. The weather was perfect with zero clouds and zero wind.
For the descent off of Boulder Mountain, I was a bit concerned about possible avalanche danger leading into the gulch north-northeast of the summit, so I packed my snowshoes with me. Why did I pack my snowshoes? Because I'm stupid. Actually, I take the snowshoes because I feel safer and more coordinated descending on snowshoes than on skis, especially since I travel alone. From the summit, I descended down the north-northeast ridge to ~12,000 where I strapped on my snowshoes and further descended down the ridge to ~11,600, and from this point I felt comfortable strapping on the skis. Nevertheless, on this descent I felt there was no actual avalanche danger.
I skied directly east, from ~11,600, into the basin where I was planning on following the 4 wheel drive road back to the main Baldwin Gulch trail. While I was skiing into the basin, and to my surprise, the snow sucked. There was a nice ˝ - 1 inch sun baked crust. Wtf? This is February and I wasn't expecting spring snow conditions like that. Once I got back into the trees, the snow conditions got a little bit better. As I skied further down, at ~10,600, I found the 4 wheel drive road and skied back to the car where I arrived at 2:40 PM. Now, I can look forward to going back to work and resting for a few days.
View up Baldwin Gulch.
Mt. Mamma comes into view.
Looking down Baldwin Gulch at Mt. Antero.
The northeast rock rib to the Mt. Mamma - Boulder Mountain saddle.
Summit ridge to Mt. Mamma.
Mt. Antero and Mt. White from the summit of Mt. Mamma.
Boulder Mountain, my next objective.
Looking south at Grizzly Mountain.
Traverse to Boulder Mountain.
Looking back at Mt. Mamma on the traverse to Boulder Mountain.
Summit ridge to Boulder Mamma.
Looking back on the entire traverse.
Mt. Antero from the summit of Boulder Mountain.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):