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 Peak(s):  Mt. Antero  -  14,269 feet
 Post Date:  05/23/2009
 Date Climbed:   05/23/2009
 Posted By:  emcee smith

 Mother Nature 1. Us 0   

5/23/09
Mt. Antero Failed Attempt

Conditions: The road up to Baldwin Creek is free of snow, but above the creek has snow patches to just above tree line, then continuous. Most of the snow on the road can be skirted on the downhill side, except for the last switchback to the ridge, which was loaded. We didn't get beyond Point 13,800.

The problem with a schedule is that if Antero (or any other) is on the list during a rainy weekend, I still go and hope for the best. Today was definitely not the best.

I met CarpeDM at 5:30 in BV and we drove to the trailhead in my truck (Tacoma 4wd). The road to the lower trailhead is very smooth. We began up the Baldwin Creek Road at about 6:00am and made it across Baldwin Creek at about 6:35. We were in 4wd all the way, but the road wasn't too bad, just the occasional rubbing and scraping.

We left the truck at about 6:40am and headed up the road. The road still has quite a bit of snow, but it is melting fast. Most of the snow could be avoided. Not too far above the creek, we entered the fog

Dave in the fog, coming up the road near tree line
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I thought that the road above the creek to tree line was pretty steep. It seemed to ease up above the trees.

Looking back on the road, just above tree line
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The lower part of the switchbacks had snow on it, but was easily passable
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Indication of the depth of snow on some of the lower parts
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Farther up, the road was fairly snow loaded, and had to be skirted right near the downhill side. At the last switchback before the ridge, the road was completely covered
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Looking up the road, showing the snow
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Looking down at the road
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Once we hit the ridge, the wind really picked up, and the sleet/snow started in earnest, the path up the ridge toward 13,800' was fairly easy going, except for the 3 – 6" of new snow covering all of the rocks.

Coming up the ridge
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Once we got near about 13,700' we came across some mining work. At this point, we could barely see the ridge, debated for a bit, and decided to come back down. Neither of us wanted to risk the remaining ridge to the summit.

Heading back down
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The route back was uneventful, the snow softened up a bit, but not too bad. A few of the glissade paths are pretty melted out, not very fun or efficient. We made it below tree line and back to the truck. We then put it in low gear, and rolled to the bottom. The trip down the road took about 45 minutes.

Of course, the sun started coming out as soon as we got near the truck. We started second guessing ourselves, but overall the area was pretty cloudy and they were getting darker.

Looking back at Antero, I think we made the right decision
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Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (1)
CarpeDM


thanks for posting     2009-05-25 08:24:19
It was great to hike with you, and I hope we can schedule another trip for later this year. It still gnaws at me a little that we didn‘t summit; in hindsight, I‘m virtually certain we would have had no trouble summiting and returning safely. On the other hand, reading how easy it was for others to get off-route on other mountains Saturday, I also don‘t feel too bad about turning around. Time for me to buy a GPS unit.



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