| Sunny day on Mt. Antero
Nic and I were spending Father's day weekend near Westcliffe, so we wanted to take advantage of our proximity to new mountains (we live in Boulder) and hike something a little different Initially, I really wanted to hike one of the Sangres, but it was a busy week that left little time for research, and after the minimal amount I was able to do, I decided to leave that experience for another trip. From my VERY basic research, the Sangres appeared to have more snow than I was up for, although I could have been way off with that estimate, so please don't take it as stone.
In any case, the next best option appeared to be the Sawatch range. I tried to find the closest mountain, which ended up being Shavano, but given that I'd already hiked that one, we decided on Antero. We'll go back for Tabeguache and do the combo with Shavano, but this trip was supposed to be a quick one, so we had to rule that peak out too.
We left the cabin about 5am and headed for our destination. By 6am we were on 50 and on our way to 285. The entire drive took almost about 3 hours, which was about as expected, but still a little disappointing. From here we still had to tackle the not so smooth jeep trail to tree line.
The beginning of the drive is probably the worst part. It is definitely the steepest and had plenty of nice big rocks to drive on and around.
In addition to all the rocks, there is also a cliff edge to contend with, but the road eventually levels out and the rocks get smaller.
At 3 miles, we made it to the lake crossing.
And then finally we were almost at tree line. As you can see, other than the road being a PIA to drive, the conditions weren't bad at all. No snow and the water was passable. I think the drive up took us about 40 mins or so to do with a Land Rover.
At 9:05, we started our hike up. The route description doesn't lie when it says the first part is just a road. I saw a trip report where someone drove within 750 ft of the summit. I think we might go back and do that sometime with our families. We even had a jeep tour pass us on the way up.
What the conditions looked like out there.
Just before point 13,800, we started to see a little snow. Nothing to cause any problems though.
Looking back the way we came.
We tried to find the shortcut Bill spoke of in the route description. I think we eventually hit on it, but I'm pretty sure we overshot the start of it.
Here Nic is on the way up to Prospects (13,800). It's still not extremely difficult at this point, but at least more challenging than the road.
Looking over the saddle and towards the summit.
About to ascend the final 400ft.
We made it to the summit at 12:15pm.
The only snow on the summit.
The way back.
We'd left our puppy at the cabin, so after spending 20 mins to a half hour enjoying the summit, we decided we'd better hurry our way down to get home to her.
On the way down, we saw a trail cutting across the mountain that looked like a shortcut. We decided to take it. While it may have been a shortcut, it certainly was not what we were looking for. We thought it would take us out and around 13,800 so we wouldn't have to climb back up it. Instead, it took us out to the side of the mountain where we had to go straight down with little to no trail.
In the picture, we took the red line down. Orange is where the trail goes.
We finally made it back down around 4pm, very glad to be heading home, but also very happy with our blue sky day.
Unfortunately, just past Salida on 50 we were informed the road was closed due to an overturned tanker. There was no way around other than going up to Buena Vista, so we decided to take a detour over to Hayden pass and see if we could get through. We couldn't. After wasting half a tank of gas, we returned to find 50 open.
We arrived home around 9pm to find a very energy abundant puppy waiting for us. Sadly, we did not have the energy to to match hers. I had a serious migraine from the day's stresses (mainly the drive home) and Nic was beat too. He made dinner while I recovered and the puppy played. Eventually my headache went away and I joined them.
Not exactly the end of the day I was looking for, but still a great trip. I don't think we'll tackle the Sawatch next time we're at the cabin (still got the Sangres though!), but we had a nice trip overall.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):