| Antero Camp Out
We decided to head up Antero over the long Thanksgiving holiday. To stack the deck in our favor, we headed out on Friday for an overnighter in the snow.
We arrived at the "Standard Route" trailhead around 1:00 PM on Friday. I was with my wife, a good buddy, and our german sheppard. We took the road up to 12,000, to where you just exit timberline. We pitched our tent at the foot of the gulley, with a view of the long road traverse around 900 feet above. Our trek up was made very easy by the snow mobile tracks. We used snow shoes. But it was possible up to 12,000 in just boots.
The night wasn‘t too bad. I measured around 20 degrees in my North Face and around 10 outside, first thing in the morning. There was lots of snow around for melting.
We got a late start, but began to climb directly up the gully at around 8:00. The direct route looked shorter than the road and more fun as well. We took about 45 minutes to climb to the long traverse section of the road. It was about a 900-foot climb. Then a short trail up to the saddle. From there, I decided to head staight up the snow covered ridge to the 13,800-foot point. I stayed near ther rocks to avoid any long slide on snow shoes.
The traverse over to the final stretch wasn‘t bad as we walked the ridge where possible. Where the ridge wasn‘t available, I kicked steps on the snow covered side. Once on the final climb, we stashed our shoes and scrambled up the last 400 feet on the rocks. On the summit we enjoyed partly sunny skies and no wind. Not bad.
We retraced our route down. Although we carried our shoes a bit further and took advantage of the rocks whereever possible. We passed two skiers on the traverse, who were out for a long climb and and short ski.
Descending the gully to camp, we attempted to glisade in the deep snow. But the snow was very inconsistent. Some areas had a hard crust. Some were soft, where we had to slog through crotch-deep powder. But it was still fast going.
We arrived back at the tent near 2:00. After some snacks and rehydration, we packed everything up and headed back down the road. We arrived back at the car just after 5:00 to a moon-lit sky.
After some rebuilding Mexican grub in Buena Vista, we headed home.
Most of the route could have been completed without snow shoes. Although we didn‘t use the road above 12,000, I suspect you could walk most of the way, only kicking snow where it has accummulated to fill the road.
Sorry for the lack of pics. Once I get them loaded, I‘ll add them to the report. But I wanted to get this out there. Enjoy!