We left Colorado Springs about 4am and arrived at our 11,200 TH at about 7am and hit the road, literally, at 7:30. You read all the books, the great info on this web site in researching the mountain and something always amazes me. Like, the path up is always shorter that the path down, it seems. In this case, road.
With rocks behind every tire, off we went! Other pics of the road were too blurry.
The TH spot was picked so as to climb 3000. The main stream crossing was not bad at all, but the road was the roughest I've been on this year. I think all my internal organs have moved around like the sides of a rubic cube. Hopefully, they'll find there way back to where they belong.
Treeline and below were typical of the forested areas
I now understand the difference between a short 4WD and a Pilot
The hike up the road was uneventful except for the occasional 4WD or ATV whizzing by. True to the nature of Colorado, all the drivers were friendly and courteous. All waved and some checked our status. I forgot about this Monday being a Federal holiday. The road pitch was so high that I was sure a couple of them would just roll off the hill, but they didn't. I'm definitely not used to all the activity with the exception of Pikes Peak.
One egar climber zoomed up this path while I pondered the navigation of it all
I did get a bit confused on finding option 2 as I thought I saw a trail that I didn't want to back track to, but it turned out to really be a variation to option 1. Option 2 is simple: follow the road up, up being the key word since there are connecting roads going down.
This is one of the nicest signs I've seen this year. It's near point 13,800.
Here's some of the switchbacking road.
The top of pint 13,800 sported a nice red jeep.
Getting to the end of the road at 13.7k wasn't too demanding and we found a huge snow drift sitting there.
Two vehicles and a snow/ice drift
The ridge and summit approach to Antero
Three climbers making their way along the ridge. The path is clearly visible close up!
This looks worse than it is, and conditions were excellent, but good practice.
The ridge path looked intimidating, but once you get started, it's easy to follow and the elevation gain is minimal.. I enjoyed the ridge. Just enough exposure to make it interesting and not overwhelming. I'm not sure what my exposure limit is at this point so I want to take that experience gradually. Maybe someone has a good idea on how to do that. That last bit of elevation gain is waiting for you at what seemed to me to be like a launch pad. There's only one place to go and it's way up there—469 feet of rocks with a faint trail. Looks like most folks just pick their way up.
This angle didn't look too bad...
...but this one did, hence the launch pad.
My climbing partner decided it would be better for her and her feet to wait at the launch pad while I summited. I understood and respected her decision. The mountain will always be there
I started out using trekking poles, but quickly transitioned to just using hands to steady the ascent. I've used hands on rock before, but this felt different. All four limbs reaching, pushing, pulling and stabilizing all the way up. I summited sooner than expected. As always, the view was great and the other hikers were all smiles. Pictures taken, the log signed, I contemplated this being the 13th peak, my lucky number. It's mine because, when I jumped out of airplanes for fun, I had a malfunction on my 13th jump—and lived; so I was lucky. It's the outcome that's important.
From the summit, a shot of Princeton, I believe
The summit was longer than I expected
One of the standard summit photos
The poles were handy on the way down from the summit. My friend was still there where I left her so we continued our trek down. I think there were more zigzags in the road on the way down than there were on the way up. All in all, a good trip, although I respect the mountain, the rockhounds are her favorites!