|Peak:||Mt. Antero (14er)|
|Route:||Raspberry Gulch/East Ridge|
|Date of Info:||03/21/2014|
County Rd 272 is closed at the intersection with CR274 about 1.75 miles from the summer trailhead. The snow in the valley near the summer trailhead is unpredictable at best and there is definitely unconsolidated sugar to sink into. I highly recommend avoiding the summer trailhead altogether by making an ascending traverse across the mostly-dry south side of Pt. 11038 to the saddle (We did this on the way down and it was definitely preferable).
Above the saddle lies about 1600 vertical feet of postholey garbage, the first 1000 feet of which being a life-force sucking 35 degree slope. Although it's roughly a mile from the saddle to treeline (probably more due to our switchbacks and meandering in search of supportive snow), we spent 3 hours wallowing through this section.
Above treeline, conditions were ideal - tolerable wind and a mostly-dry ridge. We made it from treeline to Pt. 13105 in an hour, but had reached our previously agreed upon turn-around time and with nasty looking storm clouds moving in, we made our retreat.
It could be said that a "trench" is in place from the saddle to treeline, but I'll offer zero warranty of its suitability. Also note that the uphill and downhill trenches vary slightly in sections and although the downhill trench will be deeper and more visible, the uphill trench is a more reasonable route if you can follow it. Much of the trip downhill was sort of waist-deep snowshoe plunge-stepping and the resulting trench would be miserable to climb.