Peak(s):  Mt. Antero  -  14,269 feet
Date Posted: 
Date Climbed:   08/20/2005
Author:  SarahT
 8/20/05 std route w/ N. Carbonate  

Friday after work we drove up the 4WD Baldwin Gulch road and camped just below 10,900 feet right after where the road splits to go to the lake. The camping here was a bit rocky, but OK. We hit the trail (road) the next morning around 4:45am. It was a ridiculously easy hike to the top of Antero, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. I liked the contrast of rock colors, and especially the white rock and dirt. The reds, oranges and yellows on North Carbonate really fascinated me the most though. Starting the hike this early really minimized the crowds. We had the summit to ourselves for a while until a party of 4 joined us. We could hear them hooting and hollering for quite some time before they summitted and we were a little annoyed by this at first, but this enthusiastic bunch proved to be friendly and cheerful and I talked with the man in the party for a while. We passed many hikers who were on their way up, many severe cottoneers. I made my most interesting find on any mountain once we were back on the 4WD road…a glass vile approximately one inch high with some white powder inside! There wasn't much there, but I have concluded (with input from some friends) that this was most likely crystal meth! Watch out for those crazy ATVers!!! Kind of scary!

Since we were still feeling good and it was early we decided to hike over to "North Carbonate" (13,870 ft, a centennial). We left the road and made our way over to the 12,820 ft Antero / North Carbonate saddle. Although the ground looked nice and grassy from afar, it turned out to be very rocky. There were a bunch of skinny, long pipes laying around everywhere, I guess left over from mining days? The slog up the east ridge was uneventful and there seemed to be a constant false summit effect going on. We finally topped out and there was a very nice shelter constructed up there. The register went back to 1995 and I was surprised at what good shape it was in still. The weather was deteriorating so we didn't stay long. We decided to take the north ridge back down to Baldwin Gulch. This ridge is much more interesting and dramatic than the east ridge. We made a big mistake by dropping off the ridge to the west early on thinking we needed to bypass some features on the ridge crest that may not look too good on the other side. We ended up on a very nasty and completely unstable scree and talus slope. I soon realized we should have stayed on the ridge crest and that the features we tried to avoid were not bad at all. The side of this ridge is no place you want to visit – stay on the ridge crest!!! After we regained the ridge the going was much easier but still a lot looser then the east ridge. We followed the ridge down to 12,600 feet and then exited east down into the basin as Roach recommends. Once again, from far this area looked like nice grassy slopes but it really contained a bunch more loose rock. Once down we continued mostly east, crossed a creek, and easily found the 4WD road again around 11,800 feet. It started to pour at this point and we got pretty wet on the way back to the car. A very successful trip, and I enjoyed it very much. I would highly recommend hiking north Carbonate with Antero.

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