Peak(s):  Mt. Antero  -  14,269 feet
Date Posted:  12/02/2009
Date Climbed:   12/01/2009
Author:  pioletski
 Almost ready for winter on Mt Antero   

Mt Antero, Dec. 1, 2009

Crew: benners, pioletski
Stats: 10 miles, 5350' climbed, 5300' skied

Encouraged by the recent exploits of RoanMtMan, killingcokes and others, Ben and I headed for Antero, hoping that it had received at least a little snow over the weekend. Very little, it turned out, which was a tad rough on the boards, but that's why they invented base-grinding machines...

We put on skis and skins at the trailhead at 7:00 am. (One of the pleasures of this route is that you start with your skis on, which means that you ski all the way back to the car.)

Ben gearing up (Pioletski)

There was continuous snow on the road, with only occasional gaps.

At the Baldwin Lake/Antero fork (8:30 am) (Pioletski)

We skinned up the road at a fairly casual pace until the lively conversation started to tail off. At this point we allowed ourselves to be tempted to break away from the standard route, up a prominent gully and then directly up the west ridge to the summit. Fall and spring are the windows for this approach; it would be unsafe once the winter snow settles in (the gully is a classic terrain trap), and a desperate scree and talus scramble in the summer. Today, however, on shallow and mostly bulletproof snow, we felt quite safe going this way.

Skinning up the gully toward the summit (Benners)

Looking back, the northeast face of Cronin beckons.

Looking down the track (Benners)

We came across this odd-looking device around 13,000 feet. Knowing that we were the first ever to climb this route, we figured it must be some alien communication apparatus.

ET phone home (Pioletski)

We continued skinning to about 13,500 feet. Eventually the snow became patchy and we took the skis off...

Benners taking a break (Pioletski)

... surmounted a steep pitch at 14,000 feet...


... and stumbled over a couple hundred feet of talus to the summit, arriving at 1:00 pm.


The day was fabulous: sunny and almost no wind, even at the summit.

Pioletski with the Sangres behind (Benners)

Ben trotted out his Jetboil, whipped up some lunch...

Ramen comin' (Pioletski)

... and clicked into his skis.

Let's go! (Pioletski)

We skied a hundred feet or so down the east ridge...

Beginning the descent (Benners)

... and then traversed across to the south ridge.

Finally letting 'em loose. (Benners)

Ben followed me down to the saddle above the southeast bowl. Our initial descent off the summit was down the thin strip of snow directly above Ben's head.

Ben letting 'em run (Pioletski)

Dropping from the saddle into the southeast bowl, we were rewarded with about 20 turns worth of creamy snow a couple of inches deep, over the boilerplate that we had been skiing.


Note the 2-day-old tracks...


We dropped down to the seasonal pond at 13,300 feet, in shadow below Ben in this picture.

Taking a breather (Pioletski)

We then turned around to skin about 500 feet back up to the ridge.



Once over the ridge, we picked our way down the upper part of the west face until we found continuous snow once again.

Descending the west side (Pioletski)

Almost back to the road (Benners)

We arrived back at the trailhead at 5:00 in fading daylight.

Alpenglow (Pioletski)

Ben, good to see you as always. (Good luck with the new boots!) And congratulations on your 150th 14er summit.

Thanks to our recent predecessors for the beta, and thank you for reading this TR.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Very Nice
02/05/2011 00:22
Looks like a fun day. I‘m so jealous that you had no wind up there.

I‘ve been doing too many 13ers lately. I need to get back to 14ers.

Bring On The Snow Mr. Ullr


Nice job!
12/03/2009 17:39
Were there snowmobile tracks up the road? Or was it flat enough to ride? I‘d like to head up there, but I‘d prefer to ride the cheatmobile up to 11,500‘ or so... Thanks!


11/30/2010 17:28
Yes, the road has already seen snowmobile traffic this season; there's a sled track at least as far as the Baldwin Lake/Antero road fork, and there's plenty of snow...have at it!


Nice work.
12/03/2009 19:33
Surprised there is still that much snow up there. Antero is holding well this year.


12/03/2009 21:30
thanks, Ben!


Leftover Turkey
12/04/2009 00:13
Looks like it is time to go skiing again. Nice day guys, looks fun.


nice report!
12/04/2009 02:05
The gully you ascended... was it the one that starts where the road begins to switchback not too far above treeline?


Ascent route
12/04/2009 03:37
One gully north actually, our route looked something like this (pic taken from


I like the Ascent Route
12/04/2009 03:18
You had a great day out there. Your AR looks direct and due to the the light snow levels was safe and efficient. Do you think it was quicker than the standard route?


Cheers y‘all
12/04/2009 03:26
Ben, thanks for answering everyone‘s questions. (Where‘d you get the pic of the west side of Antero? Was it taken from Cronin?)

Cokes - looks like you‘ve been finding some good stuff on the 13ers, I wouldn‘t be in a hurry to go higher until we get a little more snow.


12/04/2009 03:36
Tough to say, definitely more direct but steeper than either of the gullies to the south. I want to say in its current condition this route is likely quicker than the standard...

Matt the pic is from Summitpost, I believe it was indeed taken from Cronin.

Chicago Transplant

12/07/2009 18:43
Looks like you had fun, better snow than I would have thought, I guess there are some early season pockets to be found!

(PS - yes the original of the photo from SP above was taken from Cronin, I took it )

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