Peak(s):  Mt. Antero  -  14,269 feet
Date Posted:  06/30/2010
Date Climbed:   06/26/2010
Author:  bergsteigen
 Moonlight Serenade   

Mt Antero

Sleepy Hikers: KeithK, Michaela, Chad (bogart), Trish and me
Route: Standard (from creek crossing)
Mileage: ~9
Elevation Gain: ~3.2K'
Start: ~2am

Full Moon to Sunrise:
After having recently done a sunset hike of Evans a few weeks ago, it seems appropriate to do the exact opposite. Do a full moon hike, and arrive at/near the summit for sunrise. With the road on Antero going all the way up to 13.7K, this seemed like the easiest 14er to accomplish this plan. So after rounding up a few hikers willing to sacrifice a night of sleep, we were off to the trailhead after a nice dinner.

As we drove up, the rain was intermittent and we hoped it would end before we started hiking. No traffic on the 4WD road at midnight, so that was one bonus. Once past the stream crossing we pulled off and waited. The rain would tease us into thinking it was over, so we changed into our hiking clothing. Once ready, it started misty raining again. Nothing too hard, more like weather in Seattle. Enough to annoy us, and require the Gortex from the start.

With such an early start, there was no rush to run up the road or switchbacks. Besides the Gortex layer was quite stifling. We got hints at the moon behind the clouds. Within an hour or 2, the rain had stopped and the moon was out from behind the clouds. Headlamps were no longer necessary.

It's trying to come out from behind the clouds

The full moon emerges

It started to become much lighter by the time we reached the end of the road. We could see the peak in front of us, just a few hundred feet of talus hopping. Too bad the morning wind was hitting us from the west. The only reprieve was on the southern side of the summit ridge, where the side trail is obscured by snow. So plod up the center of the ridge we go.

We didn't realize till after the hike that there was going to be a partial eclipse of the full moon today as well. Glad I brought the mini tripod for those shots!

Partial Lunar Eclipse

Partial Lunar Eclipse, larger

Light enough for longer exposure photos - Keiths moving faster than the camera shutter!

We arrive on the summit of Antero around the time of sunrise. With all the clouds on the horizon, it was hard to tell the exact moment. But it was sure cold enough to be sunrise! The fingers only allowed a few summit shots before getting to cold to operate the camera.

Sunrise! (Well sunrise through the clouds)



A chilly summit. Take the photo and let's go!

First light pano of Sawatch to the north

Shavano & Tabeguache

On the way down, we realize that the light rain/mist created a very thin film of verglace on the upper rocks, that only went away with the rise of the sun and direct sunlight. Just a little slippery...




A look back at the way we came, now that it is light enough to see. Strange to take most of the photos for a trip, on the way downhill...



It was also strange to meet the whole gaggle of people on their way up the mountain, when we were well on our way down. I think a few were quite surprised at our presence!




The switchbacks


Overall, a moonlight hike was a nice way to get up a peak with a 4WD road almost all the way to the summit. It made for easy walking in the dark, and some of us could even hike with our eyes closed. I know most of my breaks involved my eyes being shut! Plus we got to hit the breakfast diner in BV, and get a "breakfast for zombies" at 11:30am!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions

Mmm, zombies for breakfast...
07/01/2010 01:41
Oops, had a momentary flashback to delirity. What a fun climb that was! About as interesting as Antero can get, I reckon.


Condition of the TH Road
07/01/2010 14:10
Thank you for the great pics and info. I was planning to climb Antero Monday and am concerned about the 4WD road. I have a Honda Pilot that just went up the TH road for Elbert and that was really bad. Is #277 worse? Also, I guess you parked at about 11k. That is hopefully what I‘ll do depending on the road. Thanks for the report!


The road is rough and narrow
07/01/2010 22:49
... and steep in places. It‘s been a decade since I‘ve driven the Elbert road, so I don‘t remember it well enough to compare. We were in a stock Nissan Xterra and had no problems.

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