Chronology of Mt. Antero Climb
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Last night, it was dark before I found a place to park my Jeep Cherokee to sleep. There weren’t many options for dispersed camping sites. I was surprised how much privately owned property was in the area, especially to the west in St. Elmo. The sky started getting light at 0540. I awoke to the sound of chirping birds. I decided to climb Mt. Antero instead of Princeton because I camped close to Antero, and I felt it would be more enjoyable. The last time I went to scout out Mt. Princeton there were way too many people for my liking.
At 0619, I started climbing from the bottom at main road, starting elevation of 9415. 44 degrees.
0700 four 4wd vehicles passed me going up. The air was cool as I climbed in the shadow of mt. Antero.
Many good campsites along the jeep trail. I should have came up here last night.
0736, first stream crossing Baldwin Creek, 10,868 feet, 2.84 miles. Road 278. 1 hr 17 minutes, 1453 feet climbed. 18.9 ft/minute ascent rate.
0745, I arrived at second stream crossing. Put on long sleeve shirt. Hands are cool. Good campsite.
0805 past farthest point hiked last year. Another nice campsite. Suspect temperature is in the 30s. Maybe 38.
0823, sun crested Mt. Antero, warming now. Stopped to rest and warm in the sun. Not feeling much motivation today. Feel like lying down for a nap. Have already sweat out a lot of water. I brought 134 ounces of water this time; have drunk about 30. My headband was already soaked with sweat.
0855, one guy passed me going up. A guy and gal already on their way down. Made it to a ravine.
0905, ascended into the alpine zone. Rocky Mountain. Clear blue sky. Great jeep trails.
1047, end of jeep trail. Onto hiking trail on the devil's backbone.
1056 long way to go and rain clouds forming. Colder than last weekend.
1147, made it to the summit. Had to dig deep to push on. There were 20 people on the summit when I arrived, most of them much younger than me. Beautiful on the summit. Only two people remained on the summit when I decided to start the long hike down.
1228, started descending. More clouds building and becoming dark. Need to make tracks. At an elevation of about 13,400 feet, I drank from a spring along the jeep trail. Someone formed a small pool to drink from. There were several mining claims on the mountain – gemstone mining. From the summit, I descended to an elevation of 12,506 feet in 69 minutes, or 1,763 ft/69 = 25.55 ft/min, partly on rocky, rugged terrain across Devil’s backbone. Horizontal pace, 2.1 mph.
1407, lighting starting in earnest.
Just before I arrived at Baldwin Creek, a guy in a 4-wheel drive truck offered me a ride the rest of the way down. So, I cheated. I climbed in the back with a dog and bounced the remainder of the way to the main road. I was just too tired to let my pride interfere with an easy way down.
1505, back to the bottom. Got a ride from Baldwin Creek (10,868 ft), which was 4.58 miles from the summit out of a total 7.42 miles the rest of the way to the bottom. So, my roundtrip hike was still a respectable 12 miles. My feet were raw. There was a light sprinkle of rain. 72 degrees air temperature. I am hungry.
I didn't meet anyone else who started at the bottom today. One couple started out from bottom yesterday, hiked halfway, camped, and then went to the top today. They were moving painfully slow, and likely got caught by bad weather up high.
Total climb = 4,854 feet, 5 hrs 28 minutes, 14.8 ft/min,
Using Map My Walk App, I recorded part of my descent from 12,506 to 10868 in 50 minutes. 1,638 feet/50 minutes = 32.7 ft/minute – was moving fast to get off the exposed mountain before a thunderstorm hit. Horizontal speed, 2.15 miles, 2.58 mph.
At some time during my climb, a few hundred miles to the north in the Grand Tetons, Gary Falk tragically lost his life. Rest in Peace. He was a climbing guide from Ouray, Colorado, and was guiding some clients on the Grand Teton. It was a chilling reminder of the risks associated with climbing. However, the risks of getting in a vehicle accident on the way to the mountains are far greater.