StatsMountains: Mt. Antero (14,269’)
Route: Started at the Baldwin Gulch 2WD TH (9400’) and climbed the W. Slopes to Summit.
Elevation Gain ~5200’
Distance ~15 miles
Crew: Karthik, Prakash
The road is bone dry all the way up to the 2WD TH. Glenn and Kiefer, many thanks to you guys for the beta you shared on the road and beyond. Karthik had expressed interest in Antero on Friday and I’d also heard from Brian who was planning to climb Cronin. I drove down to the TH on Friday night, dodging the numerous cops waiting to snag St. Patty’s pub crawlers. I arrived at the Baldwin Gulch 2WD parking pulloff a little past midnight. That left me ~4 hours of sleep before Karthik would pull in. After a brief but restful sleep I was up, woke up met Karthik and we began skinning / snowshoeing up the road a little past 5:30AM… an early AM start because I was hoping to visit some friends in Aspen Park that evening. The Jeep road is packed down well enough to where flotation may not be necessary until a little later in the morning / afternoon. We moved up at a leisurely pace reaching the 4WD TH at 7:10AM.
Antero's 4WD TH in Winter
The West Slopes
We began hiking up the same gully that Glenn had hiked up the previous week. We hiked up to the spot where the gully steepens and forks and moved on to a grassy rib where we left our floatation and continued on foot up the West slopes towards point 13,800’. The fork in the gully as seen from the grassy rib.
Fork in Gully as seen from ~12800' on Antero's West Slopes
We by-passed the wide switchbacks and took the shortcut up large talus blocks to Point 13,800’. Cronin always offers up the best in this area…
Cronin looms behind the trail up Antero
Looking down the gully / west slopes
Looking down the gully on the West Slopes and the SW ridge up Pt. 13800'
… and up to the ridge…
The ridge from the West Slopes of Pt. 13800'
Cronin from the top of Pt. 13,800
Cronin's couloirs may go at 45?
… and shy Antero finally showed his mug…
I suppose a continuous line can be threaded through there somewhere…
Antero's West Slopes
The ridge looks a little more intimidating than it is… a solid highway of boot tracks romps up and down the ridge crest offering solid footing for all.
The Ridge to Antero
Looking back at the God-awful pile of poo that is Pt. 13,800’…
Pt 13800' from the Ridge to Antero
Karthik scrambles up a section lower on the ridge
The Ridge to Antero 2
A little wallowing may occur from time to time…
The Ridge to Antero 3
… but we were at the homestretch…
The final push to summit
We reached the summit shortly after noon. A look at the switchbacks on the road below from the summit
Karthik makes it to the top of his 5th 14er this Winter?
Karthik makes it to the top of his 5th 14er this Winter
Cronin looks a lot smaller from up here…
Cronin from Antero
On the descent we ran into Brian and his partner Steve who had switched objectives to Antero instead of Cronin. We chatted briefly before side-hilling around the West side of Pt. 13,800.
Sidehilling around the West side of Pt. 13800
That side is thick with large blocks of talus that made for a lovely descent. I felt ‘tarded for not carrying the skis up higher.
Descending to the Grassy Rib
Brian and Steve took the more sensible way down
At about 2:45PM, after safely descending the ankle-threatening talus Karthik and I convened at the flotation stash at 12,600’. Just the easy low angle gully / road to deal with from that point on. Skis make for a very efficient descent on the road and I was back down at the Jeep by 4:15PM without incident. The ski was pretty fun despite the deep sugar lying over boulders. I stopped to pick up some food at Fairplay on the way to my friends’ in Aspen Park. Don’t pass by Mason’s High Country Barbecue on 285 when you drive through Fairplay – BoggyB had the right idea as well - http://www.yelp.com/biz/masons-high-country-bbq-fairplay. Criselda is super friendly and cooks the best meat, soup, sausage, baked beans and stewed greens known to the mountain man. Wish I lived in Fairplay. Happy rest of the year folks…