Mount Antero Elevation 14,276ft. (Jun. 8, 2003) "West Slopes" trail from Baldwin Gulch 4X4 TH. The Baldwin Gulch trail up Antero is a class 1 to 2 trail that runs (11.2 miles rt. with 3,430ft. gain). After surveying the 4X4 up Baldwin Gulch from the main road, I decided to give it a try with my truck. On Saturday night I was happy to find that I was able to make it up the 4X4 road to the suggested 4X4 trail head. I camped a little ways past the Baldwin Gulch creek crossing Saturday night. On Sunday I climbed Antero making use of a couple snow fields which still contained firm snow.
|Saturday||prev. day||-Climb Mount Shavano and Tabeguache Peak|
|Sunday||5:50AM||-leave the TH|
|8:25AM||-at Summit Antero|
|Picture Op||-Stop for a photo opportunity.|
|10:35AM||-back at TH|
|11:00AM||-lunch back at the TH.|
|12:30AM||-Cascade Falls Photo opportunity.|
On the way up the 4X4 trial on Saturday night I was relieved to meet up with a vehicle coming down the trail which had a driver that had good news about the road condition and how far you could drive up it. The trail was pretty gnarly for having a full size pickup with an extended cab. In one spot a small rock and debris slide had created a berm in the road which pushed my ground clearance to the max. All I can say is take the road nice and slow, no need to rush into vehicle damage. I made the decision to park on the other side of the last Baldwin Gulch feeder stream so I could avoid crossing water on foot as much as possible.
In the morning I hit the trail and was the only one to be seen for hours, this made summiting all the sweeter...just by myself. I made use of a large snow field in traveling both direction, this cut down the miles by about 2 each direction. The upper part of the trail was very difficult to pick out and snow end up covering what is probably the suggested route. On the way up I used a trail that traversed across the front of the mount and on the way back I tried something that went along the ridgeline.
On the way up I traversed into a shallow ravine and made a slow accent up the mount. The route up the mount did however let see see some really cool rocks. Disappointment hit me when I reached the top of this ravine only to find that the actual summit was 45minutes away instead of much closer. The trail across the ridgeline to Antero was easier to follow on the way back then on the way out. I used a couple remaining snow fields near the top of the peak to ease the impact to my knees. On top I enjoyed a clear but cold view all by myself.
The way down was pretty much uneventful besides talking to a number of climber going up the hill and sliding down the snow field. The interesting thing is that because I summited so early in the morning, the snow stayed solid for travel in both directions. On my way back to the truck I stopped twice to remove more clothing, as the day was getting set to reach its predicted 70degree temperature.
After relaxing at the truck for a while and replenishing some energy (had some lunch) I enjoyed some more Colorado sunshine. After feeling the return of some of my energy I packed up and headed home before having to get involved with too much weekend traffic.