|Peak:||Mt. Antero (14er)|
|Date of Information:||02/02/2013|
Woodrow Wooderson and I trenched Baldwin Gulch yesterday. We were on snowshoes from the bottom of the road to 12,000 feet. While she broke probably 60% of the trail, I did lose a quadriceps muscle up there near treeline and will put something up in Lost and Found so keep your eyes peeled.
There are terrain traps that come into play around treeline. There was a thread on this last year:
While I thought the road would offer a reprieve and allow us to get into a rhythm, the switchbacks were loading up so we took steep grass and made a direct line for the ridge at 13K. From here, we followed the road all the way to 13,900 and then took the ridge to the summit.
For the descent, we scree surfed down a slope that wasn't terrible. I'd gone up this way a few years back but found it lose and nightmarish. That is why we took a more conservative and roundabout way up. We did enter a gully (the gully in d_baker's post in the thread above) that got us to our stash without worry. I guess the only questionable terrain we encountered the whole day was a 30-yard stretch near treeline where we decided to split up. In retrospect, I would have cut into the trees for this stretch (at least that was my gut feeling laying in bed this morning).
Image 1: Terrain trap
Image 2: Switchbacks above treeline
Image 3: Summit ridge
Image 4: Faint descent path
Snowshoes to 12K. Microspikes for the ridge. Never once thought of going to the axe. I believe it helps to have familiarity with this area and/or a good eye for safe travel with snow. There is a chance for trouble up there, more than on some of the popular winter routes.
3:19 down (had to get home to feed the cat)
Photos (click for slideshow):