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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2016-06-20||Route: West Slopes
Info: Baldwin Gulch road is very rough, I would not attempt driving on it unless you have a high clearance 4WD vehicle. Large stream crossing is not bad at all, no more than 2 feet deep. Rocks on the bottom are pretty level. We parked right after second stream crossing at 11,100'. There is a large level campsite where I turned my truck around. If you keep going up, road mellows out quite a bit, there are more campsites. The trail is dry, there is some water runoff along 4WD road above treeline. Couple of large snowfields are easily avoidable.
|2016-06-18||Route: West Slopes
Info: Similar to previous reports, there is one small snowfield up high on the road to cross but no snowshoes, spikes or any type of winter gear is needed. The peak is nearly in summer conditions. There is still a small snowfield on the right side of the ridge on the approach to the summit but if you stick to the left side it is very easily avoidable. Conditions on the summit yesterday were some of the best I've ever experienced.
|2016-06-15||Route: From Browns Creek
Info: Path along Little Browns Creek was mostly clear with only a few places having snow coverage. I had never taken this trail, so in these places it was hard to know where the path was. However, these could be easily traversed to the left or right (see pictures 1 & 2). After joining with the 4WD path from the west slopes the only spot that seemed questionable was along the south ridge between Point 13,820 and Antero's peak (see pictures 3 & 4). Despite seeing tracks of successful traverses across this snow slope, both high and low, I was hesitant to cross, until two other (super-friendly) gentlemen crossed before me. The snow slope is significant, even for a short crossing.
|2016-06-11||Route: West Slopes
Info: Started from the creek crossing at 11,000 ft. snow is avoidable on the road all the way up. There was one remaining, brief, snow crossing on the upper third of the road but I'm guessing in a day or two it will be melted out and avoidable. The final ridge after leaving the road is mostly snow free. There is one narrow snow crossing just before the final push but it can be avoided by going left (high).
|2016-06-11||Route: West Slopes
Info: Route is free of snow except for a few select spots above treeline that are easily crossed or avoided. Snow is melting fast so it'll likely be gone soon. The stream that you have to cross at 10,800 ft is running swiftly. Luckily we got a ride through it on the way up, but we ended up hiking about 300 yards south to cross the creek on the return. Simply toss your packs/shoes over, and wade through. Definitely a nice, but brief, ice bath for the legs!
|2016-06-08||Route: West Slopes
Info: Climbed the west slopes route today. Took a Suburu up to the stream crossing last night and camped right before the stream crossing. The crossing is really wide right now (15-20ft) and about 2.5 feet deep at the deepest part. We didn't attempt to cross it in my car and the crossing made for a chilly start to the ascent in the morning. No snow was on the 4wd route prior to the stream crossing. Started at 4:30 AM. There wasn't any unavoidable snow on the route until 13,100 ft. Microspikes were sufficient. Snow shoes would have been nice at points because the snow is getting so soft, but still probably not worth carrying snow shoes all that way. We post holed a bit even near the summit. Reached the summit around 9 AM. Clouds were starting to move in early to so we descended to treeline as quickly as possible. Got to the car about 12 PM. Only saw one other hiker all day. The snow is melting fast up there -- conditions could change quickly.
|2016-06-04||Route: West Slopes
Info: Intermittent snow on the road above 11,100ft, but easily manageable on foot without snowshoes. Highest ATV got to 11,100, the highest stock 4wd vehicle to about 11,000ft (Tacoma)- about 1/2 mile past the major stream crossing. The stream was deep and swift by mid-afternoon due to runoff. Some parts of road/trail switchbacks above treeline were still snow covered and required snow crossings on moderately steep slopes, however there are good steps kicked across all snow crossings. Microspikes are nice after the end of the road at 13,700ft during the traverse over to the base of the final 400ft climb - but not absolutely necessary. Crampons, winter mountaineering boots and snowshoes are not needed and simply extra weight. All in all, route is in really good shape for early June - can still be done as a snow climb (with a freeze the night before) or can be done mostly avoiding the snow. We elected to do it as a combination of the two. There are areas where it would be possible to trigger a wet avalanche in the heat of the afternoon - use common sense if you see rollerballs or are sinking down more than a couple inches.
|2016-05-23||Route: West Slopes
Info: Summit ski is still in. Gully is holding a good amount of snow. The west face, my chosen descent line was thin, but currently skiable. The choke at the cliff band was the crux since there are rocks showing through with minimal coverage. Skiing the SE face back to the gully holds much more snow. Was able to start skinning after the secondary creek just above the main creek crossing. Road was drivable in my Outback to the fallen tree at 1.7 miles.
|2016-05-14||Route: West Slopes
Info: There were two cars parked a little ways (maybe .25 miles up) the Baldwin Gulch jeep road. However most cars were parked down on the Road 162. I would recommend strapping on the snow shoes or skies just past the river crossing about 3 miles up the road, continuous 2-4ft deep snow from there on up. Mostly warm unstable snow = post holing for miles if you don't have the right kind of flotation, which I did not. I only had crampons and a mountaineering axe and was able to route find up a steep dry ridge just north of the standard trail. Sliding scree made the ascent very slow and difficult and I would not recommend it. For reference, my "short cut" trimmed my round trip mileage to 10 miles, but it still took the 8 hours it would normally take for the standard 16 mile route. To be extra prepared, I would bring snow shoes + crampons (or microspikes), trekking poles, and mountaineering axe. The way back down involved lots of post holing for me. Admittedly, I started later than I should have (10am) so by the time I was headed back down ~3pm the snow was even softer than normal. I saw only 3 other parties on Saturday. A solo hiker with dogs who turned around about a half mile beyond the river crossing due to lack of flotation, two skiers coming down from Cronin (they said the descent was very nice and no avalanche danger for anyone interested), and a party of 4 who had reached the summit around 12 noon.
|2016-03-13||Route: East Ridge via Raspberry Gulch
Info: The gate at the intersection of CR270/CR272 is open and we drove to within a mile of the summer TH before stopping at a nice, dry campsite. Someone made it about a 1/3 mile further, but you can't drive all the way to the summer TH yet. The snow is pretty patchy on southern slopes below treeline. From the summer TH, we were able to connect dry patches all the way to PT 11570 by trending left on to the southern slopes of PT 11570. Once on the ridge, consistent snowpack and deep drifts convinced us to finally put on our snowshoes, but it's possible that traversing the southern slope below the ridgeline could get you to treeline without using snowshoes at all. Above treeline, the ridge is well wind-swept and no flotation is needed. And I'd hate to encourage unpreparedness, but our axes and even microspikes didn't come off our packs at all. We opted to plungestep down the eastern slope of PT 11570 to the saddle rather than downclimbing the bushwacky scree that we came up, and the springlike snow was fairly conducive for it in the afternoon. We didn't encounter any signs of instability. Long day - I measured 12 miles RT and 5700' of elevation gain.
|2016-03-11||Route: West Slopes
Info: Bring Skis! We wore microspikes until the creek crossing at 10,850ft. After that snowshoes were mandatory until above tree line where we went back to microspikes. Some of the road sections up high were pretty sketch with the steep so we cut some corners to reach the summit shaving off about 4 miles round trip. The higher you get the less snow there was. There were a few sections on decent where we thought an ice axe was helpful. Bring skis for the decent down the road.
|2016-02-13||Route: West Slopes
Info: Solo day on Antero. Didn‘t see anyone else all day. Route from the 2WD trailhead is in good shape. There are still a few ice flows on the trail, but they‘re avoidable on the uphill side of the road/trail. A track was available to just above the turnoff at 10.8K. Right around 11K the trench/tracks ended, so I re-broke trail and set the new trench up to tree line (some of the trench around tree line and in open areas was likely filled in by the wind). Turned around at 13k-ish as the wind was just too much. Had to lie down several times. AVY Alert: one of the questionable slopes just prior to the 10.8K had already slid (see photo). One the way back down, the slope next to it had quite a few rollerballs showing. Keep an eye out, as the road slog can lull you to sleep.
|2016-01-17||Route: West Slopes
Info: Road #277 is easily traveled right now, with a few icy spots as notable exceptions. The ice patch at around 1/3 of a mile is really large and tough to traverse. We scrambled up the hillside to avoid it. We took the gully starting around here (38.668130, -106.262775) up to avoid a number of switch backs. From the top of the gully, we took a raising traverse to the left (north). This was really slow and the wind was strong. We eventually ran out of time around 13,500‘ and turned around. Pictures here: http://schlifeisgood.blogspot.com/2016/01/colorado-backcountry-skiing-and-climbing.html
|2016-01-13||Route: West Slopes
Info: Road 162 is well plowed to the beginning of #277 road. The top few miles are snow-packed so that I would not have noticed the transition where "Pavement Ends" had a sign not announced it. But my 2wd vehicle had no difficulties. #277 road has seen snowmobile traffic since the last snowfall and supports boot traffic, morning and afternoon, without floatation or postholing. There are several icy patches. One of the first, and by far the worst, is within a quarter mile of the start of #277 road (Photo 1). From the junction with #278 road, there is good trench to timberline. From timberline, there was adequate snow to climb the snowfield back to the road (Photo 2). From the road, trail leads to the ridge (Photo 3). The ridge holds just enough snow to make things interesting (Photo 4). The snow is fresh enough that I did not use traction. Floatation was desirable from the jeep road junction to above timberline. I appreciated my ice axe when negotiating the difficult section of ridge below the summit.
|2015-12-28||Route: West Slopes
Info: Road is fully snowed in but a snowshoe/skin track is established all the way to treeline (until it snows again) - thanks to those who came before us! Skinned straight up the west gully from treeline rather than switch-backing up the road. There was some wind loading on the north side of the gully but with minimal snow accumulation (12-24 inches deep). We left our skis and continued on foot from the top switchback straight up the ridge to point 13,800‘ since the last long switchback to the south was filled in with wind-affected drifts. Funky ascent through the scree/talus but quite doable. The ridge to the summit was windy! The trail is mostly filled in with snow, making an ice axe our best friend. We stayed true to the ridge the whole way, kicking steps up snowfields for the final summit pitch since the summertime traverse was wind-loaded. Skied from the top switchback (about 12,800‘) all the way out. Skis are a super good choice for the long, long road. Nice, cold, windy, winter day!
|2015-12-22||Route: West Slopes
Info: Trench in place on the West Slopes route of Antero. Up towards the top it is knee to thigh deep. Above treeline the winter route is windblown. Snow coverage is all the way down to 2wd trailhead, so skis are a good thing.
|2015-11-22||Route: West Slopes
Info: Attempted to hike the Mt. Antero West Slopes route on 11/22/15. We were able to drive about 1/4 mile up the Baldwin Gulch road to 9,600 ft. where we came up against some huge slabs of ice on the road and a steep grade. There‘s no way anybody could make it past that point. Hiking the road, there was a consistent boot pack sometimes covered with an inch or two of snow up to the higher trailhead where the trail splits off to Baldwin Lake. A short distance later, a single skin track diverged from the main road/trail, with no signs of any travel on the road. We decided to follow said skin track thinking that it would lead to the entrance of one of Antero‘s western gullies. However, this turned out to be a HUGE mistake as we wound up deeper into the forest wallowing through waist-deep, unconsolidated wintry hell. We finally deduced that the tracks must have kept going south to what we presumed was the base of Cronin Peak, although I couldn‘t really figure out why because it‘s definitely not in to ski yet. Anyway, after several hours of bushwhacking and the aforementioned wallowing, we were able to begin our ascent up Antero. However, we found that the snow on the road was so drifted, it was no easier to walk on than in the trees. We made it up to about 12,600 ft. by 2:30 PM and decided to pull the plug knowing that we had a helluva long way to go back to the truck. All in all, the moral of the story is to FOLLOW THE ROAD as the route describes. DO NOT rely on any set of skin tracks to show you the way on Mt. Antero right now. This is also a very long hike and will take much longer than anticipated because of the conditions. Snow shoes don‘t help right now either due to the unconsolidated snow. They actually just make the postholing that much worse. Skis/skins would have been a huge help though.
|2015-09-18||Route: West Slopes
Info: Hi my names Kristina! This is my 46th fourteener summit this summer! My goal is to climb all 54 before the weather gets too bad this year. You can read more about this hike and others by visiting sunshineof1985.com! Enjoy! Height: 14,269 ft. Range: Sawatch Range Route: West Slopes Distance: 16 miles (10 miles for me with the help of a kind stranger on an ATV) Elevation Gain: 5,200 ft. Time started: 12:45pm End time: 6:45pm Time to Summit: 4 hours Time to Descent: 2 hours (my bet is 3.5 hours for the return without help of ATV) Overall Pace: 1.9 miles per hour to summit GEAR (to bring): GPS, extra socks, phone, SPOT Satellite Tracker, Map, Topo Map from 14ers.com, hiking boots with 2 pairs of socks on, long-sleeve, wind-guard/raincoat, light weight puffy coat, warm hat, lightweight gloves, day pack with water sack (64 oz), snacks. Road Condition: 14ers.com is not kidding when they say that only 4WD can make it up jeep road #277. An SUV without 4WD, might be able to make it. There‘s plenty of parking spots right at the start of #277 for all other vehicles. Trail Condition: You‘ll be on a road covered with river rocks for 90% of the time. Luckily the gorgeous autumn leaves made it entertaining and I didn‘t mind the road at all. You can avoid all water and the peak is snow free. However, once again, it was cold and windy! Once you leave the road, the ridge is easy to follow. Once you reach the end of the ridge, expect small shale the whole way up which makes for a little annoyance as you have to really watch your step to avoid tripping or twisting an ankle. ***Also, I have extra notes on my blog post how you can avoid some of the switchbacks on the way up/down to shorten the hike by a couple miles.
|2015-08-25||Route: West Slopes
Info: We hiked up from the creek crossing at 10,850‘, keeping it simple by following the jeep road up to the jump off at 13,800‘. The road was dry and even with some long stretches of rough, loose rock. This makes the descent quite challenging so watch your footing! There is little to admire and, thankfully, little traffic to deal with during the ascent. We finally reached the summit trail, at 13,800‘ - a short route across a ridge (some exposure and scrambling in places) and a quick ascent to the summit. The ridge was the highlight of the hike for us as we were quite disappointed by the bland and boring road hike we‘d had up to this point. After the ridge, we angled to the right, picking up a gradually rising trail that took us to the summit. There are several cairns marking the route and the beautiful, clear weather made it easy to pick it out from the massive talus slope. There is also a direct ascent to the summit from the ridge for the impatient hikers or those with little time for the ascent.
|2015-08-22||Route: West Slopes
Info: We hiked up the West Slopes after parking at 10,850‘ (creek crossing). The path is easy to follow since you‘re walking on a Jeep road all the way to 13,800‘. Walking on the road wasn‘t a very exciting hike and we had to move out of the way of ATVs and cars while going up and down since it‘s a narrow road. Just before 13,100‘, we took a well-beaten path to the left of the road (if heading up) to walk up to the 13,100‘ point (kind of a small field). This was shorter mileage-wise than following the road as it wrapped around this point. At this point/field, make sure to get on the right road that continues to Antero rather than the 13er (Mt. White) in the distance - see 14er‘s photo #15 for this route to make sure you stay on the right road. We stayed on the road all the way to 13,800‘ (option 2 of the two options from 13,100‘). At 13,800‘ (the last place cars can drive to), there‘s a small ridge to get to the final ascent. The route on the ridge was easy to follow but very windy. The final ascent up Mt. Antero did not have a very easy to follow route - especially coming down and was also very windy. The summit, however, was not windy at all and offered great views of Princeton, Shavano, and Tabeguache. Coming down, we cut down a trail to cut some mileage off the hike and get down faster (clouds looked like they were moving in) and were able to cut off a few switchbacks on a well-beaten path. We saw another hiker avoid most of the switchbacks below 13,100‘ by cutting all the way down in a gully with a lot of rocks. Our trip took us about 6 hours round trip from the 10,850‘ creek crossing including stops and breaks and about 20 minutes at the summit. Driving the road from the 2WD trailhead (off 162) to the creek crossing took about 30 minutes up and a bit longer down. I posted road conditions on the TH section if you want to know about the Jeep Road 277.