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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2016-07-03||Route: West Slopes
Info: Great conditions. The road was very wet from all the rain and some places above tree line you could tell some small areas of the road were missing. I would estimate the stream crossing to be 17-20 inches as it was just up to my door seals on a Jeep Cherokee. The snow at 12,800 is passable by going around it as shown in my pictures. There is a well established road going to the left, however it is fairly steep and would require decent clearance.
|2016-06-30||Route: West Slopes
Info: Hiked all the way from the 162 road starting a little before 5am. The jeep roads are completely clear of snow and debris below the creek crossing. I have a CR-V and would not feel comfortable driving it, but there were Jeeps, Hummers, and trucks that made it up. The creek crossing is very wide right now, and I would guess about 2 feet deep. There is no problem dryly crossing the creek on foot. There is a large snowfield covering the road at about 12,600' (its right after the last switchback), so I cut that last switchback to avoid the snow, which was pretty easy and probably faster than following the road anyway. Rest of the route is 100% snow free. I summitted just after 8am. Dark clouds were coming in from the west. It rained lightly starting at about 9am and continued for the entire walk down to the car at 11:15. It was never heavy enough to get me very wet though. It kept raining (very hard at times) almost the entire drive back to Denver (through Leadville to I70).
|2016-06-27||Route: West Slopes
Info: Completely summer conditions. There was one small patch of snow on the road getting close to 12,800' that jeeps couldn't get past, but you can easily hike around it. We road bikes to about 13,800' and then hiked the rest of the way to the summit. Started from the 2WD trailhead at 5 AM and got back to the car at 5 PM. The bikes definitely slowed us on the way up but it turned into a 20 mile day. Perfect weather.
|2016-06-26||Route: West Slopes
Info: Summer conditions. Short snow crossing on the road at 12,750ft -- not mandatory, but why not? However this is just large and deep enough to stop jeeps and ATVs from proceeding higher. Should be gone in a week or two. No other snow on the route.
|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.