| Antero's standard route in sun and storm
Route: Antero from Baldwin Gulch
Elevation Gain: Approximately 5,000 vertical feet
Round Trip Distance: About 15 miles (from low trailhead)
Start Time: 5:18 a.m.
Summit Time: 10:40 a.m.
Return to Trailhead: 1:45 p.m.
My wife and I hiked Antero on Monday from the Baldwin Gulch trailhead. I know that a lot of people don't seem to like this route, and I was afraid that we wouldn't find it particularly exciting. However, we really enjoyed it, in fact it was an electrifying experience (more on that later). The long, gentle grade of the jeep road was pleasant, the fall foliage was superb, and the vehicle traffic was minimal. One pick-up passed us on the way up, and we ran into a few ATV's on the descent, but it wasn't much. I would recommend climbing this route on a weekday and after Labor Day to avoid the heavier traffic days on the road, and I strongly encourage climbing it in peak foliage season!
Shortly after sunrise we crossed the stream.
Golden aspens in the early morning.
"Forest Fire" trees.
Cronin Peak provided a nice view as we made our way up the road. Clouds roll in and shortly after this picture a brief snow squall enveloped the Peak.
Sun and shadows on Cronin after the early snow squall.
I walked right past 3 ptarmigan, but my wife spotted them, and snapped this picture of one.
Cronin and alpine tundra.
Shavano (left) and Tabeguache Peak. We climbed them last year.
Reaching the saddle the goal is clear!
Some sun still visible, things will change soon!
Back down the ridge.
Nearing the summit!
As we gain the summit, and get a 360 degree view, it becomes clear that the weather is taken a turn for the worse. A fellow climber takes a quick picture on the summit.
Ominous clouds are shrouding nearby peaks, (I believe that is Princeton) and building overhead.
No time for a summit snack on this day, we start down after spending less than 5 minutes on top.
Snow begins to fall and we quickly descend.
Shortly after this picture was taken, thunder begin to rumble. We alternated between running and speed hiking down the road with thunder getting louder, and a few flashes of lightning visible. The road quickly became covered in 1/2 to 1 inch of hard snow pellets, but fortunately it was more sticky than slick. This was my 31st 14er, and the only time that I have been afraid for my own safety! The camera was not taken out during this time as getting down safely became the only goal. Once we reached treeline the thunder and lightning stopped, although the snow continued to fall.
Snow falling below treeline.
Aspens and snow are a picturesque combination, as we enjoyed a more leisurely trip back to the trailhead!
To sum up, Antero was a fun peak for us, and we thought the views this time of year were awesome! I think that if you give this route a chance you just might like it, although if you are really into solitude, perhaps a different route would be a better choice.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):