Mt. Antero - 14,269 feet
Mt. Antero - 14,269 feet
|Mt. Antero - Taking the road most traveled|
Mt. Antero - West Slopes, Standard Route
Start - 6:00am
RT - 11 miles
Summary of our trip -
0.5 mi (10,200 to about 10,400)
Ride to River Crossing (10,400 - 10,800)
10,800 to summit -10 am
Summit lazy time - 10 am - 11am
Summit to 10,500 - 2pm
Ride from 10,500 to car
Time Hiking to Summit - 4 hr
Time Hiking from Summit - 3 hr
Excited for the first fourteener hike of the season, we woke up at some ridiculous hour, and headed out hike Mt. Antero, which we had selected to be our first one this summer. We started up the 4WD road around 5:15am, and the road was a little more challenging than we expected. After being on the road for what seemed like a long time, our Honda Pilot decided to turn on the transmission light (we were not in a low gear going up for most of that time, which we believed caused the light), to which we decided we better find a good pull off point and we had come far enough. After hiking about a half mile, a couple of guys in a truck came up beside us and asked us if we wanted a ride to get a little further up the road. We gratefully accepted, and Adam was in the back of the truck (and hung on for dear life!), while I got to hop into the back seat and hang out with their adorable dog, Katie (and this was her first 14er!!). The guys made it to the river crossing at 10,800 and forged the river in the truck, so we did not have to cross by foot. After getting resituated with the camel backs, we started up the road once again.
It was already light during this time. The trail/road is very easy to pick out, so there isn't any confusion.
For some of the time below treeline, we were actually hiking through a stream. There was a stream crossing that I was a little worried I would end up with wet feet, but luckily, we were able to go across semi-stable rocks and not have to hike up the slightly chilly morning with wet socks and boots. We followed the road up and up at a reasonable pace, and stopped to take some pictures with our new camera, purchased specifically for these types of adventures.
Once we were above treeline, it began to get windy (surprise!) and a tad bit colder. There was a short section of the road covered in snow, but we were able to trek through it with our boots and without special equipment. We came to a section that seemed to be a "shortcut trail" and we decided to take the steeper trail seen on the left side of the picture for fun. (We took the longer way on the way down because it was pretty steep).
On the other side of the mountain, the wind had died down making it a bit more comfortable on our hike. We approached what seemed to be a "Y" and took the trail to the left toward Antero, instead of going straight, which leads back to where we came from in a long roundabout way.
We kept moving along, as the trail got a bit steeper up to the ridge. Before we knew it, the summit was in sight...
We followed the trail from 13,800 to the top as best we could, but in a few places went around some snow patches. We just kept moving up, not always on the trail, but we made it there eventually. Once we were on the summit, the wind was died down and the sun was shining, so it was a great time to enjoy it. The views were beautiful and I was already planning more 14er trips for the summer in my head. After all, why else get a nice camera?? While Adam took his usual 14er powernap, I had fun pretending like I knew how to actually use my camera.
While we were up there, it began to get a little more chilly and windy so we decided to take some final pictures and start to head down. I set up our gorilla camera tri-pod and remote shutter button (AWESOME new toy!) getting it ready for our pics together.
And with that, we put the camera away again, and started hiking back down. The hiking wasn't terrible until we came upon the snow patch, where all the ATV's began getting stuck.
We kept going down the long road, only to be passed on the way up by some ATV's. The trail seemed more crowded now, and it seemed strange to smell exhaust coming down a 14er. Additionally, hiking down the road was painful since the rocks were large and loose and the road seemed relentless. We both swore it didn't seem that bad coming up, but we weren't sure if the pain was more apparent because it being our first of the season, or the trail itself.
The way down overall was much less enjoyable than the way up, but nonetheless, in the mountains...you still have some fantastic views.
The stream through the trail below treeline was much more prevalent on the way down so we spent a lot of time hopping back and forth from side to side, trying to find the best place to walk. When we finally got the 10,800 river crossing, we were very happy since we knew we were only a few miles away. The river crossing has several stable rocks to walk across, so this made it easy to keep dry.
We trudged on, and started getting anxious since our feet hurt and we were quite determined to get to beer as soon as possible.
Mercifully, a guy was coming back down the road and asked if we wanted a ride. Even with only about a half mile left to where we parked the pilot, we were ready to be done with the road and our feet thanked us for accepting.
We got back to the pilot and finished the road descent with no more warning lights (thankfully), and tried to pay it forward by giving a ride to a couple that we were passing coming back down.
This story ends happily, with some beers and burgers from the Eddyline Brewery in Buena Vista, one of our favorite post hike spots, where we drummed up more excitement for all the 14ers to come this summer!
1. Congrats to Katie the dog on her first 14er!
2. Put your vehicle in a low gear going up or down the road (duh! Who would forget that?? oops...)
3. Thanks to those that offered us and gave us rides up and down. They were greatly appreciated. I just love that we are all one big team going up these mountains!!
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