Peak(s):  Antora Pk  -  13,269 feet
PT 13,147  -  13,147 feet
Sewanee Pk  -  13,132 feet
Pomeroy Mtn A  -  13,151 feet
PT 13,070  -  13,070 feet
Date Posted:  07/25/2018
Modified:  05/01/2019
Date Climbed:   07/17/2018
Author:  SnowAlien
 Antora Hike-n-Bike and Pomeroy 4-pack  

Antora Hike-n-Bike

Date: July 16, 2018
Distance: ~ 12.6 miles RT (6 miles on mountain bike)
Elevation gain: ~ 2,700 ft
Time: 5.5 hours
TH: Marshall pass

Last report I did was on approaching Mt. Jackson by bike, so I guess it's fitting that this report is also about biking a 13er. Among the staggering number of Colorado 13ers, only a handful lend themselves to mountain biking. A whole lot of them are in wilderness areas and the approach roads can be too steep and rocky/loose. But I keep finding gems that make bringing the bike worth the extra effort. Besides, nothing beats not hiking downhill - either on skis or on a bike.

After biking the Monarch Crest on Sunday (this time via Starvation creek variation), I was back in Salida looking at both Gaia and MTB project app to review our route, when Antora popped up in the corner of the screen. Wow, how far is it from the biking trails? It turns out not too far. Typically, Antora is done from the south from Brewery Creek Guard Station, but after running the numbers, I decided to approach it from Marshall pass. The weather forecast was not looking great and I was tired, and instead of the multi-peak Pomeroy group, a single peak day sounded more appealing. The drive from Poncha springs took about 45 minutes. After deciding what to bring (and forgetting hiking poles in the process), I started biking on a familiar trail towards Silver creek. One can see Antora from the parking lot, but it looks a bit far. Monarch Crest trail is exceedingly fun and in 45 minutes I cleared the first 3 miles and was at the Silver Creek turnoff.

starting on Colorado trail with Antora a bit far ahead

From there, I took the Continental Divide Trail for another half mile (for me some of it was hike-a-bike), before stashing the bike in the trees off the trail. The fun is over, now the grunt begins. From here, Antora already looked much closer. My way up was not very efficient and I ended up contouring under PT 11,697, which is apparently on a private property. Barbed wire, cows and cow poop complicated the route finding (thankfully I was able to avoid this mess on the way down). Another 30-40 minutes later and I found the Antora Meadows trail. However, since it traverses the side of the mountain, I left the trail and did a short bushwhack to gain the ridge.

Popping out of the trees near Pt 11,923. Mt Ouray in the distance

Looking at the map, I wasn't sure how steep the ridge will be, but it turned out only a short ~100 ft section was fairly steep and loose, and the rest was pretty straightforward talus hopping to the summit, where I arrived @12.45 pm or 3 hours after leaving the trailhead. There was even a faint trail in spots and at least one cairn.

Gentle ridge to the summit

Mt Ouray from the summit

Since the rain clouds were building in multiple sectors of the sky, I didn't stay long and hurried down the ridge. My next goal was to find a better route back to the bike, so I took the Antora Meadows trail extension (which is not on the map). Parts of it was a great singletrack, but some parts were trampled by cows. In any case, it was much quicker than the route up and it merged right back with CDT (in a very inconspicuous spot).

Singletrack that doesn't exist (on the map)

After a short uphill jaunt to get my bike, it was mostly all downhill (and fun). Now I am looking forward to more bike-n-hike 13er adventures! In fact, a nearby Chipeta mountain would be another good biking candidate via a section of the Colorado trail.

Pomeroy 4-pack or unranked 13er strikes again

PT 13,147-Sewanee (unranked) - Pomeroy - PT 13,070

Date: July 17, 2018
Distance: ~ 7 miles RT
Elevation gain: ~ 2,700 ft
Time: ~8.5 hours
TH: North Fork Campground

Encouraged by a good weather on Monday, I decided to go for my main objectives for the weekend - a quartet of 13ers by North Fork reservoir. After hiking Carbonate-Cyclone-LoCarb-Grizzly Mtn loop in late October 2014, I left Pomeroy and UN13,070 on the table. This time, I decided to add UN13,147 and Sewanee to the loop. From the map, I noticed that the ridge between 13,147 and Sewanee looked quite steep with no obvious route up 13,147, so in case of inclement weather I didn't want to be rushed and decided to start with 13,147 instead of 13,070. Another piece of the puzzle is the starting point - with Subi, I never know how far I can get on 4wd roads, but the fact that North Fork reservoir has a campground was encouraging. I've been as far as Shavano townsite/Cyclone creek 4 years ago, so just the last road mile was the unknown. Although it was very slow and tedious, I was able to drive all the way up to the campground. I didn't want to pay for camping (especially in pouring rain), but was able to find a flat parking spot just before the 240B/240 split. Next day weather forecast again didn't look encouraging, so an early start (and hope for the best) was in order. My first task was to get to the Island Lake.

UN13,147 from Island lake

Typically, the route becomes apparent from the closer range, but it was not the case with UN13,147. Essentially it is an impressive couloir city, but when dry, those veins are not the optimal venues for gaining the summit. The rest of the face was guarded by cliffs. Since I had 3 more peaks to deal with, I wanted an efficient route that wouldn't take too long, so I simply decided to blindly trust Gaia, which pointed me to a gully just left of the summit. Gaining the gully wasn't too difficult with some grassy ramps, but the couloir itself was surprisingly narrow.

in the gully

The crux happened early - a class 4 move to get above the choke. I was concentrating on the moves, but had a 6th sense not to touch the white rock on the right - it didn't seem very stable. Once on top of the choke, I decided to test the stability, and the microwave-sized rock went with a slight nudge of a pole. Let's just say that wasn't the comforting feeling, but at least for now the choke is free from that hazard. Beyond the choke, the difficulties eased and the couloir eventually became broader. I opted to scramble on the more stable rocks just to the left of the line. I couldn't help but think what it would look like with snow, but I would probably want a 30 m rope, just in case. From the top of the line, it was a short talus walk to the summit where I arrived around 9.30 am, already behind schedule.

View of the line

Looking back at Aetna and Taylor

Another couloir line off 13,147 - just spectacular

The ridge to Sewanee didn't look too difficult - just tedious

The remaining 3 peaks

Ridge to Sewanee again took longer than expected, and I was hoping that the ridge to Pomeroy would be faster, as the weather was starting to build. But once on the summit, it took me one look to realize that the ridge would take awhile.

The ridge started as pretty fun and not too difficult. I was trying to be expedient, but frequently stopped to take photos and admire the rock. As I was taking pictures, it suddenly occurred to me that I was being cliffed out - an unusual and discomforting sensation. I put away the phone and surveyed my options, and none of them looked particularly easy. Without retracing steps and looking for much easier way down, my route went at 5.easy.

A nifty downclimb

I was expecting the difficulties to ease, but that "cliffing out" thing happened probably a couple more times. It was surprising to find such sustained quality scrambling in the Sawatch. The weather was definitely building above Aetna and Tabegauche, but Pomeroy was still in the sun, so I proceeded. The ridge didn't relent all the way to the saddle with Pomeroy.

Looking back at the time-consuming, but fun ridge

The hike to Pomeroy from the saddle took about 45 minutes, and by 1pm I finally reached the 3rd summit of the day, welcomed by a light drizzle, which later stopped.

Looking at the next objective - UN13,070 - with Grizzly behind

Upper Pomeroy lake - what a beauty!

Traverse to 13,070 held a bit more class 3-4 scrambling on enjoyable rock.

Just as I was about 100 feet from the summit of 13,070, I felt my poles buzzing and heard the thunder rumbling in the distance. Thankfully the descent could not be more straightforward, as I could see the trail dropping down to the basin and 4x4 road. After tagging the summit, I expediently headed down the ridge, as the rain started in earnest.

I don't usually hike in the rain, but when I do, I take pictures of the flowers and the misty mountains :)

My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):

 Comments or Questions
Antora, etc.
07/26/2018 13:43
Useful and informative report.Wish I'd seen it a long time ago. I tried the Marshall Pass approach to Antora maybe 10 years ago, bypassed the Silver Creek turnoff in search of a workable bushwhack. Made things much worse. Retreated with tail between legs. Returned via Brewery Creek Guard Station a few years ago, with better results.Very nice peak with great views of Ouray and the Sangres across the SL Valley.

Am also looking ahead to that Pomeroy group, and this will be helpful.

Nice shots. Thanks for posting.


07/26/2018 16:28
...for writing this up! We saw your name in one of the registers on Sunday & your mention of running that ridge. I've seen the north ridge of Sewanee from a few angles now... it looks like pretty serious terrain! That section between Pom & 070 was definitely fun!


Bike N Hike
07/27/2018 10:17
I love doing peaks like this, thanks for the report.

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