Mt Antero, CO- Elevation 14,269- 07/05/04
This was a tougher drive than hike. Charlotte and I were just returning to Denver on the way back from three nights of camping on the Taylor River near Crested Butte. We decided to Drive up the Mt Antero Rd and attempt to hike it, her first 14er attempt. The drive up took about an hour and a half. We drove above the tree line to somewhere around 12,000 feet. I was fortunate enough to not bottom on on this awful road, but did once on the way down when I was least expecting it. We hiked up the easy 4WDR road to the ridge that connects to the Antero peak. After climbing the difficult ridge line the weather was looking really bad and I ran the remaining 500 feet or so to the summit. We then decided to get back to the jeep ASAP, and started getting pelted with snow pellets just before getting to the jeep. Even though it was not below freezing this was snow rather than hail since it was not solid ice. I've now seen it snow in all 12 months of the year in Colorado. Here are a few pictures of our adventure.
The hardest part about this hike was the drive up the road. Its the worst I've ever been on and was hard on the jeep and very scary once you get above the tree line. This is the turn in the road at about 3 miles where you can go to Baldwin lake or Mt Antero. You have to drive over this creek to go to Antero and the road gets considerably rougher at this point.
The road split as we got closer to the top and turned right or went straight. Both were good roads and we were a little confused about which way to go. The road that went to the right goes down then back up to the peak shown in the picture which looks tall enough to be a 14er but isn't even close. Once you get further up the road you can see its not as tall as it originally looks. The cars that drove to that other area were there to mine for precious stones.
A self portrait of Charlotte and I with the Antero peak in the background.
Here Charlotte maneuvers her way along the difficult ridgeline.
Another shot of Charlotte in action. We actually lost the trail for a bit making this more of a class II+ hike.
I took this shot of these three stones along the ridge, I call it the three wisemen.
The final stretch to the summit. Just a big pile of rocks.
A pic from the summit looking back down along the entire ridgeline and you can see part of the road to the right. In the upper left are two more 14ers Shavano and Tabeguache.
On the summit I'm holding the container to register your name after hiking.
Looking northeast you can see Mt Princeton, Buena Vista, and some storms.
A picture of me on the summit with some nasty weather to my back, that is when we decided to get out of there ASAP.
In the middle of this picture you can see Charlotte heading back across the ridge.
Coming down this road was the scariest part of the whole trip. As you can see its very narrow and steep down the side. To make matters worse the road was wet from the snow and rain. Also just like hiking its always harder going down than going up. At one point we were on a hairpin turn with a steep drop off and we stopped to keep from flipping the jeep and were rocking back and forth on two wheels. Charlotte was able to look out the window and direct me straight to the left where I drove out of our predicament.
This is some of the 4WDR road above the tree line, you can see three vehicles at the bottom of the picture.
At this point we are just getting back to the tree line and so glad to be done with the 4WDR road. Just 4 more miles to get back to a paved road. Its all worth it though, as you can see in this picture this area is just as gorgeous as the precious stones people come up here to dig for.