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14er Mount Antero - Chaffee County, Colorado

Pictures Of Our Climb Of Mt. Antero Via 4WD Baldwin Gulch Road

Mount Antero Colorado I am labeling Mount Antero the "blue collar fourteener" of Colorado. It is a no-frills, no-nonsense mountain that lacks some of the romance of other nearby peaks. The humming noise of bulldozers and mining equipment while on the summit make this a very unpretentious mountain. (Some private citizens have mineral rights and the area is known for being rich in quartzite and aquamarine minerals.) It seemed the characteristics of this mountain made it more fitting to be the mountain for places like Milwaukee, Pittsburgh or Pueblo, Colorado. ;)

Special thanks to Derek in Buena Vista (and his dog "Chief") for coming with me on this hike. In fact, it was his 4-wheel drive high clearance vehicle that brought us above timberline on Baldwin Gulch Road and toward the mountain.

Confession: In many ways, we cheated. The temptation to drive way up the road via this standard route was too much. I've read about interesting alternative routes including a start from Raspberry Gulch. If I ever climb this mountain via that route, I'll surely update this page.

Photos and commentary by Steve Garufi in Buena Vista, Colorado. Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest - Google Plus


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Mount Antero Road

Mt. Antero Road

The Drive and Hike Up Mount Antero

August 28, 2007 - We approached the mountain via Baldwin Gulch Road in Chalk Creek Canyon. Adjacent are two photos of the road above timberline.
Mt. Antero Hike

Boulder Field

We began our hike in earnest about 0.5 miles down the road from the particular spot in the top photo. Following the standard route description on 14ers.com, we climbed up the rocky hill towards the ridge. Hiking up that ridge was not necessarily terrible, but there were many "iffy" spots of shaky, large rocks and potential hazards of hurting one's ankle among the large gaps between boulders. Also, there is no defined trail. Again, I am not necessarily saying the ridge is horrible to climb, but in retrospect, I would probably have hiked around the ridge to the right via the road.

At the point of the middle photo, I stopped to rest and captured the view looking back down at the road. The tall peak (alt. 13,876 feet) is unnamed, at least, according to my map. It was at this point that everything seemed to become more concerning: Chief the dog was having a hard time getting up the boulder field, significant clouds were capriciously forming, disappearing and traveling across the sky, and the lack of a defined trail on this stupid boulder-covered hill.

We then decided to walk way back down to our truck and take the road farther to investigate. If we didn't reach Mt. Antero's summit, we were quite okay with that at this point. (Bottom photo: Derek walks his scared dog down the boulder field.)

Mt. Antero Road
Mt. Antero Road
So up the road we went! And quite a road it is. Folks, if you have a Jeep or small 4-wheel drive vehicle, this is a really interesting area to explore!
Mt. Antero Road This one particular switchback over 13,000 feet had some wetness that made it difficult to pass. I actually got out of the truck to help direct him ... but truth be told, I was scared. ;)
Mt. Shavano and Tabeguache Peak As we continued and approached the road's end, I snapped this drop-dead gorgeous view of 14ers Mt. Shavano (back left - pointed peak) and Tabeguache Peak (right - large ridge with deep vertical slides).

Mount Antero

The Upper Hike Portion

The road dead-ends at a ridge with an impressive view of Mt. Antero. (Adjacent photo) We were already at 13,500 feet, and we decided to give the mountain a shot.

For those purists out there who believe in the 3,000 foot rule, I'll concede we only ascended a total of approximately 1,000 feet in hiking. Still, if you're going to adhere with this standard, you're going to be starting way below and walking miserably back and forth on the road's boring and numerous switchbacks. I simply don't see the sense in that from a practical standpoint; hiking on a road intended for vehicles is lame.

Mt. Antero A closer view of Mt. Antero.
Mt. Antero Hike
Mt. Antero Hike
Two views as we climbed up Mt. Antero's south face.

TOP: Looking back towards the end of the road with Mt. Shavano and Tabeguache Peak behind.

BOTTOM: Derrick behind me on the trail.

Mt. Princeton
Chalk Cliffs
Sawatch Mountains

The Summit Of Mt. Antero - Elevation 14,269 Feet

The views were as wonderful as they always are all 14ers!

TOP: Mount Princeton to the north, and I can assure you this photo made it on www.mtprinceton.org.

MIDDLE: The Chalk Cliffs, the lower mouth of Chalk Creek Canyon and the Arkansas River Valley out there.

BOTTOM: More peaks among the Sawatch Range to the north and northwest.

Sawatch Mountains
Sawatch Mountains
Mt. Antero Summit
TOP: Baldwin Lake is located way up in that uppermost area of that gulch.

MIDDLE: A great view of that colorful Unnamed 13,876 foot peak with portions of the road below.

BOTTOM: The southerly view of Mt. Shavano and Tabeguache Peak in the background. Note the fresh cut in the white-shaded hill on the right from recent mining activity. Do not be too alarmed from an envirnomental standpoint though, because laws require miners to reclaim lands and roads soon after being used.

Mt. Antero Summit I battled the sun and clouds to capture the view looking toward Salida.
Emma Burr Mountain And once again, I captured a zoom-in photo of Emma Burr Mountain, a "13er" on the Continental Divide (between Cottonwood Pass and Tincup Pass) that has been on my mind and heart to summit one of these days!
Mt. Antero One bad photo of myself at the summit with Chief. You can see all of my 14er climbs here: Colorado 14ers.

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