14er Mount Antero - Chaffee County, Colorado
Pictures Of Our Climb Of Mt. Antero Via 4WD Baldwin Gulch Road
I am labeling Mount Antero the "blue collar fourteener" of
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.
|Click any image to view it at a larger size. A new window will open.
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.
|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.)
|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!
||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. ;)
||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).
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.
||A closer view of Mt. Antero.
|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.
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.
|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.
||I battled the sun and clouds to capture the view looking toward Salida.
||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!
||One bad photo of myself at the summit with Chief. You can see all of my 14er climbs here: