Peak(s):  Mt. Antero  -  14,271 feet
Date Posted:  06/19/2015
Modified:  07/08/2015
Date Climbed:   06/19/2015
Author:  DavidLeVan
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 Mistakes made on Mt. Antero   

Mistakes made on Mt. Antero (up the standard route)

June 19, 2015
Total ascent 4,526 feet
Total distance 8.38 miles
Start time 0800
End time 1700

With all the snow on the mountains this summer, Antero Peak became the summer's first summit essentially by default. Many of the other mountains still had a lot of snow on them by mid-June but the condition reports for Antero stated that while there was snow, it was manageable. Also, my father-in-law recently purchased a Jeep which opened up the 4WD road on Antero which would make the hike manageable for our family.

Four of us, my wife Karen and our kids Will and Brett, left a little after 0500 from Westcliffe and headed for Antero. The 4WD road was quite challenging. We moved slowly but made it up without much of a problem and were ready to hike by 0800, a little later than I had hoped to leave. Fortunately, the forecast was for very good weather. We parked at the stream crossing and then waded across.

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We had to cross three significant creek crossings, none of which had decent bridges so we ended up getting wet. The water from the snow melt off was really moving.

Obviously, it is a pretty easy trail most of the way up, following the old roads. Not the most scenic or interesting trek up the mountain. Many rocks at times as well.

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At just about treeline we reached these two vehicles with their trailers. Driving up that far was certainly an impressive feat, something that I would not have done. The road above the first creek crossing was very rough at times. I wonder how they managed to turn the trailers around and get back down. I was fine hiking. We reached treeline at 0950.

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While the trail was mostly free of snow, certain spots still had a lot which required some navigating around them. The slope of the mountain made these crossings a little hairy. We don't own ice axes, but if we hike more in these conditions, an ice axe could be helpful. A number of spots had quite a bit of snow, and as it warmed up, it became more unstable. At one point we lost a Nalgene bottle and it went sliding down a snow field. It took some effort to get it.

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Karen decided to stop towards the top of the road, so the three of us continued up, hoping to reach the summit. We reached the ridge at 1125 and 13,121 feet and the sign junction for 278A a few minutes later. The back side of the mountain had quite a bit of snow on it so our progress was slow. Here is Will waiting for us on the back side of the mountain.

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We reached point 13,800 at 1240. Here we are at the final ascent toward the summit.

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We reached the summit at 1300, an hour later than I had hoped, but fortunately, the weather was fantastic. Warm and blue sky with very few clouds, and they were quite a ways in the distance. Here are some summit pictures.

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We left the summit at 1335, and at 1410 we made a very poor decision when we reached the ridgeline. Mistake #2. The snow on the south side of Antero had made the ascent very challenging, and a hiker ahead of us had taken a trail on the north side, which we chose to follow, even though the standard route follows the south side trail. At first the trail looked good and clear, but once we rounded the mountain we lost it and realized that we were on a scree field looking down quite a ways to the road. It took us over an hour of slow, tedious down climbing to reach the road. It was hard on us and hard on the mountain. I should have never followed the other hiker because I knew the way. I had a map, and I had downloaded the route from .com, but I thought he knew something that I didn't, which was a mistake. I should have known better. Fortunately, we made it down without too much trouble, except I did have a nice fall at one point. Notice our trail on the gpx.

At the road we reconnected with Karen. The water was flowing on our way down. The run off was intense. These pictures don't do it much justice.

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We made it back to the trailhead by 1700. It was a long day, but fortunately we ended up at Amica's for some very good pizza.

And what about Mistake #1? Well, that had happened throughout the day. Our daughter Brett did not bring a hat with her on the hike, and while we applied sunscreen a couple of times during the hike, it was clearly not enough so by the end of the hike it was clear that her face was quite sunburned. Another poor decision. The weather had been fantastic, even hot at times, and with the high altitude sun beating down on us, we were all burned, but our daughter's face was burned especially bad. Again, I should have known better. Hats and sunscreen are essential. I had assumed everyone had them. Bad assumption.

Some important lessons learned on Antero on this day, but still a great day to be up in the mountains, mistakes and all.

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




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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