14,276 feet, 4351 meter
The Sawatch Range is home to fourteen Colorado 14ers. Mt. Antero is
the 5th highest at 14,276'. On June 20, 2008, Patrick and Robert,
my regular climbing partners and I camped overnight and made the summit
the next day. In summary, I found Antero a bit of a dud since you basically
follow a 4-wheel drive road within 300 feet of the rocky summit. But
once there it provided wonderful views as do most of the mountains in
Antero is about 12.5 miles west of Buena Vista. Paved county road 162 takes you to the turn-off on Country 277. Note that the turn-off is a small dirt road that heads straight up a steep hillside. This is where the fun begins. For 3 miles it is an extremely rough road that is best suited for Jeeps and ATVs - not real cars. The road is rutted and filled with large rocks. I sometimes think I could have gone faster on foot.
I arrived before Patrick and Robert and set up camp by the stream crossing
at 11,300'. Since it was mid June, the winter run-off was in full bloom
and the stream quite swift. Patrick soon arrived but Robert was a no-show.
It ended up that his Honda CRV could not make it up the rocky road so
he camped out at the turn-off and hot footed it up the road the next
It didn't take long to reach the turn-off from road to trail. I was glad to leave the dirt road. Thankfully there was enough snow on the road back near treeline that no vehicles were near us. The clouds were layered tot he east as we reached 13,000. Only Pikes Peak was visible in the cloud layer. As we headed towards the summit a group of goats said hello. There were eleven of these furry guys and gals and they were not afraid of us in the least.
The route to the summit follows the direct ridge line and is mostly
scree and boulders but not too bad. Once on top we were rewarded with
great views of the nearby ranges including Sawatch, Blanca, and Sangere
de Cristo ranges plus the Arkansas Valley and Buena Vista. As Patrick
and I were making some calls, we noticed a lone figure heading up quickly.
It was Robert. The 'Goat' had left the junction at 5, made the stream
crossing 50 minutes later and now had almost caught up with us - an impressive
performance! I took my summit video as
we waited for him to join us for a summit photo.