October 1983 - Baldwin Creek
(photos from June 2009 & May 2011)
Dan and I had a good time on Lincoln and Bross and we even bought the old Borneman and Lampert book on the 14’ers. I would not say that we were hooked but we were interested enough to go and try Antero a few weekends later. We did not have a 4WD vehicle between us so we were in for a long walk. Why Dan chose Antero over a shorter climb, I am not sure to this day, but I do remember that starting from the paved road made for a long day.
We hoofed it up the jeep trail, probably wearing hiking boots at this point but no doubt still sporting our cotton Carhart jackets to ward off the autumn chill. Now I am going to be honest, we were not total putzes like I made out above, near putzes, but not total. We were both carrying the home made packs we used in the past few years of caving and we each had a wool hat, poly top and bottoms, a wool sweater, and two quarts of water. Not what I would necessarily choose for gear today, but come on, I was a college student and Gore-tex was an unknown in our budget range if it even existed at the time.
We made the fork, continued to the gem mine and climbed the final summit pyramid to stand atop our third 14’er. We also received our first lesson in Cottoneer climbing, i.e. there is a storm at 2 p.m. and those storms come with lightning. It was not even close but we had the smarts to put the clues together and make a beeline for the lower valley. We actually took a direct route from the base of the summit cone to the area near the road fork. Lots of talus hopping but we both had younger knees back then. The storm even obliged us by holding off and we walked out dry to Dan’s Pacer, yes an early 80’s purple AMC Pacer, for the ride back to Golden.
Our first 14’er season was complete. We did not know about late fall climbs, winter death marches, or the like so we were done for the year, years actually, for neither of us would do another Colorado peak for five more years . . .