Antares Peak is at the southern end of the Pioneer Mountains and located north of Carey about 25 miles up a gravel road. Well the road is normally gravel, when it's dry. Monday morning saw this gravel road interspersed with long stretches of mud which made for a tricky drive in. Luckily, the road was open all the way to Garfield Ranger Station. The weather looked a bit threatening as we packed up and started up the hill at 10AM.
The plan was to hit the peak and then pick a bowl to ski down. As we had pulled in we caught a quick glimpse of the peak through the clouds. Little did we know that would be the only clear view of it we would get.
The first portion of the climb took us through some thick sage brush, which was still soaked from the previous day's precipitation. It wasn't long before we were up in a bit of snow.
Unfortunately, the snow pack was a little tricky. It had snowed the night before covering all the older snow and exposed rocks with a nice 6 inch layer of fresh snow. Great skiing as long as you were on the older snow pack which provided a nice base. I started out great, but while looking for a better line drifted into some of the rocky areas and did a little rock skiing! Luckily no one got hurt and we were able to ski close to the road for a relatively easy walk out in the snow/sleet/rain.
We will be back to this beautiful area to do some climbing this summer!
Stats: Approximately 6 miles traveled, 5.5 hours car to car and 3000 feet gained.