Hey all, I'm on a roadtrip with my cousin and was planning on climbing Quandary Peak this coming Saturday. However, I have heard along the way that Breckenridge got quite a bit of snow the other day. I have some crampons and I think I can get my hands on a mt axe, is it still feasible to try it? I'm planning on taking the East Ridge which I know is pretty gradual, any avalanche possiblity here? Any info is appreciated and preferable if by tomorrow. Thanks guys!
Interestingly, I'm here in Denver on vacation and a friend and I are planning on trying the east ridge on Saturday. The weather's been atrocious almost the whole time I've been out here, and the forecast doesn't look promising, but I at least want to get out there and see what's what. Breckenridge has in fact been getting dumped on, and there's a 30% chance of snow/rain for Saturday. So, what time do you think you and your cousin will be starting up on Saturday? We don't have a definite start time set yet, but I'll be trying to get there kind of early. Let's hope for passable weather and snow conditions. If things are sketchy, I'll be turning around in a hurry. Fletch, thanks for the info. I'll be taking all those items that you mentioned, and 14ers.com is indeed a great resource. Damn, I really want to come back out here when it's SUNNY and easier to get to trail heads.
I've done it a few times in similar conditions. The east ridge typically gets hammered by S->N winds - I highly doubt you'll hit any suspect slopes unless you head too far to the north onto the east face/bowl. Stick to the ridge and you'll be fine. There is a section right at treeline that tends to get drifted. Again, don't head too far north (steeper). The max slope you would need to cross in this section is maybe 15-20 degrees of drifted, post-hole powder. I would bring snowshoes and spikes. I'd only NEED the snowshoes at the drifted section, but the traction and heel lifts are useful the entire way. I'd bring an axe, but I'd expect to have it on my pack the entire time. I wouldn't bother with crampons since you'd just be bashing points and talus hopping, but the spikes are useful for the packed snow/ice on the trail sections and near the top. Same with trekking poles for balance (as much as I hate them, outside of winter). I would not bring any avy gear, but that's a personal call. However, make sure to bring a balaclava/goggles as the wind and snow will make conditions seem not so fun.
With the current forecast, it is perfectly feasible and a good time to do it in my opinion. Clouds and light/scattered precip will keep you cool and keep the sun from roasting you from all angles. In addition, they'll make for killer views up top if you can get above them. The route isn't complicated - only a 1/2 mile of it is beneath treeline. Otherwise, just stick to the ridge.