Does it get any better than this? I thought climbing in the summer was beautiful, but it doesn't compare to doing a winter climb. I was awestruck by the beauty of this mountain. I will always be grateful for Quandary and my friends for this winter moutain experience.
This was my first 14er. It's amazing how far I've come. Believe it or not, I carried three 1 liter water bottles (2 were frozen), some granola bars, my lunch and a very thin wind breaker (not even waterproof). All of this in a $5 nylon back pack. Thank God I listened to my friends and purchased gators for this hike. Also, may I recommend; never EVER wear jean shorts when hiking a 14er ;)
Nothing but snow on the last ridge to the summit. It was the scariest experience of my life. With the wind trying it's best to force me over, all I could see was blinding white everwhere. Heaven forbid I look up at the deep blue sky! Major disorientation, but what a rush when I finally reached the top!!
As I have said many times, there are no words to describe this feeling. You have to experience it for yourself.
Any way after pictures and lunch on the summit it was time to descend. My friends had a great time glissading most of the way down (jean shorts don't slide...haha). Everyone thought it was real funny when I got stuck in hip deep snow....yeah right.
Anyway the whole trip was a blast and I was absolutely hooked after that.
2nd time on Quandary. First winter 14er :) many more to come
Quandary Peak is a nice fourteener to have so close by. Its multiple routes and sweet summit view make it stand out as a keeper.
Also climbed in November 2003 - bring snowshoes or skis in the early snow season!
Finally climbed this one for the first time, with my wife Erin, on our first anniversary get away.
Crisp, fall hike. Fresh snow, beautiful.
It was a crystal clear, beautiful day, but it was very windy and cold at the summit. A balaclava would have been useful on this day. There was only a light dusting of snow on the trail, nothing too difficult to deal with at this time.
The Inwood Arete gives me newfound respect for Quandary. The best route on the mountain, can't wait to come back and do it again.
Lost my iceax here (actually left it at the trailhead). Should have brought the skis...
We reached the summit on just under 5 hours from the trailhead at McCullough Gulch. Beautiful day of 5th class climbing!
With storms looming overhead, and nightfall pressing closer, we decided to abandon the longer West ridge approach and climb the peak directly from the Southwest corner. The scree made it a difficult scramble, and wore us out big time. We escaped via the east slope to avoid becoming a human ass-sled on the way down.
First 14'er for Spencer the Mountain Dog (at 9 months of age). Great weather.
Nice alternative route for avoiding the onslaught of hikers slogging up the standard route. 1hr, 45 min from Blue Lake Dam to the saddle. 3hrs total, from the dam to the summit. Exposed 3rd class on the ridge makes it that much more worth your while. Never did see a goat.
My beta said that my original plan from the "popular guide books" Monte Cristo TH was no longer viable due to reforestation. So I did the turn onto 850 , hung a right after .1 mile onto 851 and went down maybe another 1/2 mile to a small parking area. I started from the white sign on 281near the parking area. I started early, and it was a nice, simple, clean climb. It was a good finish to my 2003 climbing season.
Great day. Hung out with mountain goats on summit. Had an awesome glissade down the East Face.
Well, I had planned to climb Missouri from the Rockdale TH on this date. However, I spent about an hour looking for the climber's trail with no luck. I decide to bail and head over to Quandary for a go. It took a lot longer to get from Rockdale to Quandary than I thought it would. Anyway, I arrived at 11:00 a.m. and was questioning if it would be a good idea to start so late. About that time a couple showed up that was going to head up. I figured, what the heck!!! The weather in Colorado had been great for weeks and I would take my chances and be prepared to bail at any time. It was a nice easy hike most of the way. It did get just a little steep at times and I was feeling the effects of Huron the day before and my second day above sea level. At about 13,800 I had to cross a rather large snow field. It was about 200' long and made for a nice change of pace. I finally made the summit in just over 4 hours. The weather had held up and there were about 10 others on the summit. I signed the log and had some lunch and then headed down. The weather was looking like it could become a factor, so I did not waste much time. The first part of the descent was a little slow. I had to deal with the snow, which got me a little off route and then some boulder hoping to get back on the trail. From there it was a nice easy hike to the car.
Paul and I summited Quandary on Sunday 6/15/03 late in the day around 2:45 PM. The route is Class 1 with great scenery. It is more of a lofty endurance hike with a few mountain goats in the vicinity. The climb was a little harder for us as we were a little hung-over from our night out in Breckenridge. Paul's first fourteener was Mount Democrat which he summited with me the day before. As with all my friends who bag their first mountain, I made sure to get him good and toasted as part of the reward! Nonetheless we hit the trailhead at 11 AM and sweated it out! This route is classic as it affords a great ridge line that is gained by leaving a forested area and escaping the tree line. The views are great and the glissading is top notch. We dropped a 1000' of elevation in minutes by glissading down the snow along the east ridge. A storm had moved in but luckily we beat it back to the rent-a-car.
This was a milestone hike for me. I had been grounded for a year and a half with a bad knee. Not knowing if I would make it, I rekindeled my love for hiking with this easy hike. Needless to say I made it. If Quandary(by the standard) is not the easiest 14er in Colorado then I don't know what is. You can count on at least 15- 50 people hiking with you in the summer months. I hiked Quandary on July 4th weekend and remember at least 300 people on that mountain. Anyone visiting Breckenridge, and wants a hike goes for Quandary. Some make it, most don't.