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.
1st 14'er. Summited with Jennifer(wife) and Chris(co-worker). I believe it took us about 7 hours roundtrip. Nice day.
My first snow climb that wasn't just a hike. Parked at Monte Cristo Trailhead and hiked over to Blue Lakes (the road wasn't plowed yet). Strapped on the crampons and got out the ice axe and started climbing. After climbing about 1,200' or so, I dropped my camera and watched it slide seemingly forever, until I lost sight of it. Oops. Other than that, the climb was awesome (but hard work). It was a new vantage point being on such a steep part of a mountain, which I had never done before. Shared the summit with about a dozen skiiers/boarders, and saw lots of people having fun descending while we hiked down the standard east route back to the car.
Nice hike up and saw some goats right on the summit! Fun glissading down.
Snow and some wind, but not too cold. Snow-field just above tree line a bit unstable. Skinned to 13000, then walked on rocks sticking out of snow. Descented to 13500 by foot due to low visibility, the rest on skis.
We started out at about 8:00am and reached the trailhead at about 9:00am. The hike started out pretty easy passing a few abandoned mines. At timberline the slope steepened and we slowed down quite a bit. After about a mile the trail flattened out a little and by that time there were four of us left. Looking up at the top we had 1000’ of gain to go and Lisa called it quits. So Mark, Craig and I keep trudging along. Mark was in good shape and kept waiting for Craig and I. The last 1000-foot section was a good climbers trail and was talus all the way to the top so there wasn’t much of a trail, but we could see the summit the whole time. The last 100’ flattened out a bit and then we were at the summit. Mark, Craig and I were very happy and I was relieved. It was Mark and Craig’s first fourteener and only my second.
This was my second ascent of Quandry and was much more enjoyable than the east slopes. The west ridge was challenging from a terrain and route finding perspective. We descended the south slopes - they look like they would be very fun to ski down in the winter. Perhaps a winter trip should be planned (?)
First winter fourteener ascent. Skied up with skins and skiied down for first fourteener ski descent as well. Beautiful day for December.
Great climb. My first 14er. Lots of wind and snow. Can't wait to get back.
A great winter climb that started from the Monte Cristo TH. Some may balk at calling this a winter climb, being it's only mid Novmeber; but 20 degree temps, 50mph (no exageration) winds, and enough snow to satisfy the abominable snowman, I'd say it counts!
Photos and video available here.
Heck of a climb. Lots of false summits up with West Ridge. It was a cold day with lots of wind. Didn't stay on top long. Got wicked cramps on the way down from the snowshoes.
After a few troubles finding the new trailhead, we had a great hike. Lots of fun.
Great 4 days of 14ers (9 total). This was my last 14er for the trip. This 14er is close to Breck, which makes for a good choice of a single day excursion.
Was up in the Breck for the weekend, and was bored, so jogged up Quandary. Easy route, great to get out though. Ran into some mountain goats on the descent. I should've checked this page first - the West Ridge sounds a little more interesting.