Windy Day on Quandary!
After checking the weather reaport for several days we knew it was going to be a cold and windy day. The day before we had a high temp of 18! We reached the Monte Cristo TH at 7:45 and where the only people in the lot. The sun was shining and we where experienceing little wind and a temp of 20, we though to ourselvs that we had lucked out on the weather. There had only been a dusting of snow in the area in the last 48hours and the trail looked pretty good so I decided to leave my Snow Shoes at the TH and take my crampons instead. My partner opted to take his as he was without crampons.
We departed the TH at 8:15 and heaqded up the trail. We where feeling good as we wandered throught the trees on an already broken trail. Our only concern was that the trail might not lead us to the ridge, luckily it did. When we rached timberline we took a little break and I broke out the Ice Axe for the first ridge, our luck would soon run out as we crested the first knowl and the wind began to howel as the temperature plumited. We kept pressing on. The snow was severly wind blown and very hard in most areas except for the occation post hole spot. After cresting the first ridge I was beginning to get cold, the bibs and wind-stop fleece wheren't cutting it so I broke out my Parka. Putting that jacket on made a world of difference. I also decided it was crampon time as the snow wan now becoming extremely hard and slippery.
As we began our final push for the summit the wind only increased and the temp only dropped. We tried to stick to the south side of the ridge to seek protection from the wind. This turned out to have little effect on the wind. As we approached the false summit we really slowed down , I don't know if it was the cold or the altitide, but we both had little appatite which wasn't helping our energy stores. Needless to say we both reached the summit at 11:48. Neither of us had remembered to bring a camera but I dont know if it would have made a difference. We wouldn't have wanted to take off our gloves!
After about 15 minutes on the summit we where both human popsicles, so we bombed it down to the TH. We where back to the car at 1:30. On the way down we had both made the comment that the trail was much longer than we had remembered. I guess it was due to the fact that we where longing to get to the car and wanted to make it back as fast as possible. Needls to say it was a great trip, through it was cold we where the only 2 on the Mt. which made for a peaceful climb.
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