Planning a March Climb on Quandary and Sherman

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Re: Planning a March Climb on Quandary and Sherman

Postby madbuck » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:37 pm

March is still a fair ways off, and while the snowpack sucks, keep your eye out for trip reports, weather/weather history, CAIC avalanche reports, as everyone says. We could get some settling, and a great stretch of bluebird weather on Quandary in March -- in fact, that's how it was during my Spring break last year, and I decided it was too good to pass up. If it's been Spring-like and calm for a few days or a week, following the ridge itself and avoiding the terrain that is most prone to sliding (as shown in recent pics) is much easier.

But mostly, keep up your research yet stay flexible with your plans and timing, if you can. Different people have different personalities, but I'll usually watch the weather during the week and decide whether to stick up in the Northern Mountains, or go South or West, and have friends that are similarly flexible. (Like following good surf waves or a good storm for skiing). Other friends will pick a specific mountain and specific day far ahead of time, fail to make a summit (sometimes) on an utterly crappy Saturday, and be too tired to do something on a very nice Sunday instead, for example.

So keeping other 14er options like Elbert or Pikes in mind (with possibly different weather than Quandary and Sherman) is a good way to stay flexible, safe, and happy. If you expand a bit "downward" below 14k, you can consider options like Flat Top in RMNP, Mt. Audobon in IPW, or glorious loops and summit hikes in Lost Creek Wilderness (e.g. Bison Peak) -- those are just some examples.

So c'mon out, there'll be stuff to climb! But honestly, you'll probably have a good shot at Quandary if you have a window of several days in March...just stay tuned, and good luck!
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Re: Planning a March Climb on Quandary and Sherman

Postby Tim A » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:16 pm

Thanks all for the confirmation about the Katoola spikes and for the advisement.

Gonzalj, we may take you up on your offer and I'll be in touch with you as March gets closer.

Madbuck, I think that is sound advice. I've got a hotel booked for six nights so we'll have a fairly open amount of time to acclimate and find appropriate weather windows assuming CO isn't slammed with a blizzard that week. From what I've read on trip reports from Feb-Mar for the last several years, the weather can go from impossible to beautiful overnight, so one must be flexible if looking for an enjoyable climb and summit, and I've got seven days to be flexible. I'm also very familiar with the CAIC site and how to view weather and wind forecasts on this site, but thanks for the advisement again on those resources.

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