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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2014-11-15||Route: East Ridge
Info: Quandary/Breckenridge received about 6-8 inches of snow the previous night (of course it had also been snowing pretty much all week). The lower (overflow) parking lot was plowed, the upper parking lot and 851 was not. A couple on snowshoes were nice enough to break trail all the way to treeline, so the trail was easy to follow from parking lot to treeline (around 11,700 feet). Above treeline the wind picked up, I‘d estimate 15-25 mph sustained, gusting up to 30-40 mph. Visibility was reduced to about 100 feet, with occasional whiteout conditions when the wind was blowing hard. Wind drifted snow was considerably deeper than I thought, I was kicking myself for not bringing my sowshoes. Although I‘m not sure if snowshoes would have helped, the snow was totally unconsolidated sugary powder. There were islands of rock where snow was only a couple of inches deep, everywhere else was thigh deep to chest deep powder. Unfortunately there‘s no way to tell how deep the snow was just by looking at it, so my strategy was navigating by compass and GPS in a general westerly direction, always aiming for a rock island so I can get some rest from swimming in chest deep powder. At around 12,700 feet, I decided that condition was deteriorating too much to continue. It was nearly whiteout all the time at that point. Even my dog Polar, who absolutely loves snow, was very happy to be turning around. On the way down I couldn‘t find any trace of the chest deep trench I built in the snow, it was totally erased by the wind. When I got back to the lower parking lot , there was another 4 inches of new snow on top of my car. A couple had just arrived in the parking lot and was getting ready to head up. I told them what the conditions were like, they decided to see how far they can get. I wish them best of luck! Also, as I was heading out from the parking lot, I saw a new Toyota 4Runner (?) that got its front wheels stuck in the ditch, they were probably trying to make a three-point turn. Luckily the guy had a tow rope in his car, so I gave him a little tug and pulled him out. All in all, an interesting day.
|2014-11-09||Route: East Ridge
Info: Hiked Quandary via the East Ridge this morning (9 November). Trail is in great shape, not much snow or ice due to melt/freeze, and no need for traction (though poles/micros could be used if desired). Most snow being held on the mountain is between 12,500-13,500, above that it is windswept. Peak is clear as well
|2014-11-01||Route: West Ridge
Info: Hiked the West Ridge for the Winter Welcomer. At least a dozen people went up that route. Not much snow on the trail and route. No need for snowshoes. One person put on microspikes, but no one else did. Most of the snow is on the trail on the class 2 portions. Snow did not hinder the Class 3, except for one section. I guess the snow covers the route and pushes you into a Class 4 section. Very doable. This is between photos #17 and #18 of the route description. I think you walk around this to the right, usually. But snow prevents that. It‘s a down and up, but again very doable.
|2014-10-31||Route: West Ridge
Info: Beautiful weather yesterday with just a bit of wind. The west ridge had only a little bit of snow (max. accumulation about 6 inches) with very few footprints in it. We descended down the east ridge, which had much more trodden, slipperier snow/ice; but it was easily avoidable. The mountain goats were out, too!
|2014-10-17||Route: East Ridge
Info: Snow is melting fast on the ridge, but there is still some snow/ice to contend with. I managed fine with trail runners but my feet did get a little soggy on the way down. Below treeline its mostly dry with the exception of a few shaded spots which were snowy/icy/muddy. traction isn‘t mandatory but it wouldn‘t be a bad idea to bring microspikes or poles.
|2014-10-11||Route: East Ridge
Info: Decent amount of snow to where I would want gaiters had I not had winter hiking boots. I was happy to have worn winter hiking boots and I heard a few different people comment on how cold their toes were and noticed they were in regular hiking shoes/boots. I didn‘t use spikes, although they might have been useful at times. No snow on the first half of the trail, but it was super muddy/slippery on the way down when the snow on the trees starting melting off. My hands also got a little cold with two layered SmartWool mittens.
|2014-09-30||Route: East Ridge
Info: A bit snowy up high - no need for flotation yet, but microspikes were handy on the descent.
|2014-09-27||Route: West Ridge
Info: Up the West Ridge on on 9/27, snow in the gullies shown to gain west ridge but all totally avoidable. No snow or ice at all on any of the ridge once gained. A great day and an awesome route up, terrible (east ridge) decent. Thanks to the dude from Dillon who drove me back up to the dam to get my car in exchange for a cold Dale‘s Pale.
|2014-09-26||Route: East Ridge
Info: Arrived at trailhead (lower lot) about 7:15 and headed up. The trail was in perfect condition. There was absolutely NO snow on the trail. The rocks, My God, the rocks. We had climbed Belford/Oxford, Greys/Torrey and Pikes last year. None seemed to have the rocks of Quandary. We saw ONE goat near the trail. Every hiker took a photo with him. Hilarious. When we got to the top (4 women) there was a mom/son combo. Within 15 minutes there were over 40 people and we passed at least that many coming down. Excellent hike overall!
|2014-09-07||Route: East Ridge
Info: Quandary is in good shape—no snow anywhere on the ground, though we did get some spitting snow from the sky above 13k‘. CFI was hard at work putting in some more rock steps a bit above treeline.
|2014-08-18||Route: West Ridge
Info: Trail well marked to the saddle, but beware cairns that lead to the right of the upper basin exit. Stay left and aim for the bump left of saddle to avoid snow fields and dirt slides. Trail from the saddle to old mining site is well worn with few cairns. The route finding begins after the mine site. Cairns are not always obvious, but in general stay center and climb the bumps directly. The "dirt gulley" was dry with plenty of holds on the right and left. The wall was a lot of exposure, but holds are solid.
|2014-08-12||Route: East Ridge
Info: Sunrise from summit, didn‘t see anyone on our way up but passed a boat load of people coming down. Even on a Tuesday. Incredible sunrise and phenomenal view to the west. Trail was very clear and marked with cairns. You can see the summit as you approach it when you get above treeline. Perfect weather, perfect climb. Awesome morning!
|2014-08-11||Route: East Ridge
Info: East ridge was clear of snow. Weather was perfect.
|2014-07-25||Route: East Ridge
Info: Just a desk-size patch of snow near the top that was easily avoidable. Trail is dry and visible. CFI was there today doing maintenance, making a good trail even better!
|2014-07-11||Route: East Ridge
Info: East ridge route was great - very easy to stay on the path, well maintained. Only 2 very small patches of snow to cross - maybe 10 feet wide and a foot seep. Hiking boots got through no problem!
|2014-07-04||Route: South Gully aka Cristo Couloir
Info: Ditto what Mike Shepherd reported. Melted out at about 12300‘ then again about 13500‘, then right before the summit. Still, must trap a lot of snow to hold it this late southfacing. surface conditions were good, actually did a lot of frontpointing.
|2014-07-03||Route: South Gully aka Cristo Couloir
Info: I would say that after this weekend consider finding other options for couloir climbing. I‘ve not climbed this route before today but I imagine as a pure snow climb it will be more enjoyable. There are three sections where the route is melted out, as shown in the arrows below. The red arrow indicates where one could if they desired keep their crampons on. Blue arrows are where you will need to remove crampons. The two blue areas are boulder fields more or less and will require some class 3 scrambling. The sun did not hit most of the route until about 7am, and the snow stayed firm until we summited just before 9am. The 2nd photo is taken from the red arrow section. The snow to the far right was much steeper than elsewhere in the couloir.
|2014-07-02||Route: East Ridge
Info: We camped on road 851 near the trailhead, and left at 6:40 in the morning. Took our time going up, and summited around 11:30 with a lot of breaks. Above treeline there‘s a patch or two of snow that you can walk across if firm, or avoid. The last tenth or quarter mile from the summit, there‘s a big patch of snow. You can either go to the left of it straight toward the summit, or you can continue up the ridge across it until right near the summit. Otherwise the trail is clear and great. Saw quite a few mountain goats, and a few marmots.
|2014-06-29||Route: South Gully aka Cristo Couloir
Info: Good conditions for a snow accent, but get there early, as it was softening up by 0830. There is only one section where you will need to remove your crampons. The snow is very sun pitted, and wouldn‘t make for a very enjoyable ski descent, but once it softens up it is perfect for a glissade descent.
|2014-06-28||Route: South Gully aka Cristo Couloir
Info: Today was a great day in the Cristo Couloir! The snow was great for about 80% of the route. I had to navigate around a few rock outcroppings, but it was solid! Grab it while you can!