It has been an incredibly busy summer so far, and this was the first time I finally had chance to get out and hike/climb. I figured I should start out with something a bit easier, and since I see Bald Mtn all winter while skiing at the Stone, it seemed like a fun choice.
Left Denver at 4:30am and reached the top of Boreas Pass at 6:30. I had considered the North Ridge route as it is the standard on 13ers.com, but the road hiking and radio towers made it sound too 'civilized'.
That is one of the false summits.
Alpenglow on Quandary (left) and southern Tenmile Range
The trail heads to the left/north from the cabins at the trailhead and follows a stream/canal for a while. Once you reach the pond where the canal originates, look for the trail which heads up following the runoff stream. Do not continue left following the ditch. Follow the trail toward the obvious low point on the ridge - Black Powder Pass.
As I neared the pass, it appeared that the trail was just going to continue straight over, so I turned left to begin heading up the south slopes. You might be supposed to follow the trail all the way to the top before turning left, but I wasn't sure, and turning off where I did allowed me to skirt a few large snowfields. A couple shots along the way:
For being an 'easy' 14er, Quandary sure looks mean from this angle.
From there, it was straight up to the until you top out and can see a sub summit and what appears to be the real one just behind.
However, once you get there, you realize you still have a ways to go.
I continued up and over the next point (going around another large snowfield) and finally reached the summit around 9:00.
I normally tap the Rockies but felt like living the high life on this occasion.
I hung out on the summit for about a half hour enjoying the views and basking in the lack of wind. The return trip forces you to cross back over all those sub and false summits, but it's still quick - made it back to the car at 11:00.
Considering its prime location above the tourist areas of Summit County, I was pleasantly surprised to only see one group of people on the way down near the trailhead - no one else the whole rest of the hike. Most of this was fairly easy ridge walking but a few of the steeper areas involved talus scrambling in the Class 2/2+ range. I think some of that could have been avoided had the snowfields not been there. Made it back to Denver just in time for more huge storms. Crazy monsoon weather the last couple weeks.