Peaks Climbed: Quandry’s West Ridge
Climbers: Yours Truly, Michael (Boggy B), Rob (robco), Kylie
Being quite new to the 14er.com “family” I was eager to finally join in one of the gatherings. Once my decision was made to attend, it took roughly 0.3 seconds to elect the West Ridge as my ascent route. I began probing around for fellow “family members” and wasn’t getting much luck. Being dead set on doing the route (55 mph gusts or not!) it appeared I would be solo, but I threw up a quick post on 14ers and low and behold, got some bites (what a great site!).
Boggy B (Michael) and I headed up to Quandry after work on Friday. He slept in his FJ while I bivied in the parking lot as merciless gusts of wind whirled around us all through the night.
In the morning, our group of 2 was now 6 (including robco, aka Rob who I had climbed with before and some of Michael’s friends). Unfortunately, 2 had to bail on the approach so our group was now down to 4, which is 3 more than solo according to my calculator!
View looking up towards the Fletcher Mountain – Quandry Saddle
We all decided in the morning not to take snow shoes which turned out to be the right decision as the basin had not yet accumulated enough snow to warrant them.
Rob and I ascending a snow chute to gain the ridge
The snow in the chute started out as manageable, then went to nice, then went to an unconsolidated nightmare. Unconsolidated snow in late October, go figure!
Kylie and Michael negotiating the much more firm rock
They say being late to a party is fashionable and apparently Mr. Wind shares that belief because once we topped the ridge, he became the life of the party.
How hard could it be?!
Where the fun begins
Mike showing Quandry whose boss
More obstacles to tackle
Following image shows conditions of the route. As is the case MOST of the time, snow made it very enjoyable.
Me climbing a neat class 4 dihedral
We summited 6 hours after embarking to find people from the gathering arriving and leaving, but all chillin…chillin in the wind. Now you can’t actually see me in this photo because I was sitting on the ground in front of 80’s ski gear dude (Carl apparently), but I swear I was there.
Michael showing his camera whose boss
Peaks Climbed: Truro Peak, “West Truro”, "Tellurium Peak"
Climbers: Yours Truly, Michael
Numbers: ≈4000’ vertical, 6.7 miles round trip, Class 3 with some Class 4 maybe (read further for details)
After having lunch in Breck with the 6 people that started in the morning, Mike and I bid farewell and headed for the Lead(ville) and Indy Pass.
Hidden in the jumbled, heaping mounds of crap they call the Sawatch (not trying to be a hater, I will be goin for those heaps eventually) lie these sore thumb mountains which border the Elks and perhaps is the reason why they are so much more fun. Kevin Baker’s report is what did me in so here’s my thanks and credit to him.
We crawled, tumbled and jarred our way up the Lincoln Creek Road (not many steep sections or very rocky although snow cover may have aided that, it’s just quite long) pass the Griz Res where we finally found a pull off.
Bushwacking was extremely limited due to the snow and short approach required.
Face we ascended in the morning (shot taken after the fact)
Michael finishing up breakfast. Yes, he does eat with an ice axe in hand, how do you think he killed it…amateurs.
Once we gained the ridge after hopping on some of the rock, it was an easy, postholing fiasco requiring us to hands and knee it up to the summit (jumbo shrimp…??).
The downclimb off Truro was not bad and once we made the Truro-West Truro saddle we were met with the real task at hand.
“The real task at hand”
Disclaimer: If you adhere to the following image then you will be doing the traverse the “correct” class 3 with some class 4 spots way thereby avoiding extremely unnecessary, low 5 moves with gnarly exposure. Of course there is absolutely nothing wrong with this and that is why Mike made the image, but if getting cliffed-out is your thing then ignore the following image.
The traverse from the saddle to the summit of “West Truro” includes 4 gendarmes (labeled G1-G4).
Photo credit: Michael
Me crossing a knife edge to get onto G1. Slab is very steep and run out, good thing the wind was blowing the other way…not.
Michael doing unnecessary side traversing to G2 only to get cliffed out big time. I followed suit.
There is a cairn in between G1 and G2. This is a “get the hell off the ridge cairn” not a “keep going on the ridge cairn” as we learned the hard way.
Me heading up a chute between G3 and G4
Of course since we were on such a role of getting cliffed out, we couldn’t exclude G4…..
On G4 looking at the summit. Go to the right side of G4 once you get back on the ridge
Look back at Truro and G3/G4
Next up, “Tellurium Peak”
Tellurium’s ridge was much more straight forward albeit quite chossy.
Mike walkin the plank
View of the summit
For our descent we decided to bail off the side of Tellurium and trudge through the basin to the saddle between “West Truro” and Tellurium.
Can’t end a snowy trip day without postholin!
Needless to say, it was an extremely fun weekend and both ridges delivered. In retrospect, it may have been a good idea to read Kevin's TR more closely, but hey, then it wouldn't have been as fun. So I'm sorry if I screw up your trip to this area, it was not my intention.
Thanks for reading.
Pyramid with a rock that appears to have been struck by lightning