| Quandary- East Ridge
Quandary Peak 14,265- East Ridge
This is my first post, trip report, 14er, and season in Colorado. Just landed November 19th, have been living @9,700 feet, riding @Copper, acclimatizing. Hiked Royal Mt. out of Frisco last week and felt good. One of the main draws to Colorado for myself was the outstanding concentration of high peaks i.e. 11,12,13,and 14ers. Coming from living at 1,000 feet on the east coast to 9,000+ feet here and climbing 4,000’ high peaks on the east coast to 14,000’ peaks here is quite a change. I choose to climb Quandary- East Ridge route as my first 14er for it’s class 1 terrain and relatively short RT distance.
Took the bus to Breckenridge then hitched a ride down rt. 9 to the trailhead. The weather was clear, sunny, w/temps in the high teens, maybe 20ºF. Started hiking around 10:30AM, reaching treeline around 11:00AM. Was not exactly sure what snow conditions to expect. I know it has been fairly dry for the past week, I did not think I would need snowshoes with the route being east and southeast facing. I did, however, bring crampons and an axe. Many people on the trail being a Saturday, it was expected. I did see the split where the summer trail heads left and the winter trail breaks right to avoid potential avalanche prone terrain. Approaching the main ridge I could see Mountain Goats up higher, too far for any good pictures but very excited to see these wonderful creatures.
The ridge was a mixture of small rocks and snow with minimal ice. Witnessed a snowboarder riding the snow blown spine along the entire east ridge. Once on the flatter section of the ridge the winds started picking up. Climbing higher to the more moderate pitch of the ridge, the winds died down a little until reaching the final summit ridge @14,200ft. Here the views were incredible and the winds fierce. Took a video and a picture and descended. Bare-booted the entire route, up and down. Felt very comfortable. Used my axe as a cane as I did not have trekking poles. On the way down I came across about 8 mountain goats just south of the trail. Very cool. Down to the trailhead around 1:45PM. Looking forward to doing some variations and other routes of Quandary in the near future.
Stats: 6 miles RT
3,500 elevation gain
2hr ascent @avg 30ft per min
1hr 15 min descent @avg46ft per min
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):