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 Peak(s):  Quandary Peak  -  14,265 feet
 Post Date:  08/29/2005 Modified: 11/03/2009
 Date Climbed:   08/26/2005
 Posted By:  alanb

 Quandary- East Ridge   

Having already reached the summit of Sherman that morning my buddy from UT and I were eager to see what Quandary had to offer. The drive over from the Sherman trail head took longer than we expected and we totally missed the turnoff from C9. We saw the Breckenridge city limits sign and knew we needed to turn around. Coming back the turn off was much easier to find. The trailhead itself is clearly marked with a big sign.

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The trailhead parking lot was packed. The weather looked like it was holding so we made the decision 12:30 to begin our ascent. We paused only once to admire L/B/D across the valley.

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We passed too many people to count on the way down but only 3 people on their way up like us. At the request of a couple on their way down we kept an eye on one solo hiker who honestly did not look like he was fairing too well. We quickly overtook him and inquired as to how he was doing. He assured us he was fine so we moved on.
My buddy set a brutal pace and we made great time hitting the last push to the summit at the top of the saddle within an hour.

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On the final steep push to the summit we encountered a mountain goat and her kid. She demanded that we give her a wide berth so we obliged after taking a few photos.

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The last push to the summit was a struggle for me but I managed to summit about 15 minutes behind my buddy.

Off to the west we noticed the same ominous clouds that hit us the other day on Evans so we got the last people on the summit, a young couple, to take our photo. We grabbed a quick snack and followed them down off the summit.

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On the decent we saw that the solo hiker we were concerned about had made a smart choice and turned back. I am not sure if it was the long day or what but the trip back down never seemed to end. Eventually we did hit the parking lot and ours were two of only 3 vehicles left.

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Quandary is a long hike by itself and if I had it to do over again I probably would not try and squeeze both it and Sherman into one day. Back at the truck we were pleased that we hit our goal of summiting Beirstadt, Evans, Sawtooth, Sherman, and Quandary over the past two days.

I reaffirmed two things on this marathon of hiking. The first is to have a partner you trust. My buddy made some great decisions and did an excellent job of route finding for us- Kudos' to him. The second is to be prepared for anything. Under the Evans trip report you will see the storm we ran into I would not have liked to be out in those conditions without the proper gear.

Once again, great trip, great scenery, and great company.



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