| Quandary Peak - East Ridge 03-19-2007
We got a late start and didn't leave Avon until 6:20. It was a beautiful morning, almost completely cloudless and looked like a great day to climb. We arrived at the parking area at 7:35, and were hiking shortly after, at 7:40. The parking area is plowed for 2-3 cars and it is a short walk up to the trailhead proper. We opted to take snowshoes and wore them whole time. The snow was nice and hard in the morning and made for quick travel as the trail is pretty packed out and for the most part easy to follow, with a few braids near the top of the trees. There are a lot of tracks on the trail and obviously some choose snowshoes and some choose boots. We didn't need the flotation, but liked having the traction. We did need the flotation on the way out though.
Here is a shot in the trees on the way up..
Once we gained the ridge, it was a nice climb on firm snow all the way to the summit. I stopped and took some pictures of two people skiing down at around 10:30. The snow softened up nicely and the turns looked pretty nice. Here are a couple of pics for those who might be interested in the ski conditions….
Looking back up at the snowfield..
We summited at 10:45 and spent nearly an hour on the summit. We had almost no wind and I registered 57 degrees on the summit at 11:30 a.m. As we started down a grey cloud rolled in from the West and we did get a little bit of precipitation on the way down, but overall it was clear and mostly sunny. I think that the little bit of cloud cover probably helped us out a bit, as on the way down, we started punching through spring snow below around 11,500' in the trees, if it would have been much warmer, there would have been a lot more postholing. Here a few of the other pictures from the route..
From CO 9 on the way home..
All in all, the condition were great and a good time was had by all. Due to the fact that the calender says there are two more days of winter, I am calling this my first winter ascent, even though I have had colder conditions in June.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):