| 14ers.com group hike of Quandary
My wife and I awoke around 2am, packed up the dogs and then headed out in seperate vehicles. Along the way I picked up RockFarmer. We reached the trailhead around 5AM and there were several vehicles already there. Based on the description that some members gave me, it appeared that everyone was already here. Please forgive me if I forget who was all there but the ones that I can remember were Meli, RockFarmer, Socal_ck, Nutrion_Guy, CrazyDiamond80, Diamicton, Jeff_F, my wife, my two dogs Aspen & Dozer, and myself. I know I am missing one person because there was 10 of us.
We all got our gear ready, took a prehike picture, and proceeded to hit the trail head around 5:50AM. The trail started off really easy but it didn't take long before it became covered in big snow drifts. Since it was early we didn't have any problems going over them. As we moved on we lost the regular trail quite often due to loss of all tracks, we just decided that we would go staight up. At one point my dog Aspen almost caught a squirrel that was right next to the trail. We all wonder what she would have done if she actually would have caught it.
After about 40 minutes of hiking, we took our first break to shed some layers.
Once we got above tree line it was pretty much completely snow coverered and there was no defined path, so we basically headed straight up the mountain. There were different levels of hikers, so we all headed up at our own pace and spread out a bit. My dog Dozer was the smarter of the two dogs, he would get to a point and then wait for us to catch up.
On our way up to the plateau before the final ascent, the wind picked up a bit and was keeping the temperature down some, so some of us stopped to put layers back on. With the temps staying low, the snow stayed quite firm.
I forgot who I was speaking with (I think it was one of the two Jim's) but he said he had heard about this "Quandary Golden Lab" that is out on the trail. About half way up the final ascent, there was this Golden Lab on his way up. My wife was not ready to be hiking in the snow and it tired her out quickly, but we finally hit the summit in just under 4 hours. It was windy on the peak so my wife and the dogs took cover from the wind. It was Kim‘s 5th summit, Aspen‘s 4 summit, and Dozer‘s first summit. I was so proud of him, he is only 11 months old and carried his own pack with all the dog food, water, and snacks.
With most of us still up there, we decided to take a group picture and pay tribute to TalusMonkey.
Shortly after the picture, everyone began to head back down. The snow held up for the most part on the descent but it was getting slick. My wife's legs were rubber for the most part and we took it slow on the way down. Just above tree line Aspen spooked up a couple of nesting Ptarmigan's, so that is where we decided to take a break and grab a bite. I drank that beer at that point, it tasted so good. Once we were nurished, we continued on down.
I decided to take a short cut according to my GPS, but once we made that trek, we couldnt find the trail that we took up. This was because the snow was frozen on the way up and now it was the way Aubrey described it in his trip report....7-11 slurpee. I put my snow shoes one for a little while, just to get some use out of them.
Once everyone made it down, we decided on some post-hike grub at the Breckenridge Brewery. It gave us time to get to know others and have some good food. I had the "Quandary Burger".
It was such a good time that I plan to do this once a month through October, next one is probably going to be on June 23rd. If others in the group want me to post some of the pictures or want some of mine, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Again,I want to thank everyone that came, it was a great time.