| Quandary Peak - Standard Route (East Ridge)
Quandary Peak – September 19, 2008 – unclegar – 1st attempt at a trip report
Well, I got a late start to say the least. So when I drove through Frisco, I picked up a 6" turkey sub from Subway and packed it neatly in my pack next to my hydration reservoir to keep it cool. Next, to find the trailhead, I used Bill's guide (thanks Bill!) which stated that the TH was about 8 mi. out of Breckenridge going S on CO9. The only addition I would include is that you are starting up the switchbacks toward Hoosier Pass before you turn onto Blue Lakes 850 Road. I passed an area that had a sign with the name McCullough on it and initially thought that Blue Lakes 850 Rd might be in that area. When I started up the switchbacks toward Hoosier Pass, I thought maybe I had missed the road so I turned around. After looking around, I decided this was not the place, but I did stop to take a nice picture of the goal of the day.
When I arrived at the TH, the parking lot was full as I expected, so I parked above the lot along the road just across from the trail sign.
Knowing that an early start was a good idea, I hit the trail at 11:45 (that way I could still say I started in the morning). The trail started out steep but soon turned into a very nice walk through the woods. There was a dusting of snow in places but the trail was great!
I crossed several mining roads but there were trail signs on each side to keep me on the straight and narrow. When getting close to tree line, the infamous DeCaLiBron group was cloaked by this beautiful view. I assume this is Blue Lake at the bottom.
The pitch increased and the dirt path gave way to rock.
Soon the terrain looked more like this:
and I could tell I was gaining some altitude. About this time I received a cell phone call from my daughter asking if I could help with a plumbing project. I must have been huffing pretty hard, because she said, "Are you o.k.?" So I let her know that I couldn't make it since I was above 12000 ft. Now there's an excuse that works! As I was morphing into a hiker beginning to lag, I noticed an abundance of another type of lagomorph in this area.
I started encountering a little more snow on the trail but still well within my comfort zone with just hiking boots.
The trail leveled somewhat for a welcomed break from the uphill climb. I'm assuming this is the "false summit".
Then the pitch changed for the worse along with the weather as DeCaLiBron was in full view
and I sensed this was leading to the real summit. I started getting pelted with corn snow so my new GoLite jacket came to the rescue.
Then as quickly as the storm came - it went, leaving blue skies behind for a wonderful finish to the summit
and great view at the top.
After meeting some great people and enjoying my turkey sandwich, the weather boomeranged back at us and I decided to hoof it to the bottom.
Along the way I met another hiker who was also hoofing it. He stopped for a photo
and then he was on his way again.
Once back to the trees, I stopped to take in this fall scene
and then it was off to the races again. I arrived back at the car just after 4PM. Overall a quick and fun hike!
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):