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 Peak(s):  Quandary Peak  -  14,265 feet
 Post Date:  01/25/2009
 Date Climbed:   01/16/2009
 Posted By:  doubleA

 Quandry- east face ski descent   

On January 16th we decided to ski Quandry Peak. My ski partner had prior obligations later that day, so decided our turnaround time would be around 12pm. We started skinning around 8am.
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You couldn't drive to the TH, so we started skinning from the road
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For the most part the trail was in good shape for skinning, but there were areas of postholing that we had to move off the main trail and make a new one
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Making progress
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Above treeline skinning sastrugi
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Southwest view
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Almost to the upper bowl
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The upper bowl, and our ski line. We skied the northeast ridge- connecting the snow between rocks, down into the gully in the middle of the picture
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A nice view down to the lake below
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We took our skins off once we crested the ridge leading to the upper bowl. You can see behind Kevin that the trail was mostly rock in that area. We decided it was in our (and our skins/skis) best interest to boot up the rest.
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A side view of our line.
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A view up towards the summit. Booting up pretty much sucked. We were battling postholing with bulletproof sastrugi. It was getting late, and we never skied this line before, so we wanted to give the proper time to ski it safely- we went up a little bit higher then started traversing to the northeast ridge to put on our skis and begin the descent.
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We had to downclimb a little bit to get this picture. We skied to the left and stayed close to the rocks. I knew the slope was steep enough to slide, but the snow felt very solid and we stayed in very shallow areas- we hit rocks from time to time. I measured the slope at 30 degrees. The top was mostly hardpacked sastrugi, but as we skied lower down the bowl softened up. Once we reached the gully in the middle of the bowl, the snow softened to a breakable crust and was fun to ski.
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My tracks
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Kevin skiing down the gully
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The gully and our tracks
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Looking back up the whole upper bowl descent
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More fun turns as we neared the lower bowl. We stayed close to the trail the whole way back since we were new to the east face.
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Last turns of the day before hitting the trail out. One thing we learned was the trail is very straightforward and well traveled. We could have easily started our skin by headlamp and had plenty of time to summit. Next, we brought too much gear, but we wanted to have the rope in case we wanted to downclimb into some stuff off the top to check conditions. Next time we will travel lighter and leave earlier so we can ski from the summit.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (2)
tink


Bluebird     2009-03-25 11:34:30
Nice TR. Looks like the weather was fantastic!


doubleA

Great weather     2009-01-25 13:19:33
Yes, that‘s one thing I forgot to mention. There was almost no wind. It made for a great day.



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