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 Peak(s):  Quandary Peak  -  14,265 feet
 Post Date:  03/07/2009
 Date Climbed:   02/28/2009
 Posted By:  travis_sand

 Quandary East Ridge - Ski Descent Lower East Slope   

This report details my first winter hike of a 14er and snowboard descent. I accomplished this hike with my roommate. I am a snowboarder and he is a skier.

We started the hike at 8:10am on Saturday the 28th of February, 2009. It was about 0 degrees at the start of the hike, but quickly warmed up with no clouds and almost no wind.
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We then stopped for a quick pic at the trailhead sign. This is a picture of me at the trailhead sign. I signed my initials on the sign in the frost.
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We then started the tree portion of the hike. If you noticed, I did not have snow shoes as they were forgetten by a friend so I had just boots. I only post holed a few times along the way to the summit. Here is another quick picture in the trees.
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The trees then started to thin out at about 11,700 ft. This is a picture of my skiing roommate.
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The trail becomes steeper at the edge of the tree line as you head up the left side of the East Ridge.
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The trail then flattens out for a bit near the 13,000 foot level before heading back up again. We dropped our gear here as we did not have avalanche gear for the summit and the extra weight of the packs and snowboard on my back was tiring me as this was the first time I had hiked with this much weight. Here is a picture looking back down the slope at the flat section.
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Here is a picture looking up at the final mile of the route.
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Another picture looking up at some skiers skinning up the slope during the last 1,000 vertical feet of the climb. Notice once again the goregous skies and no clouds. The temperature was about 15-20 degrees at this point, give or take, haha.
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We finally reached the summit after about 4 hours and 45 minutes (1:00pm) This was a little slow, but it did not matter as the weather was amazing and we were in no hurry. At the summit we encountured 30 mph winds and quickly retreated down a few hundred feet where there was almost no wind again.
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We then quickly made our way down to the flat ridge and picked up our gear. We skied and snowboarded the lower east slope from 13,000 ft. all the way down.
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Here are a few pics of the lines down the lower east slope. Once again, weather was great and the fresh snow made for amazing riding.
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We skied and rode down the entire route back to the car. This included flying through the trees at a good speed which was tons of fun. Some very tight turns and careful observations were needed to accomplish this without endangering the one or two other people in the trees.

We made it down to the truck in 1 hour and 45 minutes, while stopping for some good photo ops.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


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