| Quandary on a Beautiful Day
Today I took my pups up Quandary Peak. I was considering trying Yale instead, but as I've never been up Yale and I wanted a sure summit I decided Quandary would be a better day trip.
We set off from the house near Colorado Springs about 6am, arrived at 8am, summitted at 10:40, was back at the car by 12:30. Not bad.
Trail was very well-traveled and by following the trail that has been established you avoid the deep snow. I ventured off a few times(not necessarily on purpose each time) and snow averaged 10-12", but some places had 18-24". Snowshoes unnecessary unless venturing off-trail. Trail is snow-packed and icey, a traction aid definitely recommended though it would be possible without. I just had yaktraks and did just fine, but with me being such a clutz would've probably cracked my skull without them. Trail follows the summer route until the bridge just below treeline - then it starts straight up the slope - and meets up with the regular trail later on. The trail is easy to follow the entire route.
The road to the trailhead is packed snow, but my crappy Honda Civic had no trouble getting up and I drove cautiously down with no problems either. Hit mud and spun tires at the stop-sign trying to get back on the 9, but car also got out of that fine. Easy.
Today was a gorgeous sunny day and -shockingly- there was nearly no wind. An occasional breeze, but never enough to kick up snow. With the exercise and sun beating down on me I unzipped my jacket, rolled up my sleeves and took off my gloves from tree-line to summit and back. It was HOT.
Now some random pictures...
My brother called this the "Angry Beavers Tree" when I took him up, so I always laugh when I think of it.
Plenty of bare patches too, but to stay on the trail involved ice and packed snow. A little higher on the ridge there was two trails that had clearly been taken, one to the left of the main rocks and one slightly to the right of the rocks. I'd definitely recommend staying on the more right path(if you notice it beforehand). The more left path has much more likelihood of stepping in soft snow and has deep holes from where previous people had stepped, in addition to being closer to the edge if you're clumsy.
Saw a couple of mountain goats as well. One was frightened by the sight of us, the other didn't care at all. My dogs never harass the wildlife and never saw the goats.
My two beasts at the summit. I generally let them be off leash, but they stay very close, listen well, don't harass wildlife, have an excellent recall, and I ALWAYS clean up after them(even if it leaves my pack smelling like poop-bags for a couple days). They are respectful hikers.
A blurry pic from the car.
One other thing I was pretty happy about, I was the ONLY person on the mountain today! I was the first car there and no one else was there when we returned to the car. I really like having the mountain to myself, not feel rushed or have any view obstructed. I'm not antisocial, just greedy ;)
Hopefully you liked my pretty informal trip report and it's helpful to anyone planning on going up within the next few days.