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Peak(s):  Quandary Peak  -  14,265 feet
Post Date:  12/21/2009
Date Climbed:   12/19/2009
Posted By:  JohnWilliams

 Boardin` Teeners   

Quandary Peak East Slope.
Scott Aloi, John Williams


The night was…. moist. Scott and I woke to our alarms at around 5:45. We had all day so an alpine start was not in the books. After gathering our gear and dropping kids off at the pool, we headed out westward.

At the TH we straped on our boards and our magic shoes and were walking by 7:30am. This was our first time on Quandary and we were grateful for the trailblazers before use. Since we were boarding down, we opted to leave our snowshoes behind. This would prove to be very wise by my standards.
Scotty likes beans, dont you Scotty?

As we ascended we were assessing possible decent paths suitable for our skill level. We had mostly decided that down the trail, at least in the trees, was our best option.
Around tree line I made an adjustment with my board/pack configuration. The board had stabbed into my legs while post holing. After a brief stop we were on our way again.
At about 13,000 Ft we got our first good glimpse at the upper basin and summit ridge. The lack of snow made the decision to drop our pack an easy one to make.
We geared up for the final push and were on our way at 10:30
My lazy pace all day was slowed even more by the beautiful scenery and massive "snownados".
Scott and I reached the summit around 12:00 to find a persistent West wind in the 30 mph range. Hunkering down in a summit shelter, we took a few pictures and decided enough was enough.
Scott and I took a look at Quandary's West ridge. It looked stable from what we could see.
So after some plunge stepping and speed walking we where back at our stash. All that remained was a nice board decent. I changed into my rental boots, packed my Sportivas and strapped into my brothers board. Scott strapped in and watched as I struggled to stand up. I had boarded once last year but had not gone for 5 years before that. I promise you I was rusty at best.
Our arrangement was to play it safe. No steep terrain and stay near the ridgeline. We were able to accomplish these goals and found decent snow in our path.
We traded off going first and filmed each other going down.
The lower we got the wetter the snow. At one point we had to un-strap and traverse back towards the trail.
The rest of the way down we cut and carve through the trees staying as close to the trail as possible. Scott handled the trees with class and style. At least what I could see from lying on my face. We reached the car at 3:30 which made for an eight hour round trip. It was my first backcountry boarding adventure and I was sold. Our lazy day on Quandary was unforgettable. We had knocked down another "teener" and had an awesome time as usual.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

???     12/21/2009 20:01
Beacons, Probes, Shovels???


???     05/09/2011 17:48
nothing we hit was over 20 degrees.


Thanks fellas...     12/22/2009 01:44
for the conditions update. Nice job on hitting Quandary with some extra flavor thrown in. I wouldn‘t pay much attention to the Monday morning QB, it‘s clear from your peak/route selection that you were thinking about the right things...I would recommend a splitboard though if you‘ve got ambitions for more 14er riding . Thanks for the TR.


Nice writeup     12/22/2009 04:24
That was me that took your summit picture. Nice meeting you guys. Couldn‘t have asked for much better conditions.

Ridge runner

congrats     02/01/2011 00:24
Nice job to both of you guys for still getting out despite our original plans falling through. Other than the wind, it sounds like you had a perfect day up there and a fun trip down! Hopefully we‘ll be able to make the trip to the San Juans!


thanks     12/27/2009 12:49
I keep wanting to get out on my board away from the resort. I need to give this a try.

Easy Rider

Sportivas     01/02/2010 21:54
no luck using the Sportivas for riding? I have heard that Rocky Mountain Resole in Salida will mount a crampon compatable sole and rand to snowboard boots.

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