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 Peak(s):  Quandary Peak  -  14,265 feet
 Post Date:  01/09/2011
 Date Climbed:   12/27/2010
 Posted By:  stevevets689

 My First Ski Descent   

Peak: Quandary
Route: East Ridge
Participants: stevevets689, BillMiddlebrook


I know lots of East Ridge climbing and skiing reports are already up on the site but seeing as this was my first 14er descent (and first time climbing/skiing with Bill), I felt the need to put this up.

Despite a jam-packed winter break including tons of family time and a trip to Toronto, I wanted to fit some kind of high elevation adventure into the mix. Thanks to Facebook, I arranged to meet with Bill for my first ski descent of a 14er on good 'ol Quandary. This being Bill's fortieth or fiftieth time climbing Quandary with numerous ski descents of the East Ridge, I figured I was with just about the very best person to be with for this particular venture.

We met up at the trailhead at about 7:20am and got moving up the trail. There is already a fantastic skin track up the East Ridge, making the going very easy. The weather was good to start with, but of course as we got above the trees the wind opened up and we both moved to protect our skins from the -30 degree wind chill.

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Bill skinning up the trail


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The trail was very well packed


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Me skinning past treeline


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Bill skinning up the lower part of the ridge


Farther up the ridge, the cloud cover that we had been skinning through subsided and we were greeted with a sunny day on Quandary with very little wind. We kept up a steady pace, skinning all the way to the summit minus taking our skis off near 13,100 feet due to some rocks on the ridge. We planned out our descent on the way up, looking for the safest and most continuous line down.

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Conditions high on the ridge


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Bill skinning the upper portion of the ridge


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Myself skinning the upper portion of the ridge


The summit was a bit windy but we were able to take shelter behind some rocks for a while, and then we un-skinned and got ready for the descent. I led the way off the summit, and then Bill took over route-finding for much of the descent. We had a mild breakable crust high on the ridge but by the time we were back in the trees we were skiing perfect powder out to the road. Awesome snow for December!

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Looking North from the summit


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Looking West from the summit


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Myself on the summit, about to begin the descent


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Off I go!


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Me skiing the upper part of the East Face


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Bill skiing the face. I didn't get a lot of pictures of him but took some video, which I will upload as soon as I can find some editing software


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Hiking back up to ski the lower face


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Conditions on the upper East Face on Dec 27th. Pretty wide coverage!


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Bill skiing the lower East Face


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Very happy after skiing powder through the trees


Bill, thank you very much for accompanying me on my first 14er descent, it was a blast!



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (4)
BillMiddlebrook


Congrats again, Stephen!     2011-01-09 17:25:01
It was a great day and surprisingly good powder in the trees made it a fine December descent. Let me know when you'd like to get another one!


Gueza


Nice one!     2012-03-04 11:31:45
Photo number 7 is awesome, a lot more snow than I would have expected. Good job on your first 14er descent, hopefully not your last.


coloradokevin


Looks like a nice day     2011-01-13 03:30:44
I've been wanting to try a ski descent of Quandary, but haven't been up there with the AT equipment yet. It sure looks like you guys had a good run at it, with more snow coverage than I would have expected.

I really like the 5th picture you posted. The clouds really make the shot for me!


RSnyder

Awesome!     2011-01-13 04:28:04
Great job on your first ski descent. It is also going to be my first ski descent in a couple of weeks. Your pics definately have me looking foward to it.



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