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Map Question - Quandary and Bierstadt

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Map Question - Quandary and Bierstadt

Postby Leigh » Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:02 am

I'll be making my annual road trip out West on Labor Day and have finally allowed time in my trip for some 14'ers. I plan to hike Mt Bierstadt and Quandary Peak in the first week of September. I have two questions.

- I know map and compass is part of the 10 essentials which I will carry. I'm wondering what kind of map is recommended for these two peaks (standard routes) which I understand are relatively straightforward. I own the Colorado Gazetteer as well as the Roach book on 14'ers. Will these maps be sufficient, or should I go ahead and invest in the Trails Illustrated Topo Maps for these areas? (I do not have a GPS) Or is there another map option that I'm missing?

- Should the weather be uncooperative for a summit hike, are there any other day-hikes in the Breckenridge area that you would recommend as a Plan B? Below tree-line hikes, I assume. I would be interested in lakes or mining artifacts. 10 miles or less.

Thanks!

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Re: Map Question - Quandary and Bierstadt

Postby Jim Davies » Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:10 am

For both of these, you probably won't need any maps at all. You can print out Bill's route maps and carry them if you wish, but they're both pretty intuitive (in fact, on Bierstadt you can see your car the whole way up and down, and Quandary is just a long ramp with a good trail on the lower parts).

As a foul-weather dayhike, I like Mohawk Lakes, just south of Breckenridge. It should fit your requirements to a tee.
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Re: Map Question - Quandary and Bierstadt

Postby Adventure Seeker » Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:34 am

Both mountains have very straight forward routes and will most likely have plenty of people on them. I would just print the topo maps from this site. You can also download the 14ers app to your smartphone and still get route descriptions, etc even if your phone is showing that you do not have service. If anything, having the app is a good backup.

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Re: Map Question - Quandary and Bierstadt

Postby dave_navy_VA » Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:43 am

Mayflower Gulch is another nice one. You can log a couple of miles before you break out of the trees, good scenery and even mining ruins, too.

The town of Breckenridge has a good trail map that it prints jointly with Summit County. You can get one at the welcome center. You certainly won't need them but for planning and just to orient myself I like the National Geographic Trails Illustrated maps. They won't have all the trails you see on the Breck map. But they are durable and give you decent detail; most if not all are 1:40,680. The Trails Illustrated #108 and #109 should work pretty well. You can find some of the maps on our supporting site REI or maybe in the flagship store in Denver. Amazon has some of them; if not the NG site sometimes has deals on 3 or more:

http://www.townofbreckenridge.com/index.aspx?page=520

http://shop.nationalgeographic.com/ngs/category/maps/travel-and-hiking-maps/trails-illustrated-hiking-and-recreation-maps/colorado?navAction=pop

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Re: Map Question - Quandary and Bierstadt

Postby peter303 » Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:56 am

The so-called "classic" routines in Roach are the safest for first ascent. They are generally well worn and have lots of company. I have taken some of the secondary routes in Roach. Sometimes those are not very well marked and have no other people.

There is a chance of running in fog (low clouds) or dense precipitation Then you might not see much of the trail and could end up going the wrong way. Then compass/GPS & map will be useful.
On Quandry there is cairned point where you turn right descend from the ridge down switchbacks into the woods. Most clear days you'll see other people making the turnoff. But is possible to miss the cairn in a fog and continue straight into a cliff area.
Ditto on Bierstadt. On a clear day you see the conga-line of people and dogs on the trail. But there is place on the tundra-gravel below the talus where the trail braids into several strands. In the fog you could start going the wrong way.

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Re: Map Question - Quandary and Bierstadt

Postby canuckcowboy » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:00 am

Jim Davies wrote:
As a foul-weather dayhike, I like Mohawk Lakes, just south of Breckenridge. It should fit your requirements to a tee.


+1 on Mohawk. I try to do that hike every couple years.
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Re: Map Question - Quandary and Bierstadt

Postby Leigh » Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:42 pm

Thanks, I was hoping that was the case with the maps, but didn't want to be the tourist from Illinois roaming around a 14'er unprepared. And today's news about a hiker lost on Bierstadt makes me a little nervous, but it sounds like he was on a different route.

Mayflower Gulch is another nice one. You can log a couple of miles before you break out of the trees, good scenery and even mining ruins, too.


I think I did this hike in 2010 -is it off Fremont Pass south of Copper Mountain and look like this?
Image

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Re: Map Question - Quandary and Bierstadt

Postby SikYou » Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:39 pm

I always carry and recommend carrying a topo and compass; the TI maps are great IMO. As everyone says, the routes are obvious but the map is for the what ifs. What if you get off route, what if you get stuck in a storm and need an escape route, what if....

The TI maps cost about $12 each and don't add a lot of extra weight to your pack; I hope I never need to use the maps in a bad situation but it's nice to know that I have them. Also, TI maps are great for general recreation so you would have no problem locating a good place for that rainy day hike.
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Re: Map Question - Quandary and Bierstadt

Postby Exiled Michigander » Wed Jul 18, 2012 3:35 pm

SikYou wrote:

I always carry and recommend carrying a topo and compass


+1, but also knowing how to use them!

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Re: Map Question - Quandary and Bierstadt

Postby Derek » Wed Jul 18, 2012 3:55 pm

Leigh wrote:
Mayflower Gulch is another nice one. You can log a couple of miles before you break out of the trees, good scenery and even mining ruins, too.


I think I did this hike in 2010 -is it off Fremont Pass south of Copper Mountain and look like this?
Image


Yes. Looks like Boston Mine with the ridge between Atlantic and Fletcher in the background. The road to it is 6 miles south of Copper Mountain.

Re: maps, always good practice to keep one on you. However you'll likely never pull it out for those two mountains, unless its for fun and curiosity.

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Re: Map Question - Quandary and Bierstadt

Postby dave_navy_VA » Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:22 pm

SikYou wrote:I always carry and recommend carrying a topo and compass; the TI maps are great IMO. As everyone says, the routes are obvious but the map is for the what ifs. What if you get off route, what if you get stuck in a storm and need an escape route, what if....

The TI maps cost about $12 each and don't add a lot of extra weight to your pack; I hope I never need to use the maps in a bad situation but it's nice to know that I have them. Also, TI maps are great for general recreation so you would have no problem locating a good place for that rainy day hike.


Yeah Sik, they are good to have. Whenever I wish I was outside instead of inside I have a couple of TIs with me at work. Planning for the next time. :mrgreen:

BTW for Leigh I checked and the Mayflower Gulch trail is clearly marked on TI #109, as are a lot of the other non-14ers trails. And concur with you & Derek, looks like your pic is the MG area. The Quandary standard is on #109 too - on the reverse side. No you may not need TIs but I have always been a map addict, an incurable affliction.

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Re: Map Question - Quandary and Bierstadt

Postby jsdratm » Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:15 pm

The TI maps are always good to have. I've built up quite a collection (about 20 maps) and always take the appropriate one with me when I'm hiking. They are waterproof and show most of the trails and road types. It is invaluable when I want to figure out a route or learn more about the area around me.

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