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Quandary for beginners at night

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Quandary for beginners at night

Postby bmiller[14er] » Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:35 pm

My family and I are planning to attempt Quandary next week. This websight & forum has been amazingly helpful, but there are a few specifics I'm still uncertain about.

1) I know we want to start early enough to be off the peak before noon; my family is actually excited about seeing the stars above the treeline before daybreak. This would mean we have to start in the dark. Is the Quandary East Ridge trail such that we (noobs) could follow it in the dark (of course with good headlamps)?

2) How much water do we take per person?

3) How much food do we take per person? (calories, etc)

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Re: Quandary for beginners at night

Postby IkeB » Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:44 pm

1 yes with headlamps
2 3 liters per person min
4 snacks around 500 calories min

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Re: Quandary for beginners at night

Postby kaiman » Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:47 pm

bmiller[14er] wrote:My family and I are planning to attempt Quandary next week. This websight & forum has been amazingly helpful, but there are a few specifics I'm still uncertain about.

1) I know we want to start early enough to be off the peak before noon; my family is actually excited about seeing the stars above the treeline before daybreak. This would mean we have to start in the dark. Is the Quandary East Ridge trail such that we (noobs) could follow it in the dark (of course with good headlamps)?

2) How much water do we take per person?

3) How much food do we take per person? (calories, etc)


1) Don't know your speed, but the usual rule of thumb is to start between 4-6 AM to be off the the summit by noon. The trail on Quandary is well used and shouldn't be a problem to navigate in the dark/pre-dawn hours with headlamps. The full moon was last night (July 31st) so that should also help a bit for an early start.

2) 2-3 liters per person is the recommended minimum (I usually fill my 100 ounce Osprey or Camelbak).

3) Food is really up to you. I usually like a combo of bars, nuts, dried or fresh fruit, sesame sticks, etc. Sometimes a semi-hard or hard cheese and vegetables (carrots, celery, etc. are good). Chocolate is good, but can melt sometimes. Dried sausage is also tasty, but heavy. Just remember that you have to carry whatever you take to the summit, so the lighter the better. Maybe 400-600 calories or so.

Anyway, have fun and happy trails!
"I want to keep the mountains clean of racism, religion and politics. In the mountains this should play no role."

- Joe Stettner

"Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste; look well to each step; and from the beginning think what may be the end."

- Edward Whymper

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Re: Quandary for beginners at night

Postby SolarAlex » Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:01 pm

1) bring a headlamp and start at 3am if you want to see stars above treeline. the trail is super easy to follow, especially through the forest.

2) 3 or more liters of water. everyone is different on water needs but its always a good idea to bring more than you need. worst case you can always give it to someone who is less prepared than you

3) i generally use cliff bar gu packs, between 4-6 per hike. then i either eat a whatchamacallit candy bar or a sandwich or something on the summit. id say i probably eat 800-1000 calories on a hike

have fun

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Re: Quandary for beginners at night

Postby dave_navy_VA » Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:01 pm

All I would add is to jam a 4-pack of extra AA or AAA batteries into your pack if you are using compact headlamps and with all the recommended things to take along for the kids clip one of these to the back of their pack or belt for the dark part of the trek. They'll think it's fun, you'll know where they are, they won't bother other hikers, and they can be used for safety as a pedestrian when you're back home. Our REi partner has these for about $7 bucks. The NiteEze products like the SpotLit might work for you but for cool colors you may have to get them direct.
http://web-niteize.com/product/SpotLit.asp

Another good one is eGear, also available thru REI:
http://www.rei.com/product/832741/egear-guardian-led-safety-light-yellow?preferredSku=8327410001&cm_mmc=cse_froogle-_-datafeed-_-product-_-8327410001&mr:trackingCode=1E597C6C-655A-E111-BC1B-001B21631C34&mr:referralID=NA

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Re: Quandary for beginners at night

Postby Adventure Seeker » Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:33 pm

Take more water then you think you would need, but 100 oz should be plenty for an adult on Quandary. I usually carry an extra bottle in my pack if I am hiking with someone inexperienced in case they did not bring enough water for one reason or another.
As far as food, the general rule is 200 -300 calories per hour is what a body can process. Possibly a little more depending on if you are moving slow or stopping more often. Also keep in mind weather and altitude can have effect on your appetite, so make sure you are consistently eating. I also eat a bar or something light within 20 - 30 minutes of my hike. Many times that follows breakfast and a drive to the trailhead, but that is just what works for me.

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Re: Quandary for beginners at night

Postby bmiller[14er] » Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:00 pm

Thanks everyone! This has been amazingly helpful! We've made adjustments to our plans because of the help from this website & each of your forum posts.

We arrived in Breck yesterday, and did a "practice" run today. Got just past the 12,000' mark. Everyone felt pretty good & wanted to summit today. (That wasn't an option for us, but it was great to hear the eagerness from each of my girls.) We learned we'll probably need to go a little slower at the beginning too.

Looking forward to our real attempt on Monday (as long as the weather is good).

Again, Thanks everyone!

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