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W ridge Quandary Jan 16th or 17th

Need a climbing partner? Trying to form a hiking group for an outing?
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W ridge Quandary Jan 16th or 17th

Postby tockelstein2005 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:08 pm

Anyone interested? I'll be in Breck from the 13th-17th for a couple days of skiing if it ever freakin snows :x

Yea, sure I'm from Illinois...and I only have four 14ers to my name but I need more and can't pass on a chance at a challenging climb made even better by winter conditions while I'm in town.
Mountains are not fair or unfair - they are just dangerous. -Reinhold Messner
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZZj2E3frQY

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Re: W ridge Quandary Jan 16th or 17th

Postby Mike Cormier » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:14 pm

I would think long and hard about attempting this route in the winter, if I were you. This route is a big step up from your current level of experience. I did this route at the end of September after it had snowed and wondered a couple of times if I'd bitten off more than I could chew. It's very easy to get yourself into some Class 4 material, with significant negative consequences (even on the Class 3 stuff). I descended the standard route. I recommend that you set your sights a little lower. Discretion is the better part of valor.....

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Re: W ridge Quandary Jan 16th or 17th

Postby tockelstein2005 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:42 pm

Thanks for the consideration...Not wanting to sound like a show-off, I did not mention that I have some class five experience in Yosemite including cathedral peak and half dome's snake dike route. From what I have seen, however, not a lot (if any) rope use is employed on the west ridge of quandary. That being said, I posted here in the hopes of finding someone who does have more experience, including winter climbing as I do see this as a serious undertaking especially under winter conditions. I will keep your comments in mind and thanks again for your concern.
Mountains are not fair or unfair - they are just dangerous. -Reinhold Messner
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZZj2E3frQY

Re: W ridge Quandary Jan 16th or 17th

Postby jswiftcervelo » Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:28 pm

*My transport situation is still up in the air - car repairs - Are you going through Denver?

I have wanted to do this* ridge before so I'd definitely be interested (my winter 14er list in small because I like 13ers). I've got the gear and experience. Just questionable on transport.
Winter only :) Cycling only March-late October... Mountaineering = awesome cross-training

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Re: W ridge Quandary Jan 16th or 17th

Postby tockelstein2005 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:26 am

I'm flying into Denver on the 13th and staying in breckenridge 13-18. I'm anticipating a short drive from there to the TH so don't think I'll be of much help with transportation...hope you can get your ride fixed by then. Let me know how it goes, would love to meet some climbers and have some company.
Mountains are not fair or unfair - they are just dangerous. -Reinhold Messner
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZZj2E3frQY

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Re: W ridge Quandary Jan 16th or 17th

Postby boudreaux » Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:16 am

I might be interested as well, been on the ridge before, but only in the late spring when it was completely thawed, only the upper portion will give you some fits, but should be a doozy with snow and ice! So far it's been a dry fall up there!
Ragin Cajun

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Re: W ridge Quandary Jan 16th or 17th

Postby tockelstein2005 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:17 pm

Sweet...Yea, if it starts dumping I would likely pass on the ridge and just go for the standard. When the dates get closer we can start to PM to nail down the plans...
Mountains are not fair or unfair - they are just dangerous. -Reinhold Messner
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZZj2E3frQY

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Re: W ridge Quandary Jan 16th or 17th

Postby boudreaux » Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:52 am

Yep, good idea on the plan B if it gets ugly, I have Jan 15th, 16th and 17th off to play!
Ragin Cajun

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Re: W ridge Quandary Jan 16th or 17th

Postby boudreaux » Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:40 am

Image

West ridge of Quandary on 6/4/12

I think this face will be scoured of most of the snow? Anyone have a recent picture of the north face of Quandary?
Ragin Cajun

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Re: W ridge Quandary Jan 16th or 17th

Postby highpilgrim » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:05 pm

tockelstein2005 wrote:Sweet...Yea, if it starts dumping I would likely pass on the ridge and just go for the standard. When the dates get closer we can start to PM to nail down the plans...


It probably won't have to start dumping. In the last 400 yards to the summit there are exposed notches with insets facing north. The hardest moves are in these shaded areas and any snow and ice that has built up will likely be concentrated in these areas.

One last point that you may already know: there is no easy retreat from there if you run into something you're uncomfortable with except back the way you came. There is very loose and cliffy terrain in the immediate area and more than a few people have gotten in trouble by trying to descend that way. The local SAR folks are very intimate with that area...

Have fun.
Call on God, but row away from the rocks.
Hunter S Thompson

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Re: W ridge Quandary Jan 16th or 17th

Postby I Man » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:09 pm

highpilgrim wrote:
tockelstein2005 wrote:Sweet...Yea, if it starts dumping I would likely pass on the ridge and just go for the standard. When the dates get closer we can start to PM to nail down the plans...


It probably won't have to start dumping. The last 400 yards to the summit are exposed notches with insets facing north. The hardest moves are in these shaded areas and any snow and ice that has built up will likely be concentrated in these areas.

One last point that you may already know: there is no easy retreat from there if you run into something you're uncomfortable with except back the way you came. There is very loose and cliffy terrain in the immediate area and more than a few people have gotten in trouble by trying to descend that way. The local SAR folks are very intimate with that area...

Have fun.


AndYouSeeMe and I climbed the West Ridge in late December last year, in a low snow year that everyone said was "fake." I am sure that Aaron will agree, despite what people like to downplay as "winter" these days, given the temperatures, winds, lack of daylight and a ton of snow being held on the cruxes of the final ridge, this route is no joke this time of year. It is certainly one of the hardest routes listed as 3rd Class that I have done.

Also keep in mind that you will be in boots and lots of clothing and possibly gloves or even crampons...
You can touch the void, just don't fall into it.

"I fly a starship across the universe divide....and when I reach the other side...I'll find a place to rest my spirit if I can. Perhaps I may become a Mountain Man again.

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Re: W ridge Quandary Jan 16th or 17th

Postby jblyth » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:37 pm

highpilgrim wrote: One last point that you may already know: there is no easy retreat from there if you run into something you're uncomfortable with except back the way you came. There is very loose and cliffy terrain in the immediate area and more than a few people have gotten in trouble by trying to descend that way. The local SAR folks are very intimate with that area...


Good point. We did Fletcher last year in early winter with lower snow levels (shares a saddle with Q's West Ridge) and saw some folks who had to spend a cold night up high after trying to descend a different route and getting cliffed out. A helicopter came to get them the next morning......

Also keep in mind that the trail to saddle takes you up several avy prone slopes; watch the snowpack closely, January isn't the most ideal time to climb this. Depending on how far the road to Blue Lakes TH is plowed, it can also make for a longer day depending on where you park/which route you descend/if you have a car shuttle setup.

Not trying to discourage you, just my two pence. Have fun, be safe.

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