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Dog on Quandary West Ridge?

Dogs, dogs and even some cats
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Dog on Quandary West Ridge?

Postby WinterKlondike » Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:02 pm

Hey Everyone,
So far i have never hiked a colorado 14er without my faithful companion, star, and I don't intend to start now. . . but I am interested in doing the west ridge on quandary tomorrow. She had done some class 2/3 scrambling. . . she wears a harness that I can use to lift her over things. For those of you who have done the west ridge do you think this is doable with a dog? Should i bring some rope to haul her??
Thanks!!
- It's not the number of breaths you take but rather the moments that take your breath away.

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Re: Dog on Quandary West Ridge?

Postby kushrocks » Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:20 pm

Not sure your dog's level of skill on class 3 terrain but I got my dog up the West Ridge no problem. She is a pretty good climber though. I would definitely recommend a harness just in case. Worst case scenario be prepared to turn back and then at least you know your dog's limits.
" The two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why." - Mark Twain
"Danger in Alpinism is just part of the game. As soon as you eliminate the danger you have just every other sport." Febrizio Zangrilli
“The best climber in the world is the one who is having all the fun.” – Alex Lowe
"To travel, to experience and learn, that is to live" - Sherpa Tensing Norgay (first person to Summit Mt. Everest)
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Re: Dog on Quandary West Ridge?

Postby kansas » Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:27 pm

Doable? Probably.
Smart? No

I've only done the West Ridge in winter so I cannot comment on what the ridge it's like in summer conditions but I found many sections to be surprisingly loose. Even if you manage to get your dog up it, you have to be mindful of others on the route and how little people appreciate having rocks kicked on their heads by people and animals alike.

The other problem is that if you run into a section that you can't get the dog up, you will have to downclimb the ridge to get off the climb because there are no good bail points, can your dog do that? I have climbed with dogs that can, but I've seen more than enough that can't.

Sometimes it's best to leave the dog at home, or climb the standard route. I, for one, would not be happy to see a dog above me on a route like the West Ridge. It's not always about if the dog can do it, you should consider others on the mountain too.
"In the end, of course, it changed almost nothing. But I came to appreciate that mountains make poor receptacles for dreams."
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Re: Dog on Quandary West Ridge?

Postby its_not_a_tuba » Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:41 pm

I would not bring my dog on that route, no. I was up there with a group that had a dog that got very spooked and real unhappy. They turned around. The lower ridge is all class 2 or easy 3, it is the final horizontal stretch that is the kicker. So the problem is that you will climb up to close to 14k feet before you find out if you are in over your dog's head or not. That is a lot of work to end up turning around and going home and situations like that have a tendency to skew one's tolerance for risk.
"Wilderness settles peace on the soul because it needs no help. It is beyond human contrivance." -- E.O. Wilson

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Re: Dog on Quandary West Ridge?

Postby kushrocks » Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:47 pm

Again it really all comes down to your dogs ability and comfort level. I have done 35 plus 14ers with my dog including class 4 routes so I know what she can handle and what she cant. If your dog has a smiliar ability it will be fine on the West Ridge. Kansas brought up a good point though you need to be carefull your dog is not kicking down rocks on you or other people around you.
Last edited by kushrocks on Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
" The two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why." - Mark Twain
"Danger in Alpinism is just part of the game. As soon as you eliminate the danger you have just every other sport." Febrizio Zangrilli
“The best climber in the world is the one who is having all the fun.” – Alex Lowe
"To travel, to experience and learn, that is to live" - Sherpa Tensing Norgay (first person to Summit Mt. Everest)
"Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit" - Edward Abbey
" Don’t be afraid to move out of your comfort zone. Some of your best life experiences and opportunities will transpire only after you dare to loose."

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Re: Dog on Quandary West Ridge?

Postby Matt » Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:51 pm

kansas wrote:Doable? Probably.
Smart? No
<< snip >>
Sometimes it's best to leave the dog at home, or climb the standard route.
I, for one, would not be happy to see a dog above me on a route like the West Ridge.
It's not always about if the dog can do it, you should consider others on the mountain too.


+1 on all counts, especially the last one. The mountain may not care, but the people getting showered with loose rock probably would.
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Re: Dog on Quandary West Ridge?

Postby WinterKlondike » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:24 pm

Thank you all for your comments. i'm hoping to avoid seeing many people by doing the route in the middle of the week. I am not worried about her skill level, I really appreciate the feedback!
- It's not the number of breaths you take but rather the moments that take your breath away.

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Re: Dog on Quandary West Ridge?

Postby cwm191 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:30 pm

Something else to consider is if your dog was injured, would you be able to carry her off the mountain, especially on a 3rd class route? This is one reason alone that I keep my dog at home for anything other than easy hikes (she's an 87lb. German Shepherd).
Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain. - Friedrich Schiller

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Re: Dog on Quandary West Ridge?

Postby WinterKlondike » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:39 pm

cwm191 wrote:Something else to consider is if your dog was injured, would you be able to carry her off the mountain, especially on a 3rd class route? This is one reason alone that I keep my dog at home for anything other than easy hikes (she's an 87lb. German Shepherd).


I have a much better chance of getting her off the mountain than my climbing partner.
- It's not the number of breaths you take but rather the moments that take your breath away.

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Re: Dog on Quandary West Ridge?

Postby crossfitter » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:43 pm

WinterKlondike wrote:
cwm191 wrote:Something else to consider is if your dog was injured, would you be able to carry her off the mountain, especially on a 3rd class route? This is one reason alone that I keep my dog at home for anything other than easy hikes (she's an 87lb. German Shepherd).


I have a much better chance of getting her off the mountain than my climbing partner.


Under most circumstances SAR will not come rescue your dog, but they will come rescue your climbing partner. Food for thought.
- A mountain is not a checkbox to be ticked
- Alpinism and mountaineering are not restricted to 14,000 foot mountains
- Judgment and experience are the two most important pieces of gear you own
- Being honest to yourself and others about your abilities is a characteristic of experienced climbers
- Courage cannot be bought at REI or carried with you in your rucksack


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Re: Dog on Quandary West Ridge?

Postby WinterKlondike » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:50 pm

I know this, of course. Getting a dog off any route would not be easy but I take that chance every time I take her hiking. I know she prefers it to sitting at home.
- It's not the number of breaths you take but rather the moments that take your breath away.

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Re: Dog on Quandary West Ridge?

Postby ATOMEMT » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:53 pm

I was glad my pup wasn't with us on the West ridge. I'm sure some dogs could rally on that route, but I wouldn't want to get turned around up there with a spooked dog. And we ran into some Mtn goats, which usually presents some challenges with dogs. Tough call.

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