|Peak:||Quandary Peak (14er)|
|Date of Info:||02/12/2013|
Hiked Quandary Peak‘s East Ridge today. I had planned on hiking with seth0687 but I ran off the road (ice) on Hoosier Pass on the way there so I got a late start (he went on without me).
seth0687 did a lot of trail breaking that I benefited from (thanks!). There was 1 other person on the trail today, but they turned back at about 14k feet due to cold and wind. There should be a well defined trail pretty much the entire way. The one exception would be on the ridge where the wind quickly obscures trails, but the ridge is very easy to follow even without any kind of trial. Just stay on it, and don‘t stray close to the northern or southern faces, and you‘ll be fine.
Wind this morning was forecasted at ~20mph, but seth0687 and I experienced winds on the ridge, especially the last 1000 vertical feet or so, upwards of 40-50mph, and it was extremely cold (the water in my nalgene bottles froze about an inch thick around the edges, and the entire neck portion froze and had to be knocked loose with a rock). However, we both toughed it out and made the summit.
Aside from the wind and the cold it brought with it, which was pretty horrible in our opinions, it was a beautiful day to be on the trail. I don‘t have the details on seth0687‘s times but it took me about 4h10m to summit, and 1h45m to descend. 6.6mi RT. Those last 1000 or so vertical feet with the wind was a lot of moving a short distance, hunkering down until the wind died down a bit, then moving until it got unbearable again.
There were a few spots where snow shoes could have been helpful, but they were so short that it would have been a massive hassle to break them out, then take them off. I used microspikes the whole way with no problems.
If you have to break trail on this route, there are a few spots that could be confusing, but if you keep your eyes open as you choose routes you should be able to find the right route pretty quickly after diverting from it, if you make an error. seth0687 might have more to say on that.
In the attached image the green route is the 14ers.com GPX, and the blue route is from my GPS.
Photos (click for slideshow):