Peak:  Quandary Peak (14er)
 Route:  East Ridge
 Range:  Tenmile
 Posted By:  a94buff
 Date of Info:  05/22/2011
 Date Posted:  05/22/2011

Heavy winds and deep deep snow along East Ridge route yesterday. 12-15" of heavy new snow up there above treeline, especially loaded in on that last big pitch before the summit. Visibility was extremely poor. Snowshoes, skis or other foot accessories definitely needed above treeline; we kept snowshoes on the whole time. TR forthcoming

 Comments or Questions

Thinking about heading up...
05/31/2011 13:26
My brother and I were thinking about heading up Quandary this week - I was looking forward to your trip report. What else can you tell me about any avalanche danger? Conditions? Any exposed rock at all or solid snow? I'm headed up from Texas - do you know anything about expected weather this coming weekend? Thanks for the help!


sorry about slacking on the TR
05/31/2011 13:37
I was thinking about that this weekend; sorry I didn't get that up this week - we had a big 2.0 deployment at work last Monday and it kind of ate up my whole week. I'll try to get it up this week. Short answer to your specific questions; you have no real avvy risk on the standard (East Ridge) Route even in inclement conditions as long as you stick to the ridge and don't get all the way out on the occasional cornices that can build up immediately south of the ridge. Can't speak to the Couloirs but have seen some forum posts about Cristo; be sure to look at those if you're considering that route. Weather supposed to be very warm all week, cooling slightly by the weekend. Here's a point forecast for 13.6 right on the ridge I don't know what the melting was like this week; hopefully some folks who were up there this past weekend can shed light on that. Its possible you'll be able to slog up a ways w/o snowshoes but you might want some further up - there was just an insane amount of snow up there on the 21st but then again it's gonna melt a lot this week - might be able to get by with just microspikes and a little postholing. Hard to say.


05/31/2011 13:38
that forecast doesn't look like it'll do much refreezing overnight - expect soft heavy snow. You're going to get wet. Be sure to watch the wind forecast and plan accordingly. You'll stay warm when moving but when you stop for anytime at all you're going to cool off FAST.


06/01/2011 15:30
Thanks a ton for the response - that helps a bunch. We're definitely not venturing the couloirs - we'll stick to the ridge. We're carrying both microspikes and snow shoes. Do you recommend an ice axe for anything? Are the cornices obvious fins? Thick or thin? I know to look for cracks and don't get too close... This is our first spring/snowy 14er. Thanks again!


ice ax
06/01/2011 15:47
It's wise to bring an ice axe if you're planning on doing any glissading. Many a person on a big mountain has been injured/killed by being unable to slow down or stop when sliding down a hill - Quandary isn't necessarily as dodgy as some in that regard but there's still obstacles, and if you get far enough north, some cliffs. And let's face it, even a fairly innocuous bump on the head can turn into big trouble fast at 13K+ feet.

Re: cornices - they'll be fairly obvious if they're there. Once you get above the trees you'll just be following the ridge all the way to the top. To your left will be a fairly obvious rock band pretty much the whole way. As long as you're always on or to the right of those rocks you're fine. It'll be pretty obvious to you when you're up there since it looks like you'll have good visibility. Things were so poor when we were up there that it would have been possible to sort of wander out past the rock band onto a cornice, thinking you were still headed up the ridge, since you couldn't see more than 20-30 feet ahead. You guys should be fine - when visibility is good on that route, it's quite clear where to walk and where not to. I'm still gonna try to get the TR up this week btw; though I'm not sure how useful the actual images will be for you guys!


06/01/2011 15:50
also, if you click that weather link I gave you - then, below the google map on that page, click 'hourly forecast' - you'll get wind, precip, sky cover, etc by the hour - pretty helpful, though as with anything up there, it can always change so be reasonably ready for a variety of situations. Also you can go back out to that google map, zoom in and change the location if you want - I have that link set for 13,6K feet.


06/01/2011 17:01

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