|Peak:||Quandary Peak (14er)|
|Date of Info:||06/11/2011|
Early ascent and best attempts to hike without snowshoes- and courteous to follow previous lines...
The hike up the East Ridge presents with 3 snowfields of varying difficulty. The earlier you start, the better. The first snowfield after breaking through treeline was the only difficulty pushing to the summit. As you continue to gain altitude, you should be fine as long and you are ahead of the sun's melting effects. Snowshoes would be helpful, but not 100% necessary.
Returning to the trailhead from the summit is just a bit different. As the sun heats the snow, you will end up post holing through the snowfield after the summit ridge without snowshoes (and even with if it's later in the day.) The further down you get, the worse the conditions will be.
Be prepared for soft snow if you get a late start and even if you summit early, bring snowshoes or an ice axe for a glissade.