Quandary Peak  
Condition Updates  
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-06-18, By: BetsyS
Info: Started at 5, so caught a beautiful sunrise. Afternoon conditions (thunderstorms) looked sketchy, so make sure you are watching OpenSummit and other weather conditions. Eastern ridge gets a lot of sun, so no snow until almost the very top. Snow is stable enough at the peak to walk across without post-holing that early in the day, but with a lot of direct sunlight is probably very soft. Recent trail maintenance is looking great, still a lot of sections with loose rock though. 
Route: South Gully aka Cristo Couloir
Posted On: 2021-06-18, By: Wallowa
Info: Scoped out the Cristo Couloir and the Blue Lakes Basin for skiing. Lines seem pretty melted out, and the amount of snow was surprisingly low for this time in June. I called it and decided lines weren't worth it. 
Route: up W Ridge down N Couloir
Posted On: 2021-06-17, By: slawrence2011
Info: Started W Ridge just after 8 AM, route finding was tough, did not find the trail in the valley, so slogged up and down on side slope to the end of the drainage, where it finally became feasible to gain the ridge. Snowfields mostly avoidable until gaining the ridge. Some deep potholes. There were a couple snow fields on the N side of towers just before the Crux tower that we elected to do class 4 moves around, as it was less sketchy than the buried class 2. When we finally got to the Crux, thought it was less scary and exposed than a couple of those moves, and than the exposed downclimb to get to the Crux. Took 5+ hours, probably mostly due to route finding. Searched for the top of the N Couloir immediately since it was already after 2. The top and bottom 500' melted out, and the top is not even close to visible from the ridge. When you find it, do yourself a favor and go straight to the lower left entrance, as I learned the higher right entrance rocks out after a couple hundred feet. After a super spooky ski boot traverse on rock, connected to the Couloir and had an amazing 1000+ foot descent. Crux was a little tight, so did a couple sidesteps. After walking bottom dry 500', put skis back on for about the same distance in the basin. Great conditions for late June! 
8 1
Route: Inwood Arete
Posted On: 2021-06-13, By: Delprincipe_mike
Info: Trail from McCullough Gulch is dry except for a few patches of mud. There's some unavoidable snow at the base of the 5.7 line, but soft enough to posthole a few steps through to reach the rock. The rest of the route is dry. East ridge has some snow on it still but nothing that needs traction. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-06-07, By: uziman88
Info: Started hiking at TH 0600 and reached the summit at 0830 - summit had amazing views and only had couple other people there. It was a little gusty and so hat and gloves really helped to hang out and enjoy the view for a bit. Left the summit at 0900 and glissaded down in a few slides- and got back to the car at 1030. Poles definitely helped brace with the last 1k climb and gusts on the approach to the summit. I had brought spikes but didn't use them, snow was softened up and enough tracks to follow. The earlier start the better as the snow was pretty mushy on the way down. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-06-05, By: Moco Fit
Info: Started hiking at 0615, was already starting to get full in both "upper" and lower lots (by the time we returned at 1230, lots were packed, but some empty spots from hikers leaving). Nice conditions on trail until 12.5+, and then from 13+ snow all the way up. Peak was busy--about 30 folks on summit. Coming down from 14-13K glissaded on butt in about 4 different "slides." (lots of fun, but watch out, some have rocks as snow is getting thinner). As usual, Snow was firmer in early AM, but by 10am was getting slushier and soft in the warm sun, and more postholing noted (I was able to avoid though). I wore microspikes past 13 (helpful for traction), and used poles. No need for snowshoes, some skiers were skinning their way up. Some bits of the trail clear even past 13K. Watch out for a lot of sun and reflection from the snow (wide hats, sunglasses and sunscreen a must!). 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-06-03, By: zmokrycki
Info: climbed 6/2/21. Started at the TH around 5:45, hit some large patches of snow around 11.5k', around 125k' the rest of the route was covered in snow. snow was solid, but i still chose to use crampons, mainly because i brought them. reached the summit around 9am, and tried to glissade down from this point, but the snow was a little too hard for me to get going. Could likely be done with microspikes, crampons, or just in boots at this point. 
Route: South Gully aka Cristo Couloir
Posted On: 2021-05-31, By: bradyj
Info: Climbed 5/31. Started on the snow about 5am. Solid snow conditions. Started down around 8am. Snow was softening up quite a bit. We were able to glissade down most of the route. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-05-28, By: etutter
Info: Climbed Quandary Peak on Thursday 5/27/21. Started at 6:30am and reached the summit at about 11:30am wearing only mountain boots, but I should point out that I am over 60 and very slow. Saw some climbers using snowshoes to the top, which seemed to work fine. A little crusty at the top so I put on crampons for the upper portion of the decent, although I ended up glissading a considerable distance. Postholed a few times as the snow between 12,000 and 13,000 gets soft after about 11am. My recommendation would be to leave early (5-7am) wearing either mountain or waterproof hiking boots and use crampons or spikes on the final pitch to the summit. I would NOT suggest a late start wearing only hiking boots. The postholing would leave you wet and exhausted. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-05-28, By: TheseThousandHills
Info: Can still ski continuously from summit to tree line if you stay on the ridge and don't mind a narrow catwalk. One person on Cristo Couloir. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-05-27, By: nrobsaihttam
Info: I tried Quandary again after the last attempt a few days ago. This time I left at 7am. It was overcast most of the day so the snow didn't really get too soft until around noon. I packed snowshoes but never ended up really using them. On the way down close to treeline though I was postholing every step. If the conditions were like that on the way up or for longer then I definitely would have needed them. They're probably not necessary as long as you leave early enough, but if not then they are a good idea. I made it to the top in 5 hrs and down in 2 hrs. It was a bit slower than expected because of traveling with a group. There was one group we passed that summited in 2hrs 45 min. We ran into maybe 20 people on the mountain total. Luckily temperature was fine at the top (32 F) and wind was milder than normal. Microspikes and gaiters/waterproof shoes are a must. There was cell reception from treeline and up, so i dropped a pin on the map to help me routefind on the way back down. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-05-24, By: nrobsaihttam
Info: There were a decent handful of people on the mountain. I got a late start around 10am and only made it a bit less than halfway before turning around. Below treeline there was a mix between muddy sections, slush, and snow. Above treeline it was all snow. I was able to walk on some sections but postholed a lot. Microspikes/foot gaiters/water resistant shoes were a must. After getting to a certain point on the ridge the wind really started kicking in bad. Good gloves and hard shell jacket were also a must. If you get am early start maybe you wont need snowshoes, but they would've helped for most of the stuff above treeline. 
7 3
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-05-24, By: fosteram27
Info: Two average hikers with microspikes and poles, started at 0600, summit at 0900, back at car by 1100. Weather was overcast, some fresh snow up top, minor postholing in both directions. Snowshoes not required, but probably would have been if it was sunnier or we got a later start. 
Route: North Gully aka Quandary Couloir
Posted On: 2021-05-22, By: dashrsp
Info: Left 6:15, ascended east ridge. Wind was brutal per usual. Hiked to treeline, then it was skinnable. The bowl was pretty frozen solid. Skinned to summit. Did not use ski crampons, but they would be helpful. Descended quandary couloir. The entrance has a fairly well consolidated 4” wind slab with facets underneath. Once in, snow was frozen pretty solid and felt stable, pockets of sluff filled in between solid wet avy debris—a lot of wet avy debris. Choke was smooth. The apron is starting to melt out significantly as is the ski out to the gate. After the lake, you can ski down towards the creek and then boot pack 50-100 ft to the trail and ski basically all the way to the gate if you're not afraid of a some dirt and logs. 
Route: South Gully aka Cristo Couloir
Posted On: 2021-05-22, By: Carl_Healy
Info: Summited Quandary today via Cristo with 2 others. Started from the gate 0.7 miles from the dam at 4:24. Snow pretty firm that low even then. We had maybe a half hour in the sun before clouds and wind moved in and put an end to that (somewhere between 500' and 1,000' from summit). Snow was firm to to that point and the clouds kept it firm from that point on. Crampons and ice axe required though I feel like that's pretty obvious for this route. Summited right at 8:00 with maybe 30 mph winds and low (but not terrible) visibility. Given poor visibility and firmness of snow we decided against glissading down Cristo and took standard route down. Standard route was packed with people on the way up, despite conditions. Almost like a summer up Quandary. Conditions and visibility slowly improved on the way down. Near treeline snow was a minefield of existing post holes and the snow started to soften enough that we post holed in spots. Would definitely recommend snow shoes on a sunnier day but we didn't use them. Below treeline mix of dry trail and boot packed drifts. Gate to standard trailhead still closed. And of course when we got back to the car the clouds cleared and the summit looked blue bird :-/ 6:47 round-trip 6.4 miles when including the hike back up Blue Lakes Road. 
7 2
Route: South Gully aka Cristo Couloir
Posted On: 2021-05-21, By: dk9011
Info: Blue Lakes Rd was closed at parking lot only 0.7 miles away from the dam. Started the couloir proper around 6am, snow conditions were fine at first, but softened really quickly once the sun hit, making the second half of the climb pretty tough with lots of postholing. Summited around 10, and glissaded back down in really slushy snow. Back at the car at 12:30. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-05-20, By: alex_herbert
Info: Hiked up east ridge starting at about 5:30 A.M. The vast majority of the trail has some snow or ice coverage. Snow was generally supportive on the way up, but by the time we were descending (around 9) the snow was very slushy. Lots of sliding around above ~13,000 ft. Post holing to the knee in lots of places from 13,000 ft. down to where the winter trail leaves the summer trail near tree line. My group managed to do the entirety of the hike without using our snow shoes, but there are still many places where flotation would be useful. 
Route: North Gully aka Quandary Couloir
Posted On: 2021-05-18, By: PDavis
Info: Had to start at the standard Quandary trailhead since the gate was closed and snowed in for McCullough Gulch. Surprisingly the snow was really soft even though it's north facing. We were in the sun the entire climb. It the last day or two there were a couple of wet slides in the Couloir about 3/4 the way up. 
6 2
Route: South Gully aka Cristo Couloir
Posted On: 2021-05-16, By: longlevi823
Info: Successful summit of Quandary Peak via Cristo Couloir. Went with a CMC group. 9 people in total. Started hiking at 04:00AM from the parking lot a little ways up Blue Lakes Rd. Then hiked the road to the base of the couloir to Blue Lakes TH. Road is dry. Warm day overall, no wind. Snow was firm at the base. Between 13,500k - to summit the snow was warming up and breaking through but timing was good so wasn't too much of an issue. Some recent avy activity in the steep portion of the couloir half way up but avoidable and risk that day was low so continued on. Great day for backcountry skiing, lots of skiers coming up the couloir as well as east ridge. Descended the east ridge, snow was still firm until going down the last bit starting around 12,600k then it started becoming a posthole field, but nothing too bad. Warming up a lot at the end. Some storm clouds seen off in the distance towards RMNP and Grays and Torreys, but they stayed in that area. Took 6 hours and 16 minutes to reach summit and around 9 hours in total to get back to car. Great day and conditions overall. 
3 1
Route: South Gully aka Cristo Couloir
Posted On: 2021-05-16, By: gluckhikes
Info: Road closed at the first gate, by the small overnight parking area. Dry all the way to the dam. Started the climb at 5:30 with hardpack crust on the lower section. A couple hundred feet of dry tundra before the proper couloir. Good conditions most of the way up, but did encounter some wind slab around 13500 at 9:30. Snow softening a good amount by this time. Suffered through some tough slab covered sugar to the summit. Sloppy conditions on east ridge descent around noon, but only mild postholing 

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