Peak(s):  Quandary Peak  -  14,265 feet
Date Posted:  04/23/2012
Modified:  04/24/2012
Date Climbed:   04/23/2012
Author:  Bird

 My First Fourteener  

Today I hiked my first fourteener! Solo, too. I didn't start Quandary until 1:30pm but it doesn't get dark until around 8:30 now. I had to strip down and take my long johns off after about walking 20 ft on the trail. The woods section of the trail went fairly quick for me, however once I got to the snow fields it was a struggle. I was told by someone who had hiked it earlier in the day that I didn't need snowshoes, although I would be post holing some. Thankfully there were plenty of hikers' trails to follow. The snow is soft and melting so I needed to be careful of slipping since I didn't wear crampons. I would recommend wearing these for whoever is deciding to hike Quandary soon. This was not an easy feat and I wanted to stop and head back several times. However, when I kept checking my gps to see the elevation, I realized how close I was. I ditched my bag about halfway up the snowfields since it significantly slowed me down. Unfortunately I forgot about the sunscreen in there and got cooked on the rest of the way up. I saw a ton of pikas, but no one else on the trail. Once I summited, I was so glad I didn't turn back. The view was amazing. I even glissaded some on the way back from the summit. It took me 5 hours round trip, and that was stopping quite a bit once I got above treeline.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

04/24/2012 05:00


Good Job!!
04/24/2012 13:17
I still havent made it to the top of that mountain after two tries, I have gotten turned back by weather both times, I am going to try and take another shot this summer, hopefully i get it done.


04/24/2012 13:35
Quandary for a first? Good job!


04/24/2012 15:04
Congratulations on a nice climb!


great beta
04/24/2012 18:11
thanks for the beta; was considering heading up this weekend, pics and text do a great job giving helpful info.


Good work!
04/24/2012 19:00
It was my first one as well I hope you get to go out and do lots more this summer!


04/24/2012 21:55
Crampons are generally overkill on Quandary and similar mountains, but I'd really suggest Kahtoola Microspikes for hiking on snow. They're much lighter and only about $60. Congrats on your first 14er! Quandary gets lumped into the ”easy” category, but it's a beautiful mountain.


04/25/2012 03:20
Quandry was my first too. Nice.

Hiker Mike

Congrats on your
04/25/2012 14:27
First 14er! However, in the future, I would suggest that you NEVER leave your pack behind. It is not unheard of for people to need important items that are in the pack or be unable to find the pack on the way back down.



04/25/2012 16:38
Nice job, firsts are always fun!


04/25/2012 17:24
Thanks everyone!

Surfnturf: Thanks for the advice, will look into those.

Mike: Thanks for the suggestion, although where I was I could see the summit and the stakes on it, as well as the trail leading to it from a ways away. I took the things most necessary (gps, extra batteries, phone, water, leatherman and rain gear). In another situation where I couldn't see where I was going I would have kept my bag. Also, just in case for some reason I couldn't see my bright blue bag against the snow on the way back I took a waypoint for it with the gps. Aside from not having the sunscreen, I don't regret it.

Grays/Torreys next? I think so.


04/26/2012 02:28
Amen to the sunscreen. I fried my face this past saturday on quandary from the wind and snow. Ouch!


04/26/2012 04:15
on your first 14er! Quandary was my first CO 14er too! Just wanted to reaffirm the importance of what Hiker Mike said. Never leave your pack behind. You never know when you'll need to change clothing or grab a bite to eat or utilize your first aid supplies. Also, the equipment you bring on your person outside of your pack could become separated from you by a fall or high winds (had a mid-weight glove get blown down the face of Quandary last year after not securing it). Early starts reduce the pressure on you to summit by a certain time, especially in the coming months when thunderstorms frequently develop in the mountains and it's often necessary to get off the summit by noon. To me the time saved by not having a pack is not worth compromising safety.

Grays and Torreys is an amazing climb! A few other great starters for me were Sherman and DeCaLiBro. Easily accessible trailheads right now. Grays and Torreys still drivable only to winter TH last I heard. Have a fun and safe climbing season!

Myfeetrock- Got absolutely scortched on the same day you did after not re-applying sunscreen. Hope your back is OK after all that SilverLynxing!


One more thing-
04/26/2012 04:16
Trekking poles = awesome. No balance issues on Quandary last weekend while using them.


04/30/2012 19:40
Which route did you take?


anxious for more
04/30/2012 22:02
the east ridge


05/01/2012 20:46
way to do the dew...

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