Peak(s):  Quandary Peak  -  14,265 feet
Date Posted:  05/07/2012
Modified:  05/08/2012
Date Climbed:   05/06/2012
Author:  SolarAlex
 Full Moon and Sunrise on Quandary  

I left Golden with Chase and Nate at about midnight. the plan was to meet everyone at the trailhead at 130. I had a brainfart on hwy 9 and kept missing the blue lakes road somehow. We probably drove up and down Hoosier Pass 3 times. What makes it even worse is that i have been to quandary 3 times before. Anyway after a lot of profanity we show up and meet the rest of the group at the trailhead at about 215.

Fellow 14ers members farcedude (greg), bstine (brad) and his wife, tommycli (tommy) and cubs108 (david, i think... im terrible with names) all came out too. so at around 230 we began hiking up the trail under the full moon. The trail was bone dry in most places and very easy to follow and we were making great time through the trees. When we popped out onto the ridge the light from the moon was incredible. I couldnt figure out how to make my camera take a good shot in the dark. Image
best i could do in the dark

My friend chase is a mountain goat and set a pretty fast pace. i was so tired and just generally out of it i just sort of followed him as best i could. We made our way up the ridge and hit the summit at about 520am. A little early, but the sky started to light up over grays and torreys in the distance. we were eager for the sun to come out, because it was pretty chilly on the summit (very little wind though, which was so nice). Chase and I walked over to scope out cristo couloir and saw 2 people nearing the top...turned out to be 14er member cbmabon (cant remember your name sorry)
first light

still night to the west

crazy colors around the moon

me on the summit

we sat on the summit for an hour and 20 minutes, taking in the incredible sunrise and all the views. The clouds were filling the valleys to the south, creating a sea of clouds...i had imagined in mind what the sunrise was going to be like many times on the way up, but what I saw far exceeded what i imagined. It was simply the most incredible thing i have ever seen. Made me thankful to live in colorado, thats for sure.

theres the sun


more sunrise

more sunrise

We tried to race down the ridge to get back to the car as fast as possible, because we were fading fast and still had to drive all the way back to golden. i took a funny step and tweaked my left ankle somehow. it wasnt too bad but enough to make the rest of the hike down unpleasant. We passed a bunch of people on the way up. Right before we got to treeline we saw a solitary mountain goat cruising past. camera was finished at this point, but the image of this goat standing there slightly uphill from us, with his fur blowing in the wind seemed pretty damn majestic.

group summit shot!

a sea of clouds

clouds drifting over the ridge

after the goat, it was a quick walk through woods and we were back at the car. 90 minutes later we were in golden, enjoying breakfast at the golden diner. if you havent eaten at this place, i highly recommend it.

all in all a great trip, easily my favorite 14er hike so far. I definitely plan on doing more moonlight hikes this summer


******Some additional photos from farcedude (greg) - awesome shots

Supermoon on the horizon

Peak Marker

Mountain Goat

Democrat, Lincoln, Cameron, Bross

2nd group shot

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

All's well that ends well...
05/07/2012 12:43
It wasn't quite an epic but going in that direction.

Sounds like you had a great experience.

Thanks for sharing,



super cool
05/07/2012 22:00
I really wanted to do this hike but couldn't make it work with my schedule (and would have had to be back in Denver by 7AM anyway so would have missed sunrise). Thanks for the great pics.


Quick Thanks
05/08/2012 02:48
Just wanted to give a quick thanks for the group to make our first 14er a successful and all around awesome experience. We can't wait for the next one.


Great Pics!
05/08/2012 14:13
Great climb guys! Thankyou for the trip report! I was very upset that my camera was dead. Talk About some veiws that will last a lifetime!

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