Peak(s):  Quandary Peak  -  14,265 feet
Date Posted:  09/27/2012
Date Climbed:   09/26/2012
Author:  fhace

 West Ridge  

Quandary Summit via West Ridge route.

Night before the peak was hit with 6-12" snow in various sections of the western portions of the mountain. Left the res at about 8am and reached the west ridge at approx 0930. The snow made for some slippery conditions and at this point an ice axe and some crampons would be recommended. We did not have either but wish we did.

As the route description states this route can get serious quickly if you have poor judgment in route finding.

We moved through the first section of class 3 terrain without issues in about an hour arriving at the north side of the west ridge class 2 terrain at about 1030 o’clock. The movement here is easy with the amount of snow and is no different than any other class two 14er trail.

Reached the false summit around 11 and begun the second section of the scramble shortly thereafter.

This is where the crampons and piolet would be a good choice in the current conditions. Much of the route was covered in a thin layer (1/2-1") of ice and up to 12" of snow. Route finding (Class 3-4) in these conditions was still possible, just take your time and consider all possibilities to navigate the terrain.

I did the standard "Crux" crack section while my climbing partner was able to traverse around the south side of the ridge and seemed to be more safe choice. Once over the last bit of scrambling it was a nice easy walk to an empty summit at 1230. (I know, rare for Quandary).. The major crux portion of the ridge overall took approx an hour and a half from start to summit.

Descended down the south couloirs to the car which was parked at the res.


 Comments or Questions

East ridge conditions?
09/29/2012 11:15
How does the east side look? A couple of friends and I were thinking of trying the east ridge route this weekend.


East ridge
09/29/2012 11:55
East ridge route I think would be a safe bet any time of the year (save for avy) blindfolded... But seriously, it's fine right now, gets All the sunlight needed to melt Nything that has fallen recently . Have a good time!


09/29/2012 16:04
Cool, thanks man. Good luck on future trips.


Ice and snow , huh!
10/01/2012 12:27
Nice climbing for sure, did it the same way in June with southside descent. How many goats were sniffing around your car when you got back? Fantastic ridge and must have been epic with the ice snow thrown in.

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