Peak(s):  Quandary Peak  -  14,265 feet
Date Posted:  10/15/2013
Date Climbed:   10/09/2013
Author:  jdsutton21
 Damn Goats woke me up!!!  

Enter your trip report here...

So I decided to climb up Quandry following the Class 3 route up and the Class 2 route down the Couloir. With the recent snow in Summit County I was pretty sure it would be snow covered and kind of hoped for enough to be able to glissade down. I had done a bit of trekking in Steamboat that weekend and they had a foot and half of snow there in town!!! So I drove up Tuesday night and decided to sleep in the car as I usually do. That way I could get a nice relaxing wake up, make breakfast, and start off rested and early.

So I arrived there at the parking lot at about 10pm. Setup the sleeping bag and put on a pod cast to slowly fall asleep too. I dozed off and was sleeping soundly until I heard some bustling. I woke up with foggy windows and hearing a bit of scuffling outside the car. I thought maybe a bear!!! I didn't want to lower the window so with my iPhone light I tried to peer out the foggy window to see what was outside. After about two minutes and maneuvering I finally spotted the white goats!!! I beeped the horn and scared them off and went back to sleep. Not but 30 minutes later they were back and this time pushing and scraping against my car!!! I scurried them off again and this time moved my car to another location. After trying to return to sleep and realizing it was a lost hope I figured might as well step off.

So 3:30 in the morning I started off. I couldn't see if there was snow on top of the peak so I packed my crampons, ice axe, and boots. I started off in my hiking sneakers, headlamp and a GPS. I couldn't see anything and soon enough lost the path. I scurried through the bushes and brush and finally made it high enough and found the path that went through the valley up to the saddle on the West Side (I think it's the West side), the class 3 route.


I have never climbed anything in the dark by myself and have to say it was really enjoyable to be under a night sky full of stars and absolute quietness.

The trail was dry. No snow and the stream was small enough to cross without getting my feet wet. I followed the path up to the saddle and took a break. The silhouette of Quandry peak "appeared" to not be far away. I finally realized that I might get a summit before sunrise and have an amazing view. So I started to hurry up.


I made it up and up and I think I was somewhere around 13,800 feet when the sun started to rise. It silhouetted the (what I thought) was the peak even more and more. Absolutely gorgeous!! Orange and reds pouring around the sides and over the tip of the peak. So I kept scrambling the class 3 in the dark with the head lamp enjoying every minute.


I finally made it to the top to peak to realize it was a false peak. Not only that but I realized there was no snow!!! A couple patches and only at one spot were the rocks wet and a little slick (which was a bit hairy because it was certainly a no fall traverse at that spot). Pretty much though everything was dry and about 0 degree's in the wind.




So as the sun started to rise I passed false peak after false peak. I think about five of them until I finally reached the top of Quandry. It was great and I'm so glad the goats woke me up. When the light hits the mountains so early at that angle the colors are amazing!!!



I ate some lunch and then headed down and unfortunately with no snow it was a slippery thumping trek down the couloir. I made it back to the car around 8:30 I think and arrived back in Denver around 11.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions
James Scott

Great pictures
10/16/2013 02:02
Love the two of the sunrise!


10/16/2013 03:08
nice pics, thats a bummer its not capped yet


Best TR Title Ever
10/16/2013 15:13
Gorgeous pictures and kudos for getting up there and getting to it so early. Very encouraging! Thanks for sharing


10/17/2013 02:08
You've got big stones, navigating that West ridge in the dark! I did a sunrise climb on Quandary via the standard route last year on thanksgiving weekend, and had the same thought as you; looking up at the stars, thinking how amazing it was to have it all to myself; and yes the sunrise at 14K feet looks simply incredible. Seeing 150 miles of alpenglow all at once is breathtaking.


The Goat Is Old & Gnarly
10/18/2013 23:52
There ain't no solitude like being all alone with just a night sky and the mountains to keep you company -- particularly in the fall.

Great report. Great photos. And, great navigation in the dark!

Thanks for sharing the TR!

Hey, don't curse the Goats -- who (not which) were kind enough to wake you up and get you on your way (twice -- a la a snooze alarm!). Best to remember the words of wisdom from the fleet fightin' song of yore:

”The Goat is old & gnarly and he's never been to school,
But He can take the bacon from the worn out Army mule;
He's got no education, but he's brimmin' full o'fight,
and Bill will feed on Army mule tonight!”

From the words to this ole melody, it just might be that them goats is carnivorous! So, word to the wise: Don't mess with The Goat!

And, of course, for those in the know: Beat Army!!

   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here

Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2017®, 14ers Inc.