Peak(s):  Quandary Peak  -  14,265 feet
Date Posted:  10/08/2020
Date Climbed:   10/03/2020
Author:  Ritzn1
Additional Members:   brody31
 Quandary 2020   

Brody31 and I arrived at TH at 0615. Being a late season hike, with cooler temps and wind predicted, we thought there would be slightly fewer hikers. Well, when we arrived at TH, Rd 851 was lined with cars and we got one of the last few spots near the entrance. We discovered later that a drive further up the road would have yielded a closer spot to the TH. Mental note for next time. But still a ton of cars. We parked about 0.2 mile down from TH. Arrived at TH still in the dark, and entered the trail about 0630. Moon was still high and bright, making for some nice shots. Trail was in superb condition, rocky steps in many places.

We saw and heard a few hikers ahead of us and some coming up from behind, but mostly we didn’t see many other people for the first mile, until we broke tree line. And then the masses emerged. I’ve never seen so many people on a 14er, not even Bierstadt! I25 at rush hour had nothing on Quandary this day. Steady stream coming up and going down. It was quite congested and social distancing was challenging at best. To most everyone’s credit, everybody was cordial and friendly and played nicely. The summit was packed, lots of sharing of 14er signs and mutual picture taking. That’s what I love â¤ï¸ most about summits, everyone wants to help each other have that nice memorable moment. Call it summit code of conduct. Gorgeous views of the Decalibron, Traver, Pacific, Atlantic, Crystal and Fletcher Peaks. Smoke from forest fires obscured the views of the ranges further out, but still amazing views. But altitude sickness can cut a summit session short unfortunately, as it did for us. Brody31 had to head down while I stayed up for a bit to take in the views a little longer..

The descent was much easier than the climb as always, dual hiking poles really were a life AND leg saver for me, and we soon left the crowds behind. Surprised by how many hikers lower on the trail were starting their ascent at 130-200, but weather forecast was in their favor. On the way down the ridge line, Quandary was kind enough to treat us to some wildlife. Made the hike all the more worth it for me. Some rare high-heeled ones were spotted too. Some kind of celebration? Got back to trailhead around 230 pm, making the total round trip hike around 8 hrs. Brody31 was down an hour earlier to get relief from his headache. Cars filled the lower parking lot next to CO 9, and many were parked up and down Rd 850....didn’t see any in front of the homes and no sheriff or tickets. ð¤ð»

Quandary is a quad and calf workout to say the least. Class 1, some Class 2 in sections, but not easy. No 14er is! A real workout for the lungs and heart too. The hike is pretty chill, slow gradual ascent, and then the real fun begins with the last 1000ft a climb into the sky it seems. But the views are worth every bit of the sore muscles later. Highly recommend. New favorite...for now. ð

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
Fun and crowded hike!
10/08/2020 13:32
Thanks for the trip report. It was fun and I was sore for days afterwards!


Phone app?
10/09/2020 06:47
What app is that on you phone that identifies all the peaks?


Phone app response
10/12/2020 08:06
Peakfinder I've been using it to learn the names of the peaks around me wherever I am. It's nice to be aware of the history and identity of the geography around you.

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