Peak(s):  Quandary Peak  -  14,265 feet
Date Posted:  11/06/2006
Date Climbed:   11/05/2006
Author:  TheKanes
 Quandary - East Ridge (Nov 5th, 2006)  

We had drove up to Quandary Peak from Colorado Springs arriving at the trailhead about 8:30AM after missing road 850 due to fog we were off to a little of a late start. The road up to trailhead was not plowed but we were able to get our Saturn Ion up to the trailhead with no problems. The trail conditions were great up past the treeline there have been enough snowshoers up and down the trail so it was well packed and hiking boots worked just fine. After the treeline we could feel the North winds beginning to pick up and the temperature dropped a little bit.

Around 13,200' the wind had really picked up but we decided to keep on moving, at this elevation the snow was deeper but was mostly hard packed where you only sank in a few inches, still OK in hiking boots. At the same altitude I found myself having some equipment malfunctions with my poles and ending up a little frustrated with the equipment, poor visibility, high gusts of wind, and mild fatigue I figured it was time for a "Time Out" After 10min of getting my thoughts together and equipment working again we carried on.
Nearing the summit the last 100' were the worst of the trip, the snow was very icy and once exposed to the West winds (estimated easily at 60mph +) the conditions were hardly bearable and any exposed skin was frozen with in a minute or two, or blister from the winds carrying snow and ice chunks so we snapped a few pictures and got off the summit by 12:30PM.
On our trip down we found that the drifting snow had covered our tracks and the winds had picked up on the East side all the way to treeline so it made a interesting journey down the mountain.
All in all it was one heck of a adventure but I wasn't sure how my wife was going to react once we got out the bad weather but she was a real trooper and said she actually really enjoyed it to. We were back at the car around 2:40PM and found a few more cars but not to bad for a weekend on Quandary.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

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