Peak(s):  Quandary Peak  -  14,265 feet
Date Posted:  02/12/2007
Modified:  02/16/2007
Date Climbed:   02/11/2007
Author:  14ergirl
 Quandry- the long way!  

So me and a group of 4 others decided to climb Quandry yesterday. We all met up at the dinosaur lot at 5:40am and arrived at the McCollough Gulch TH at 7:30. We came prepared with topo maps, packs, snowshoes, gps and such, however we chose the wrong TH to start from. All of us in decent shape except only one or two who snowshoed on a regular basis. We leisurely headed up the trail having a good time talking and took lots of stops for BR breaks, layering and delayering, and photo ops. Image After a mile we met up with a jeep road that was snowpacked and saw Quandry's summit in the background- it sure looked far away and not the same trail I remembered from the summer trail. Image Image So we took a peak at the topo map and realized we had gone the long way and we had to head around and up the road to meet up with another trail that would take us up the ridge. So at 9:30 we met up with that trail, stopped for a bite and headed through the trees up to the ridge. It was beautiful! Image Around 12:45 we arrived at 12,600ft and the mountain was getting steeper. One of our friends was having trouble with her hip. She was struggling with the up hill in snowshoes. My wonderful husband decided she couldn't go down alone so he turned back with her. They said later that they headed straight down to the road and hitched a ride to the car instead of taking the long way back to McCollough gulch, but found themselves several times in deep snow.

After they left us we started making slightly better time up the windy, snowy ridge. Image As we got closer to the top though it became harder and harder to keep any kind of pace. I was walking about 20 steps and then having to stop for a rest. Finally we made it to the summit at 3:15, but we were so disappointed to see that about 200 steps away and maybe only another 50 feet of elevation was the true summit. Image Image We called it good since we were above 14,100 feet and ready to be done. I was worried about my toes, since my toewarmers had stopped working and it was way too windy and cold to take off my boots and put new ones in. So with a few pics we headed quickly down concerned of the possibility of darkness before getting back to the car. Image(Don't go off from here!!!- unless you know what you are doing.)

Once we were well off the ridge we tried to take a shortcut by heading straight down through the trees, but ended up postholing much of the way. We radioed the others to meet us at the Monte Cristo TH because that is where we finally ended up coming out. It was 6pm and we were so hoping they would greet us with a large hot pizza, but no such luck. We went to subway for some footlongs instead and headed back to Denver to pick up our child from a semi annoyed grandmother and let the others get back to their families as well. After reading USAKeller's report I am in need of some snowshoe training because our route although longer shouldn't have taken us 10.5 hours to complete.

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