Peak(s):  Quandary Peak  -  14,265 feet
Date Posted:  09/28/2007
Date Climbed:   09/26/2007
Author:  gatorchick
 Quandary by Moonlight  

I had been wanting to do a full moon 14er for a while but didn't know when it would actually happen. When I read on this site that people were planning on doing Quandary Wednesday night/Thursday morning I was just plain giddy. It sounded like SO much fun. Since I am still looking for a job my schedule is pretty flexible but I didn't think I would be able to talk the fiance (jasper9890) into it. Well, to my surprise it didn't take much arm twisting and by 7 p.m. Wednesday night we were headed for the mountains!

Despite the fact that this was our second time at this trailhead, we had a hard time finding it. The turn off the highway is farther from Breck/towards the pass then I remembered it being. We had to turn around a few times in the dark to find it.

Me getting the dog ready - putting on booties and "musher's secret"

A few shots before leaving:



By 10 we were headed up the trail, making good time. We attempted Quandary (had to turn back due to weather) back in October when we were still living at sea level. I was amazed at how much easier the trail was not that I was used to living at 6,000 feet during the week and playing at 10,000 feet on the weekends. The switchbacks passed quickly and we were soon above treeline.

The moon through the trees ...


Despite the chilly temperature it was a gorgeous night. The moon was so bright that headlamps were not needed and we could see the snow covered peaks around us. It was beautiful! We saw maybe 14-15 other people on the mountain that night which was a nice considering how crowded Quandary can be.

We made it up to the ridge and the temperature started to drop. My body was fine but my face was frozen ... and I love the cold! We hit the final steep part going up to the summit from the ridge and it really started to get chilly. There was some snow on top off to the side of the trail.

The wind at the summit was howling and the thermometer literally read zero degrees. We huddled behind the rock shelter for a few minutes and took some pictures. The second I took my gloves off my hands were FROZEN so there was no register signing ... get up and get down was the way to go! After a few minutes on the summit we were joined by a few other folks from who snapped a couple quick pics before heading back down. We followed shortly after.

family summit photo ...


The trip back down was uneventful but slow due to how hesitant I am going downhill. I am working on it though ...

The dog did much better this time than on Yale. In retrospect I think we need to be more careful about making sure she gets more water on these hikes, especially as the temperature drops. We need to be a little better about stopping so she can drink ... its hard to remember to do when its so cold and stopping just makes you colder! She didn't seem to have any problems with the cold, which made me happy. We kept her fleece on the whole time and even at the summit where it was freezing she seemed pretty comfortable. At the summit we covered her in an extra fleece and she found a warm spot out of the wind and curled up for a little while.

Climbing a 14er under a full moon was a pretty cool experience and one I won't forget soon! Number 4 is in the books.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

love the dog
11/30/2010 17:20
She looks like a great climbing companion! And congrats on the night hike; they're great. We did Quandary back in August at the new moon. You'll need your headlamp, but try it for the stars.

   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.