Peak(s):  Quandary Peak  -  14,265 feet
Date Posted:  03/24/2008
Date Climbed:   03/22/2008
Author:  skiandbike

 Quandary - East Ridge Ski   

Didn't quite get this one in the bag in time to count as a winter climb, but I'll take ski conditions like what we had any day. In a word: fantastic.

This was my first CO 14er since moving out here last fall and it was certainly worth the wait. The forecast had looked good for most of the week and plans were set in motion with a college buddy on spring break. Headed up to the trailhead from a motel in Keystone at 5:45am, arrived at the empty winter pullout right around 6:30am. Started skiing on the trail shortly before 7. There was a nice fresh layer of snow to greet us and the sun as we headed up through the trees. Big thanks to the two snowshoers who started ahead of us for breaking trail!

Moved quickly up the trail, taking a stop to soak in the scenery and snap some pictures after we cleared treeline. As we reached ~13,500, the clouds began to move in and obscured the views. This led to a slightly disappointing and cold summit at 11am, but a summit none the less. Signed the register, grabbed some pics, and prepped for the descent in a light flurry.

Two people (incl. Bill?) dropped in first on the skiers left portion of the east slope and we decided to take the right side closer to the ridge. Deep and very fluffy all the way to where we connected back to the ridge at the flat portion where it thinned a bit. Grazed something at that point. Quick high five, then down to the treeline and out to the car. Snow stayed great all the way to treeline, where a noticeable crust was present in areas that received sun. Still plenty deep and we were able to keep skis on from car to car with the exception of 10 yards of shortcuts. Didn't time our arrival, but we were on the road by 12:30pm and headed for a hearty lunch. All in all, a very very good day.

My camera batteries were too cold, so all pics are courtesy of Than's camera with each of us trading spots as photogs. These were the handful I was able to grab, hopefully they will be updated with higher res shots somewhat soon.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Smiles all around!
03/24/2008 13:59
Yup, great day. I was the one (in orange) that arrived at the top a couple of minutes after you guys. We found some deep, blown-in powder along the north side of the upper slope. Not bad for a windy Saturday!


First 14er since moving here...
03/25/2008 23:41
but not your first ever, right? A ski descent is always impressive to me; my few attempts (of which Quandry was the first) left me with a bad taste. But, now that AT gear exists, maybe I should try again. First 14er or fiftieth, cogratulations. Looks like you had a great day.

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