Peak(s):  Quandary Peak  -  14,265 feet
Date Posted:  06/19/2008
Modified:  11/03/2009
Date Climbed:   06/14/2008
Author:  alanb
 Fathers Day weekend on Quandary  

I debated even putting this trip report up as there are dozens of Quandary reports, including one from my first ascent, but I did respond to a few questions about current conditions on the forum, and the more important fact, of I am especially proud of my 9 year old son for making the summit and wanting to share that with the group.

My kids are off track of school right now and they each made a list of things they wanted to do. Number one on my son's to-do-list was "hike another 14er with Dad" How can any father read that and not jump at the chance. I asked him which one he wanted to climb.. "Longs Peak." My response ", try again"

So after some back and forth I settled on either Quandary or Sherman as a good choices for us, leaving the final selection up to him. His only question was "Which ones harder Dad? Because that's the one I want to do."

Our day started out with a 3:30am wake up call. We had packed up our gear the night before so we grabbed some breakfast and hit the road arriving at the Quandary TH at 6:30am.

My son at the TH ready to go. A note to Bill here: we had our 14er sticker in the back window and I was proudly displaying my T-Shirt, but no Bill in sight to reward us with a GPS...;)

This is one of the rare 14ers that the TH is well below tree line so we enjoyed our time hiking through the trees. The trail has spotty snow it and late in the day made for some muddy areas. There were also several downed trees that I am sure will eventually be cleared.

This is one of the first good views you get of Quandary as you are just about to break above treeline. Yes that tiny dot far off in the distance is the summit.

Just below tree line and where the trail crosses a wooden bridge the snow completely blocks the way. At this point you leave the designated trail and just start heading up the snow field to the top of the ridge line. Trekking poles and or an ice ax made this area a breeze.

Once past the first snow field you are treated to a nice view of the summit waaay off in the distance. For those of you who have hiked Quandary before you know that it's a long way to the summit from here and so many false summit views that you can't begin to count them.

The lower section of the ridge is just one snow filed after another, it also gives you a good look at the snow conditions

This is looking south at the L/B/D combo, my son was already asking me when we were going to climb those.

This is where the gentle ridge hiking stops and you start to gain some serious elevation in a relatively short distance. It was a bit disheartening to my son who kept thinking the summit was just over the next ridge, only to be presented with this.

A view looking back on the route we just came up.

My son taking a breather, if you look above his left shoulder you can see there were a lot of people on the mountain that day. I think he won the prize for being the youngest at 9 years old. Everyone was very encouraging to him and impressed that he was not only heading to the summit but that it was going to be his 4th 14er.

Another shot a little further up showing the entire ridge route, yes the truck is way back there among those tiny green dots that are really trees.

The final push to the summit. As you can tell it's entirely covered in snow. This is where it took a lot of reassurance to convince my son that the summit really was close because he had been thinking that all day long.

Getting a well earned congratulations (via the cell phone) from mom after reaching the summit

Spectacular views to the north, I love snow covered peaks

This was the fun part.. boot skiing back down. To put it into perspective it took 2 hours to get up this section and less than 15minutes to go back down. Gaiters would have been nice here.

The adrenaline of hitting the summit wearing off and the reality of the long trek back to the TH warranted a rest, I guess when you are tired anywhere works!

All rested, invincible and King of the Hill!

Marmot letting us know we were not welcome on his turf

Mountain goat on the way back down.

All around a great time and beautiful day to be on the mountain. Its only wetted my appetite for the summer hiking season. I could not have asked for a better Father's day present.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

06/20/2008 00:33
Nothing like hiking a 14er to bond with a child. That is an activity that my son and I both love and look forward to. Funny, my son wanted Long‘s to be his 1st and my response was very similar to yours. Soon I‘ll be adding my daughter to the 14er club with a hike up Handies in Sept. Glad to see you guys made it up and down safely, looks like you guys had a blast!


what was your sons first one?
06/20/2008 13:51
I agree completely- it was a great bonding day. What 14er did you end up hiking with your son? Your Daugher will love Handies, good first 14er and that is my favorite area.


06/20/2008 14:26
I can‘t wait to take my daughter hiking (she‘s a tad on the young side at 3.5 years old), thank you for sharing this with the community.


She will be old enough pretty soon
06/20/2008 14:51
I started my son out on 14ers when he was 7, so your daughter will be hiking them before you know it.


Role Reversal
06/20/2008 21:04
I started taking my daughters up 14ers when they were about 14. Now my little one is a guide in the summers near BV, a WFR, and dragging Dad up the mountains when I have a chance to get up there. Enjoy this, cause the roles will soon reverse my friend.


06/22/2008 03:22
You are an awesome dad, raising an awesome son. It is the most important work you will ever do. Congratulations to both and may you enjoy many more summits together!

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