Peak(s):  Quandary Peak  -  14,265 feet
Date Posted:  02/15/2010
Date Climbed:   02/13/2010
Author:  arianna2
 Quandry - Standard route  

It was snowing lightly and you couldn't see the peak. We were skeptical, but decided to give it a try, hoping it would clear as the sun came up. We started at about 7:15 am. There was about 2 or 3 inches of fresh snow on the trail. Snowshoes were definitely needed since we were the first people on the trail since the new snow. Image

On the lower section we were able to make out where the trail was, but sometimes it was not very clear and we had to just use our judgment. As we got out of the trees, the wind became even more apparent. There were drifts of snow from the wind and it became very difficult to tell where the trail was. Eventually, we made it up to the ridge. Image Image

Visibility was horrible. The sun would barely shine through and when it did, the wind would pick up and scatter more snow, making our chances of making it to the summit slimmer.

We trudged on, hoping it would get better. The wind chill must have been in the single digits or lower. We kept pretty warm though. As we were working our way up to the narrow ridge, the wind became so bad that we really questioned if it was safe to go on. Looking down at where we came from, we couldn't see a thing. Image

Looking up towards the summit we couldn't see a thing. Image We had debated several times whether to stop, this time we did turn around since we were worried about getting back. Pretty soon we saw a group of four coming up. That made us feel better, that there was somebody else on the mountain. We decided to try again and started following them. The wind became so fierce. They were just 20 or 30 feet ahead of us and we could no longer see them. It just seemed miserable, so we again turned back. We passed quite a few groups although we saw that at least 6 of them turned around too. I would love to know if anyone made it, just so we would know for the future. It's hard to know sometimes, what is most safe plus fighting the feeling of guilt in not accomplishing the task. Oh, well. We will just have to go back and try again sometime.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

I was one
02/05/2011 00:22
of the group of 4 you guys saw. Aubrey, Jen, Debby and I did make the summit. It actually got a little better as we went higher - the wind seemed to relent a bit and thus visibility improved. I believe that Aubrey may be working on a trip report.

I sure wouldn‘t second guess your decision though, the conditions were definitely at their worst where we saw you.



I was one, too
02/16/2010 04:16
Great meeting you guys, even though it was brief, and in less-than-ideal conditions. Looks like we parked right next to you! Just put up a TR, myself. p.s., turning back is never a bad decision.


the day before
11/30/2010 17:28
I'm not surprised that our tracks were all wiped out. We definitely had better visibility than what you guys experienced. The next summit will be that much sweeter


Thanks for posting!
02/17/2010 03:15
Nice photos!! Leaves us wanting more... !

Sometimes it‘s tough to turn around, but that‘s why the drive for the summit can be so hazardous in such conditions... don‘t give up, you guys will get it, it‘s not going anywhere, and there‘s still five weeks of winter left!


I believe we also saw you...
02/17/2010 05:54
We started late around 10:30am and only made it to 13,000ft. We didn‘t plan on summiting from the beginning, we were mainly out just to do some snowshoeing and take a look around at the Quandary trail for some fun. I imagine we passed you around 11,500 or 12. We didn‘t see anyone from around 12 to 13, nor during the entire decent and returning to our vehicle there was only one SUV left in the closest parking area. We decided to turn around at 13 cause, like you said, the weather was just getting too fierce. We‘re making an attempt for the summit again this saturday (20th) and plan on hitting the trail around 6am. Sunrise is supposed to be around 6:46am. I hate to have to break the trail, but I imagine we‘ll be one of the first, if not the first on the trail. I am curious to see how much time this will add on our accent to treeline. After that, I imagine we‘ll have plenty of snow to deal with anyway. Best of luck next time!

   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.