Peak(s):  Quandary Peak  -  14,265 feet
Date Posted:  06/12/2010
Date Climbed:   09/19/2009
Author:  Southern Appalachian

 Quandary Peak - "Nowhere" and Back Again  

Quandary Peak is a fourteener in the US state of Colorado and the highest peak in the Tenmile Range, a northern extension of the Mosquito Range. It is the 12th, 13th, or 14th highest peak in Colorado, depending on how it is ranked. It has nearly the same elevation as Castle Peak and Mount Evans. It lies in Summit County and within the Arapaho National Forest about 6 miles (10 km) south-southwest of the town of Breckenridge.

Difficulty: Class 1

Summit Elevation: 14,265 feet
Trailhead Elevation: 10,850 feet
Elevation Gain: 3,450 feet
Round-trip Length: 6.75 miles
Trailhead: Quandary

Oh, wouldn't the world seem dull and flat with nothing whatever to grumble at? ~W.S. Gilbert

Quandary (kwon-duh-ree)
- noun
a state of perplexity or uncertainty.

"When a non-climber asks me what the summit of a 14er is like, I sometimes answer that it is like being nowhere. On a summit you will find no shelter, no food, no water, no trees, and no one living there. There is no warm bed to rest in, no fortune to be found, and no adoring crowd cheering your accomplishment. You will find cold, wind, harsh sunlight, hard ground, rain or freezing snow, and lightning.

To get "nowhere" and back you must experience pain and soreness; be tired, cold, dehydrated, hungry or perhaps nauseated, and potentially facing a long trek on which you only want to be finished, to be back at the trailhead where you can find relief from both your physical and mental suffering. And if everything goes as planned, that is the best possible outcome." Mark Scott-Nash, Colorado 14er Disaster, Victims of the Game

OMG, I complained (in my head) from the bottom to the top of Quandary Peak. It rained mental F-bombs in my world. I was tired. I was grumpy. I was miserable. I have yet to really prepare myself to climb a 14er. I climb these mountains on a whim. It's going to get me in serious trouble one day. I am reading Colorado 14er Disaster, Victims of the Game ... and the first two paragraphs of this book summarized my Quandary experience better than I could ever articulate myself. Pain - yes. Soreness - yes. Tired - yes. Cold - yes. Dehydrated - yes. Hungry - yes. Nauseated - yes. Physical and mental suffering - HELL yes ... LOTS.

The snow has already started falling at the higher elevations here in Colorado. I think it's almost time to strap on the skis and head downhill ... CLIMBING mountains on my poor feet instead of using a nice chairlift to the top ... how silly.

Sweat silently. Let's have no squawking about a little expenditure of energy. ~Martin H. Fischer

4:50 AM Awake
5:30 AM Depart
7:00 AM Breakfast/Mountain Lyon Cafe/Dillon/Keystone Exit
8:45 AM Start Hiking
11:15 AM Summit
11:45 AM Descent
1:45 PM Finish

Date Ascended: 9/19/09
Roundtrip: 5 hours
Temperature: 60's at the bottom, 40's at the summit

To display your photos (uploaded below) in the final trip report, type the image number (i.e., 1, 2, 3), highlight it with your cursor, and click on the Image button on the right. Example: Image, Image, Image
View from the Summit.
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Girls on Top.
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14er #3 for me.
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Lovely valley.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

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