Peak(s):  Quandary Peak  -  14,265 feet
Date Posted:  02/18/2011
Modified:  06/04/2011
Date Climbed:   01/15/2011
Author:  lostinvail
 Quandary times 3   

Well for the 2nd snow climb on Quandary, and 3rd overall attempt, Zach(Eatinhardtack) and Nathan both made me feel like I was in better shape than I actually am! We took our time at the trailhead and got started around daylight. A pretty thick fog accompanied us till we were well above timberline, and it was worth the wait for the clear skies above the clouds. Anyone climbing this day will know exactly what I mean, and judging by the Quandary conga line we saw as we made our descent,(Quandary on a holiday weekend, what could we expect?) some may have been up on this beautiful day.

The snow above treeline was windblown and packed hard, which was okay for climbing, but made the ride down pretty rough. A lot of our line going up was melted or blown off, so Zach and I had to make adjustments a few times between skinning and carrying our gear, him with skis and me, my splitboard.

When we finally got above the heavy cloud/fog in the valley, we remembered why we were doing this in mid-January. We tried keeping a steady pace up, took a few breaks along the way, then Zach and I strapped in for the quick descent.

It turned out not to be so quick. Lots of crusty snow, and off and on a few times with the board to tip-toe thru some rocks here and there. Nathan actually set the pace hiking down, beating us back to the trees. Zach and I continued on thru the trees, only losing the trail a few times along the way. When we finally got back to the road I tried to jump the last hill(after some kind words of encouragement from Zach) so i could get some momentun down the flat road. It was a good plan with poor results, as I ended head-over heels in the powder filled ditch next to the road...another hike down the road, and another summit of Quandary in the bag.

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