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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2016-05-07||Route: East Ridge
Info: This is my first time doing Quandary, along with a couple other friends who joined me for the hike. In saying so - it should be noted that the 851 Road and small parking area are closed during winter, as they don't plow it, but there's sufficient parking at the lower parking lot. We started our ascent at 5:30am, ready for anything based on bigtuna2008's report of lots of snow on the route, so we packed snowshoes. Surprisingly (and happily), we never needed to use our snow shoes on the ascent due to the new snow having melted, and the snow that was present, was easily traveled with minor post holing. We made the summit at around 9:30am, along with one other person who was looking to ski down the mountain, but surprisingly we had only met one other person who had summited the peak that day. As we were making our way to the top, there were some clouds that were moving across the peaks in the area fairly quickly, but nothing to get us too concerned about. But on the way down, dark clouds rolled in, and that's when we experienced just about everything - rain, sleet, hail, along with lighting. Made for an interesting decent. Surprisingly, there was about 2 dozen people who were still lumbering on up the ridge in all of that madness.
|2016-05-03||Route: East Ridge
Info: Mountain is completely covered with snow from the last snow storm. It was hot enough on the mountain to start melting the snow and even enough for the snow to start collapsing on itself in certain spots. Snowshoes are a must. Me and my dog climbed the peak today and had a great time, but I wish I would have brought a sled or something to go down the mountain with as my hips were killing me because of using the snowshoes so much. We ran into about 20 climbers (mostly skiers and snowboarders). There was a couple that was climbing and made it about half-way without snowshoes. On the way up it was approximately 40mph gusts and 30mph winds. We reached the summit and the winds were very calm. It was very nice. On the way back down the wind picked back up, but not nearly as bad as on the way up. Overall a great climb. I was surprised how steep it was when you are just climbing straight up, but for a 3.50 mile one-way hike and around 3,500ft elevation gain, that would make sense.
|2016-04-27||Route: East Ridge
Info: Hit trailhead at 9a got got above tree line before 10a. Trail was great. I recommend crampons, the trail is crusty, but slick. Had to turn around because of the storm. Couldn't see past tree line. It was snowing the entire hike, be careful of it getting slippery the next few days. Saw one skier and a snowboarder on the way down, the way the storm came in I don't think they made it to tree line.
|2016-04-25||Route: East Ridge
Info: Great conditions yesterday from the lower trail head with solid snow all the way up to the summit. Left the trail head at 8AM, summit at 10:30, hung out for 20 mins and back at the car just after noon. Some hard/icy patches in the trees, minimal soft spots with postholing to no more than 6 inches just out of the trees and some mixed windblown/crusty stuff up on the ridge. Brought snowshoes and almost put them on but stuck with microspikes and poles for the entire route (I would recommend bringing snowshoes just in case). A few other peeps out enjoying the mountain as well skiing/snowboarding (definitely some good lines still to be had!) and hiking. I definitely enjoyed having the summit all to myself on one of the most popular 14ers and the views and weather were fantastic! Conditions will surely be changing a lot this week with the unsettled/stormy pattern, so keep it in mind.
|2016-04-09||Route: East Ridge
Info: As of yesterday snowshoes might be helpful in the trees but otherwise not necessary. We carried them and didn't use them at all. Route is 90% snow with a few sections of exposed rocks. Plenty of skiers and snowboarders out enjoying the mountain as well.
|2016-04-03||Route: South Gully aka Cristo Couloir
Info: One snowboarder and two skiers boot packed up Cristo Couloir Sunday. Started from the parking lot at sunrise. Snow was breakable crust that sometimes supported but often disappointed. No cracking or whumfing on the way up or down. Quite breezy most of the day and howling on top. We were off the route around 1:00pm and the snow was definitely softening at that time. We were able to glide all the way out but the road is opening up in spots so this won't last long.
|2016-04-03||Route: East Ridge
Info: A little breezy on Sunday. Snowshoes were helpful but not mandatory on the way down around noon as the snow started getting a bit soft.
|2016-03-28||Route: East Ridge
Info: Bluebird day on Quandary. Left TH around 7am. Snow from last week definitely deep in places. Snowshoes not necessary on the ascent, but spikes were very helpful. On the descent however, around 11:30, temps had risen enough to make snowshoes very useful. Even with them, snow was sloppy enough to cause some pretty good sinking. Well defined trail all the way up, thanks to previous hikers from the weekend.
|2016-03-22||Route: East Ridge
Info: Started around 7:30. Must have reached the summit around 11-11:30. Back to the trailhead by 12:15. Didn't use spikes until above treeline, but would have been helpful the entire way.
|2016-03-16||Route: East Ridge
Info: Started at 7am in light snow from the lower/winter lot. Snowshoes from the start on 6-8" of fresh powder. Snow got significantly deeper with elevation within the trees. We did not make it above 12,500'/Tree line due to difficulty trailfinding and incoming weather. As we gained elevation the trail would become less visible in the deepening snow. At one point crossing a small snowfield where I know from experience I was on the trail snowshoes we're sinking 8-16" deep and one step to the side ( not knowing where the side is due to the fresh snow) and waist deep in the snowshoes. I think a few days of some wind will clear alot of it though, it was surprisingly calm at the start. Had a great time, but only made it 1.5Mi up the hill total. Great fun in the deep snow though. Plenty of places drifted 5-6' deep on sides of the trail. Around 1pm wind was coming in, visibility below 1/4Mi, we headed back down. We saw only (2) other groups on the lower/summer road on ski's. Also, LOTS of fresh tracks, our snowshoes marks we're almost gone on our way down from the way up and saw several sets of fresh animal tracks on top of ours. I'll see if I can get some pictures up shortly.
|2016-03-11||Route: East Ridge
Info: Things getting a little softer on the snow sections just as you come out of treeline and the flat part just before the final push up to the summit. On trail at 630, summit at 10. Hang an hour. Down from 11-130. Up was firm the whole way with a few previous day postholes which were deep, but still firm. Didn't take snowshoes. On way down, things were definitely getting slushy, so if you dont have good gaiters and boots , may want to take snowshoes. Family of 5 mountain goats hanging on trail and summit. 3 are babies. Clocked the actual mileage from the parking lot. Stayed on the most obviously travelled path the entire way up and came up with 3.7 miles to the top for a round trip of 7.4.
|2016-03-08||Route: East Ridge
Info: Decide to do a winter 14-er to celebrate my birthday. Arrived at trailhead at 5:30AM, no other vehicles in the lot. 2-4 inches of fresh snow on the trail. Had boots and spikes, didn't use snowshoes (not really needed). Temps were in the low teens, no wind in the trees, very light breezes along the ridge and at the summit. Nobody else was at the summit, have to admit it was pretty awesome. Ridge photo show two sets of tracks, mine going up and coming down.
|2016-03-06||Route: East Ridge
Info: I started at the parking lot at about 6:45am, this was ideal, because there weren't many other hikers yet, and also for the predicted weather later in the day. I reached summit around 9:45, and was back in the car at 12. The hike will veer off the actual trail right where the tree line ends, and is well defined by all the traffic, follow that, and not the actual marked trail, because you want to stay on the ridge in the winter, due to avalanche risk. Snow shoes were not necessary, but I definitely recommend ice trekkers, because the snow was hard, and nearing the top, having a grip in the snow is definitely necessary as it all just keeps sloping up. Spikes may be too much, due to the frequent rocky areas above treeline. I used poles for the first time, and I really am glad, because with the ascent just being continuously up, it helps. There was some wind, so extra layers in a pack is recommended (typical winter clothes). The clouds started rolling in around 10, but it was calm otherwise. On my way down is when I encountered the most people, and many were questioning turning around due to the clouds. If the weather is predicted to be nice, its a great hike where not much gear is necessary (but better to be over prepared). An early start is recommended for weather purposes, and also for smaller crowds.
|2016-03-05||Route: East Ridge
Info: Went for a jaunt up Quandary this morning. Surprisingly, mostly still full snow coverage except for a handful of places on the ridge above treeline for 10-20 feet. Trench is completely bomber (considering I counted 50 cars in the lot afterward, no surprise as to why) and snowshoes are completely unnecessary. That said, I would highly recommend microspikes and an ice axe. Yeah, it's Quandary. But the snow is bulletproof and there's lot of evidence of people glissading...if you don't have an arrest device, stopping is going to be ugly. I saw a group of four glissading without axes or even poles-- one of them lost control and crash landed in rocks. How he didn't break a leg, I have no idea. It was scary to witness. For the skiers and boarders: I'm guessing you're not expecting powder, but if you get out tomorrow, you'll have a very fast cruiser descent. After the snow comes...? Je ne sais pas.
|2016-02-28||Route: East Ridge
Info: My partner and I got a late start at 9:00am, but the trail was hard packed and frozen which made for an easy hike on microspikes. Snowshoes were never necessary. The weather was significantly better than the reports from yesterday; almost dead calm all the way to the summit with very warm temperatures. We saw one mountain goat grazing about 10m off the trail at 13,500 feet or so, and saw another 8 or 9 goats very near the trail at a similar elevation during the descent. We summited at around 12:00pm, and were able to do some glissading on the way down. The weather was flawless so we took our time, arriving back to the parking lot at around 3:00pm.
|2016-02-27||Route: East Ridge
Info: 8am start, great hard packed trail all the way from TH to summit. Spikes are necessary! No snowshoes are needed. Very windy to the the summit, wind was so bad I had crawled the final 100 yards so I didn't blow off. Calmed down for the decent. Easy hike, took 5 hrs total. Pictures show trail conditions.
|2016-02-27||Route: East Ridge
Info: No need for snowshoes on the trail. Very windy the top 1,000 ft between 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM when I was there. Tons of people. I wouldn't go without spikes but the guy just ahead me was wearing Merrell Jungle Moc without any traction devices and he made it. Maybe he has mountain goat genes.
|2016-02-26||Route: East Ridge
Info: Started about 8am - approximately 20 or so folks were there throughout the hike. Parking lot was small so recommend getting there early. Trail was snow packed to the summit and easy to follow. Spikes and poles were extremely helpful particularly on the last ~1000 feet or so. If you have a small butt sled I'd bring it - great sledding on the way down! We saw 4 mountain goats on the main trail and they didn't seem to care that we were 10 feet away. Took us about 5 hours RT but had a few first-time winter/14er hikers with us. Gorgeous day and hike!
|2016-02-24||Route: East Ridge
Info: There is a very firm trench from the parking lot to the summit. We skinned most of the way up but left the skis at about 13,000' due to crazy high winds and very bad snow for skiing. Another party skied down from the top but it looked ugly. The wind was 50 mph at about 12,500' according to a person we met who had a wind gauge with him and it was much stronger than that on top. I was genuinely concerned about being blown off the ridge.
|2016-02-21||Route: East Ridge
Info: Hiked up the east ridge- the trail was well packed from a lot of use over the weekend. We only needed microspikes to get all the way to the peak. There were a lot of hikers on the trail. Low winds even on the peak and it was sunny and clear the entire hike. We started the hike at 11am and were at the trailhead by 5pm. Gorgeous views from the top- an excellent winter 14er!