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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-01-11||Route: East Ridge
Info: Adding to update conditions since last report on Friday. Sunday saw 3 to 5 inches of new, very low density snow falling on very light (almost non-existent below about 13K) winds. As we were descending in late afternoon, the trench/boot tracks were still mostly visible, but getting obscured in some parts, and snow was still falling. Suspect that a few more inches of snow will obliterate most of it - especially once the wind does pick up and drifting ensues.
|2015-01-08||Route: East Ridge
Info: It took us less than 3 hours to summit, we had to move fast to stay warm because it was so windy. It was semi-dangerous, a gust can potentially blow someone off the ridge. Also the wind chill meant numb fingers, very few photos, no way to eat snacks or anything... We had 5 people in total, all of them skied off the summit except for me. I don‘t ski in the backcountry because I don‘t want to die. I‘m always hesitant to tell people what gear to take because it is so dependent on individual experience level. I took almost nothing: no gaiters, crampons, axe, snowshoes, helmet. I did have two ski poles, which I consider mandatory, and would recommend most people take traction, like cleats, microspikes, even yak-traks would be useful. I say this in regard to the steep section of the ridge near the top, where the snow was hard-packed, slightly icy, and did not always have steps in place. There are a couple short sections that could be potentially dangerous if someone started to slide, so traction could prevent a slip. I, however, have supreme confidence in myself!! Yes, I‘m cocky. Also there are a couple short sections near treeline-ish where the path is less defined and snowshoes could be helpful. I will try to add a couple photos later.
|2015-01-07||Route: East Ridge
Info: The trail was well packed most of the way and easy to follow. As the sun warmed in the afternoon we hit some soft spots descending on the lower reaches and clearings below treeline. We stuck with spikes the entire route with no issues although most people I saw were using snowshoes most of the way and quite a few were skinning. There were several people skiing down although there were a some rocks to avoid. I have pictures available at: http://tomcatoutdoors.blogspot.com/2015/01/a-beautiful-winter-climb-of-quandary.html
|2014-12-31||Route: East Ridge
Info: At least 12 people/ parties attempted summit on New Years Eve. Trail/ trench recognizable the entire way. Weather was edtraordinary not of the way. A bit windy at the top. Something more than microspikes is higly r commended due to deep snow in many areas.
|2014-12-17||Route: East Ridge
Info: Route is definitely covered in snow almost the whole way up, but the trail was easy to follow. We used snowshoes all the way through treeline and up to the first ridge, but most others we saw were in microspikes. Once you get on the main ridge, it was much easier to ditch the snowshoes and follow the steps of other hikers before us. Microspikes probably would have been better than snowshoes in most areas, but snowshoes still were very helpful. Snowshoes or microspikes are highly recommended.
|2014-12-06||Route: East Ridge
Info: Great conditions. Trail is 100% packed and easy to follow, no post holing anywhere. No snowshoes needed. Microspikes not needed if your shoes are sufficiently luggy.
|2014-12-05||Route: East Ridge
Info: The lower lot is clear and can be accessed by any vehicle. The upper lot has not been plowed and there is no evidence that anyone has attempted to attempt the drive. I brought snow shoes and carried them the entire distance. Snow depth varies from 1" to 3‘ but the entire trail is compact snow. I used microspikes over hiking boots and it seemed to be the ideal gear, but hiking boot alone will do. Navigation was simple as a result of a path beaten into the snow.
|2014-11-30||Route: East Ridge
Info: Lower parking lot was plowed while the road to the upper lot was plowed in. The trail is well defined from heavy use. No need for snowshoes as the middle of the trail was plenty firm. Micro-spike were nice but probably not essential for upper elevations due to hard pack and steep slopes. Had it been any warmer (it was a high in the 20s) I probably would have needed the snow shoes. It seemed the snow depth was around 3-4 feet when I would break through or miss the middle of the trail.
|2014-11-27||Route: East Ridge
Info: Good amount of snow up to 12500 - 12700. Still rocky after that with some deeper buildup along the final ridge. Trail was excellent due to the snowshoe wearing types. Peak was clear but quite windy.
|2014-11-15||Route: East Ridge
Info: Quandary/Breckenridge received about 6-8 inches of snow the previous night (of course it had also been snowing pretty much all week). The lower (overflow) parking lot was plowed, the upper parking lot and 851 was not. A couple on snowshoes were nice enough to break trail all the way to treeline, so the trail was easy to follow from parking lot to treeline (around 11,700 feet). Above treeline the wind picked up, I‘d estimate 15-25 mph sustained, gusting up to 30-40 mph. Visibility was reduced to about 100 feet, with occasional whiteout conditions when the wind was blowing hard. Wind drifted snow was considerably deeper than I thought, I was kicking myself for not bringing my sowshoes. Although I‘m not sure if snowshoes would have helped, the snow was totally unconsolidated sugary powder. There were islands of rock where snow was only a couple of inches deep, everywhere else was thigh deep to chest deep powder. Unfortunately there‘s no way to tell how deep the snow was just by looking at it, so my strategy was navigating by compass and GPS in a general westerly direction, always aiming for a rock island so I can get some rest from swimming in chest deep powder. At around 12,700 feet, I decided that condition was deteriorating too much to continue. It was nearly whiteout all the time at that point. Even my dog Polar, who absolutely loves snow, was very happy to be turning around. On the way down I couldn‘t find any trace of the chest deep trench I built in the snow, it was totally erased by the wind. When I got back to the lower parking lot , there was another 4 inches of new snow on top of my car. A couple had just arrived in the parking lot and was getting ready to head up. I told them what the conditions were like, they decided to see how far they can get. I wish them best of luck! Also, as I was heading out from the parking lot, I saw a new Toyota 4Runner (?) that got its front wheels stuck in the ditch, they were probably trying to make a three-point turn. Luckily the guy had a tow rope in his car, so I gave him a little tug and pulled him out. All in all, an interesting day.
|2014-11-09||Route: East Ridge
Info: Hiked Quandary via the East Ridge this morning (9 November). Trail is in great shape, not much snow or ice due to melt/freeze, and no need for traction (though poles/micros could be used if desired). Most snow being held on the mountain is between 12,500-13,500, above that it is windswept. Peak is clear as well
|2014-11-01||Route: West Ridge
Info: Hiked the West Ridge for the Winter Welcomer. At least a dozen people went up that route. Not much snow on the trail and route. No need for snowshoes. One person put on microspikes, but no one else did. Most of the snow is on the trail on the class 2 portions. Snow did not hinder the Class 3, except for one section. I guess the snow covers the route and pushes you into a Class 4 section. Very doable. This is between photos #17 and #18 of the route description. I think you walk around this to the right, usually. But snow prevents that. It‘s a down and up, but again very doable.
|2014-10-31||Route: West Ridge
Info: Beautiful weather yesterday with just a bit of wind. The west ridge had only a little bit of snow (max. accumulation about 6 inches) with very few footprints in it. We descended down the east ridge, which had much more trodden, slipperier snow/ice; but it was easily avoidable. The mountain goats were out, too!
|2014-10-17||Route: East Ridge
Info: Snow is melting fast on the ridge, but there is still some snow/ice to contend with. I managed fine with trail runners but my feet did get a little soggy on the way down. Below treeline its mostly dry with the exception of a few shaded spots which were snowy/icy/muddy. traction isn‘t mandatory but it wouldn‘t be a bad idea to bring microspikes or poles.
|2014-10-11||Route: East Ridge
Info: Decent amount of snow to where I would want gaiters had I not had winter hiking boots. I was happy to have worn winter hiking boots and I heard a few different people comment on how cold their toes were and noticed they were in regular hiking shoes/boots. I didn‘t use spikes, although they might have been useful at times. No snow on the first half of the trail, but it was super muddy/slippery on the way down when the snow on the trees starting melting off. My hands also got a little cold with two layered SmartWool mittens.
|2014-09-30||Route: East Ridge
Info: A bit snowy up high - no need for flotation yet, but microspikes were handy on the descent.
|2014-09-27||Route: West Ridge
Info: Up the West Ridge on on 9/27, snow in the gullies shown to gain west ridge but all totally avoidable. No snow or ice at all on any of the ridge once gained. A great day and an awesome route up, terrible (east ridge) decent. Thanks to the dude from Dillon who drove me back up to the dam to get my car in exchange for a cold Dale‘s Pale.
|2014-09-26||Route: East Ridge
Info: Arrived at trailhead (lower lot) about 7:15 and headed up. The trail was in perfect condition. There was absolutely NO snow on the trail. The rocks, My God, the rocks. We had climbed Belford/Oxford, Greys/Torrey and Pikes last year. None seemed to have the rocks of Quandary. We saw ONE goat near the trail. Every hiker took a photo with him. Hilarious. When we got to the top (4 women) there was a mom/son combo. Within 15 minutes there were over 40 people and we passed at least that many coming down. Excellent hike overall!
|2014-09-07||Route: East Ridge
Info: Quandary is in good shape—no snow anywhere on the ground, though we did get some spitting snow from the sky above 13k‘. CFI was hard at work putting in some more rock steps a bit above treeline.
|2014-08-18||Route: West Ridge
Info: Trail well marked to the saddle, but beware cairns that lead to the right of the upper basin exit. Stay left and aim for the bump left of saddle to avoid snow fields and dirt slides. Trail from the saddle to old mining site is well worn with few cairns. The route finding begins after the mine site. Cairns are not always obvious, but in general stay center and climb the bumps directly. The "dirt gulley" was dry with plenty of holds on the right and left. The wall was a lot of exposure, but holds are solid.