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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-09-25||Route: East Ridge
Info: I drove up to the trail head from Broomfield, CO. I left my house at 4:00 am and arrived about 6:00 am. I did not know where the trail head was so my GPS took me to the over flow lot. It was empty at 6:00. It was still dark so I used my head lamp until about 6:40. I took the short trail from the over flow lot and turned right to go up the road. I was not sure where the next lot was but lucky for me I went the correct way and found the actual trail. At 6:15 there was already 8 cars at the main trail head with all the actual parking spots taken. The trail is well marked from the parking area. About a hour into my hike I began to come upon the other hikers on the trail. I hiked 13 14ers last summer and 5 this summer. Quandary is listed as one of the easier hikes. I think the reason for this is that the trail is a steady climb but not super steep. You gain a lot of elevation, over 1000ft per mile but it is not steep. Until you leave tree line the trail is mostly dirt with some rock. Once you leave tree line it gets rocky for most of the trail. There is one section near the false summit where the rocks get fairly big but other than this the rocks are not huge that you have to climb. I would not consider this a good "first climb" mountain but overall it was a nice hike. It took me about 3 hours to summit and 2 hours to descend. I did hike with my dog, a border collie, and she did great. We did not see any goats on our hike. As usual, the view from the summit is spectacular and makes the hike more than worth it.
|2015-09-06||Route: Inwood Arete
Info: Climbed the Inwood Arete on Quandary‘s North side on Aug. 28- but wanted to provide a shot of the ridge from Pacific‘s Peak East Ridge on 09/06/2015. Took a variation that appeared to have a couple low class 5 moves. After the first two pitches, route is lovely, lovely class 3/4 scrambling to the ridge. Nice rock.
|2015-09-03||Route: East Ridge
Info: Set out to climb my second fourteener with my two teenage daughters. Arrived at the trailhead just after 6:00am, with concerns about bad weather in the forecast for late morning. Cloudy but not stormy looking. Trailhead was not crowded early on a Thursday. By the time we cleared the trees we had much better light and conditions looked okay. This was my daughter‘s first fourteener and they were a bit surprised at the grade and the overall size of the mountain. First encountered the goats as we broke the trees, a mom and baby. The mother seemed wary of us but not intimidating like I have heard several people describe previously. In fact, on the shallower portion of the ridge, another goat ambled along in front of us for a long stretch, occasionally looking back as if guiding us up the mountain. He eventually veered off after we reached the much steeper part of the ridge. By the time we reached the steeper portion some light rain/sleet was falling and temps had dropped considerably. We knew that what we could see from below was a false summit but it was still discouraging to see how much we still had left after reaching it. We actually made very good time on the top portion and reached the top in just over three hours amidst light snow. Our summit party soon grew to around fifteen climbers as many groups were just behind us all the way up. Descent was tricky with the wet conditions making the talus very slick. This was my first hike/climb using trekking poles and I would recommend them for the stability they provide on rocky sections.
|2015-09-02||Route: East Ridge
Info: Arrived at the Quandary parking lot at 6:15am after leaving Boulder at 4:15am. I was surprised to find very few cars, and was able to park right near the trailhead. Started my solo climb up the mountain at 6:30am. It was a steep climb right from the start, with the sun starting to rise, it was a beautiful ascent through a wooded forest. As soon as the trail moved above tree line, it transitioned from soft dirt to lots of loose rock. The second half of the climb was all talus, which was a scramble at a times, leading you straight up to the summit. Sometimes it was hard to recognize where the trail actually was, but there were many cairns that helped direct you. Two mountain goats were intimidating hikers near the trail where the talus leveled out before the steep pitch. On the way down, there were more goats in the valley to the left. I reached the summit just before 11am. The most difficult attribute of this 14er is the short mileage but steep elevation gain -- 3,450‘ in a short 3.33 miles! The weather was perfect - very little wind (approx 10MPH) and the temperature was 45 degrees at the summit. Got an early start because rain was forecasted in the afternoon. On the way down it sprinkled a little but thankfully no storms even though the clouds looked threatening in the distance. Was back to the trailhead by 2pm. The descent seemed almost as hard, especially on the knees and I was worried about rolling my ankles, but I was fine. This was my fifth Fourteener, and even though it‘s classified as an "easy Fourteener", I would concur with the sign at the trailhead that read, "There are no easy Fourteeners."
|2015-08-15||Route: East Ridge
Info: Reached summit around 1:30PM. Only snow is along the right of the path for a few hundred feet near the summit. Did not come into contact with it, though there is some along the last few feet toward the summit. Clean, cool and amazing! Saw a couple mountain goats (mom and baby) - so please LEASH your dogs! Please remember to pack out everything - including your signs and crumbs! Someone graciously picked up the 6 signs strewn about.
|2015-08-07||Route: East Ridge
Info: Small snow patch still present near peak on trail, but easy to avoid. Looks like the snow left on the mountain may remain this year until the new snow season starts. No route problems. Slight rain and wind, but no real issues - beautiful trip. Great time for viewing wildlife and plants. Saw at least 20 different varieties of flowers in bloom, primarily below tree line, but some above as well. Saw mountain goats, marmots, pikas, squirrels, chipmunks, butterflies, and several kinds of birds as well.
|2015-07-25||Route: East Ridge
Info: We arrived at 5am at the trailhead, and there were about 10 cars already parked. The sky was clear, and the temperature was in the mid 30‘s. The sun started rising right as we hit the treeline, which was a fantastic site that I highly recommend. There is this weird flat area right before the final push that had very high winds. This is also the area where we found the goats. Once we started the final push the wind died down, although it was still windy in that same area on the way down. The last 30 foot of the trail still had snow on it. It was a little slick, but not a problem at all. I suspect that will be gone in the next week. We arrived at the summit around 7:45am and there were about a dozen other people up there. The conditions on the summit were perfect. High 40‘s, low 50‘s, no clouds and barely any wind. We hung out and chatted with the other people at the top for about 30-45 minutes. On the way down there was a line of people coming up that looked like ants. I must have thought to myself 10 times on the way down how glad I was we took the advice of the people on the 14ers.com facebook page to start at 5am. We were back and the car a little before 11am. It was a great trip and I wouldn‘t change a thing. Gear: Prana hiking shorts, long sleeve columbia hiking shirt, solomon hiking shoes, beanie, liner gloves, marmot rain jacket, columbia fleece, 2 liters of water, various snacks and an osprey daypack to carry it all. The only thing I didn‘t use was the fleece, although I almost put it on in the windy section. I hope this information is useful for others.
|2015-07-14||Route: East Ridge
Info: Clear sailing all the way to the summit. Snow all around but not necessary to climb on any whatsoever.
|2015-07-11||Route: West Ridge
Info: The west ridge is mostly free of snow - there are a couple of small snowfields in the notches, but no spikes required to cross them. The climb to the saddle crosses some snow. It is avoidable, but one member of our party had microspikes and he had a lot more fun on that part than the rest of us. The east ridge still has quite a bit of snow near the top. Summary: the west ridge is open. P.s. I also got a good look at fletcher. Still a lot of snow on its east ridge, and it doesn‘t appear to be avoidable.
|2015-07-11||Route: East Ridge
Info: Arrived early to beat reported crowds. Stepped off at 5:45 a.m. and we were not the first but one of the few early risers (about 15 other cars parked at this time). Passed descending hikers, one left at 2:30 a.m. to catch the sunrise others about 3-4 a.m. Conditions were perfect. Passed many Mountain Goats that were very curious and clearly they have seen a hiker or two. Took photos as they came near (attached). Looked at South Gully Cristo Couloir first. Decided to take east ridge due to few reports (steep and more technical plus snow most of route). East Ridge was clear until last 1,000 feet of snow prior to summit. The snow is pretty well worn with foot posts. Two members did not use crampons, one did. Clearly they will help stop the slip and if you have them bring them but you‘ll survive otherwise. Winds were heavier towards top and picked up mid-morning before we descended. We shared the top with about 15 hikers or so and one dog (a puppy). Clouds were moving in too but no serious threat of rain. We leisurely finished (for us at a very brisk-moderate pace) by 10:39 a.m. We must have passed 150-250 hikers on the way down and about 50 dogs. Cars were parked from the trail head down the road to the highway and in front of the homes and the parking lot was filled. Go early for a better experience. The early start and the hike are well worth it (our 5th and 6th 14er respectively).
|2015-07-10||Route: East Ridge
Info: Got off to a late 8AM start. Some light precipitation but it was an easy way up. Probably saw 50 or so people, but not too many. As I‘m a little slow, most were already coming down. Saw 50 or so different mountain goats in different groups of 5-10 each. A few were protective of the young ones and they used the trail. Some of the bigger ones were not afraid of hikers. Going around them time and time again was a little inconvenient but the best thing to do. There‘s snow at the top, but there it was easy and safe enough to kick steps in. Plus, after 20 ft, there is a ledge of rocks that you can step on to safely ascend. Fun climb.
|2015-07-07||Route: East Ridge
Info: Gear: headlamp, light weight puffy coat, yaktrax, wind guard, long sleeve, warm hat, warm gloves, gps, satellite tracker, phone, extra pair of socks. Trail is straight forward and dry. Lots of mountain goats so move of path slowly to let them by. Most of the time they are skittish, but not when they have their babies with them. My hike was in complete fog, and freezing cold wind and mist. I didn‘t enjoy the hike very much. Yaktrax are nice because the summit is under snow. For more details visit my blog: sunshineof1985.com. I‘m climbing all 55 14ers this summer!
|2015-07-04||Route: East Ridge
Info: Snow was evident in the last 100 yards or so of the peak. Reached the summit around 12:30. The snow was slippery enough that I felt spikes were in order and used with no issue. Numerous mountain goats were encountered around the false peak. Great Day. God Bless America!
|2015-07-04||Route: East Ridge
Info: Last 1,000 feet had snow at times, but was only forced to encounter 100 yards worth, as the rest could be avoided. Recommend poles or spikes for the snow descent, but neither are necessary.
|2015-07-02||Route: East Ridge
Info: Gear used: 17 year old Merrell Boots (I kid you not), 3 liter water bladder, lots o‘ sunblock (Irish/Nordic skin), lunch. First 14er I‘ve attempted and my second time in Colorado (first visit was April 2015). Planning on moving out to CO for good in 2 years as I absolutely love it here (I‘m from East Coast). Can‘t wait to call this place home. Started 6:30am Tuesday 7/2/15. East Ridge Trail was very easy to follow with a fair number of people out. Parking lot was full at this time and cars just starting to park on road. Passed several groups descending by 10am. Lots of goats out, several with young. Goats were very friendly, though with their young nearby, I was cautious; other hikers let their children within several feet of the goats. At one point, another hiking party with a large German Shepherd (beautiful dog named Norman) joined up with us and the goats got a bit territorial/ blocked the trail ahead and postured a bit - almost certainly in response to the young goats nearby. We backed off 10-20 feet and the goats (as well as our group) moved on. Goats were also banging heads together off the trail - impressive to watch. We also saw a few marmots in the rocks above the tree line. Cute little buggers. Weather was perfect with sun all morning and clouds rolling in around 1-2pm. Very light sprinkle around 1:30pm with no lightning/thunder. Temps from 60-70F at base to ~45-50F near summit. Light, long sleeves up and down. Small bit of snow near summit (approximately last 75-100 yards). Several hundred yards of snow just off trail near summit with several other hikers sliding down in waterproof gear. Looked like fun, but I was not dressed for sledding! Returned to car around 2:30pm after a very enjoyable hike up, with lunch at the summit (approx. 20 people on summit at once). View from summit was epic. Clouds rolling in, snow highlights on all the mountain peaks, and loads of range/visibility. Awesome doesn‘t begin to do it justice. Through the forest and grassy areas, wildflowers were in bloom everywhere. Really a beautiful time of year to hike this 14er. Although we prefer solitude and more secluded hikes, everyone we met on the trail today was great. We‘ll be back to tackle Quandary again from another route! Next up - Holy Cross!
|2015-06-28||Route: East Ridge
Info: Hiked up Quandary Peak with my father on Sunday and it was such and amazing experience. The trail is in pretty good condition, there isn‘t much snow, and it‘s easy to get by. One of the coolest things was that there was mountain goats, and they got pretty close. The summit has such a nice view and its mostly free of snow. On the way back down people have made paths where they slid down some of the snow, it‘s cold but definitely worth it. Quandary is a 14er that you should try.
|2015-06-27||Route: East Ridge
Info: Almost entirely snow free until last tenth of a mile. Summit itself is snow free. Microspikes helped on the way down.
|2015-06-21||Route: East Ridge
Info: The trail is nice and dry until about the last 1000‘ or so, which is still covered in snow. It is possible to stay to the far left edge of the ridge and hike up through the rocks though (which are clear of snow). If you prefer to stay on the snow, spikes are very helpful. Summit is still covered in snow. Beautiful hike with lots of mountain goats...some of which got a little too close for comfort.
|2015-06-21||Route: East Ridge
Info: Some snow patches on way up and last quarter mile had a snow field on the direct route to cross. Started at about 7 AM and snow as nice and firm on the way up. Spikes on the last snow field made a difference but not required, don‘t bother bringing snow shoes. Saw others in running shoes which, #1 you shouldn‘t be doing a 14er in running shoes, but #2, if you make that bad decision you can stay under the ridge to avoid snow and instead scramble to get to summit. Also saw skis & boards and snow field was ride-able but get there early. Snow was pretty soft on the way back down around 9:30 AM. Did a lot of sliding in the boots since it was easier than trying to keep a footing.
|2015-06-20||Route: East Ridge
Info: Started around 6:45am. There were about 9 or so "mini" snow patches that you had to walk over and then a larger snowpatch right before the summit, but they were very walkable. There is a dry path almost the entire length of the incline above treeline that you can follow next to the giant snowfield (except the last bit of snow that you have to walk over before the summit). Snow was firm til about 7am then started softenly and getting squishy. I‘d say no to snowshoes and maybe to chains (they helped when I ran down the snowfield on the descent) and there are some glissade tracks for the way down too.