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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2013-06-09||Route: East Ridge
Info: Perfect hiking weather. Started around 9:20 and made the summit a little before 1:00. Relatively warm day, so the snow was definitely softening up as the morning wore on. I used yaktrax, but everyone else in the group used only boots and didn‘t have any difficulty with traction. Past treeline, once you get onto the actual ridge, it‘s mostly covered in snow. However, a fair amount of the trail is snow free, so if you get sick of hiking in the snow, you‘ll have some breaks. We also saw a mountain goat on the way up.
|2013-06-09||Route: South Gully aka Cristo Couloir
Info: Climbed it today. Conditions were OK; snow was firm and well consolidated in the early morning, but you‘ll start breaking through as soon as the sun warms through the overnight freeze. We started at 6:30, and probably should have been at the base of the couloir at sunup to maximize the snow. There‘s a good stretch of about 100 feet now that has completely melted out about 3/4 of the way up; so it turns into a mixed climb. If you do go, make sure to stay on the solid rock to the left of the couloir. Do not traverse across as the rock is extremely bad (I almost knocked down a few fist sized rocks). Probably won‘t last much longer. There was running water in some parts of the couloir. With the very warm temps forecast, it‘ll probably be done by the end of next week, if not sooner.
|2013-06-04||Route: East Ridge
Info: There is still occasional snow below the tree line, but the trail is still easy too follow. Above 11,800‘ (roughly the tree line) there is a a lot of snow, but occasional dry trail segments. I carried snowshoes and crampons, but did not need them. Footing on the snow was very comfortable for both the ascent and descent. The snow was softening up rapidly on the descent especially below 12,000‘. I would still follow the winter trail as mentioned in the route description. It was a windy day. Most of the route was relatively protected from the wind, except for the last 30 or 40 yards to the summit, I estimate it was blowing over 50 mph on that stretch. I stayed on the summit for about 30 seconds and then sought cover lower. Leave early too avoid post hole misery on the descent. I left the trail head at 6 am, got to the summit at 9:30 am and back to the car around 11:30 am.
|2013-06-03||Route: East Ridge
Info: Could drive up to the trailhead with no problems- minimal snow up until tree-line, and then snowfield up the rest of the way to the summit. Snowshoes were not required, and the snow became very mushy on our descent around 10 in the morning. Nice easy hike, steep finish with the snow.
|2013-06-01||Route: South Gully aka Cristo Couloir
Info: Great snow all the way to the top. However, an early start is required as the snow gets soft by mid-morning.
|2013-05-26||Route: South Gully aka Cristo Couloir
Info: 3-4 large drifts still covering road to dam (parked 1 mile-ish) away (at road split to lower pond). Couloir in top to bottom (will have to pick through some sharks for summit ski). Perfect styrofoam early for crampons (started at 4:30). On summit 7:00-7:30. Descended milder chutes to east of main body for great glissade without interfering with anyone else‘s ascent. Softer snow for nice heel kicking down when not glissading. Perfect corn at bottom so I imagine skiing was great. ONE posthole just before short steep section at dam Back to car at 8:30. Forgot phone in car, so no pictures :
|2013-05-25||Route: East Ridge
Info: Good trail through the trees. Microspikes could be useful. however none of our group wore them. Snowshoes are mandatory past 11am from treeline up to the summit. Our group was running late(started at 8am) so we wore our shoes pretty much the whole way. There were plenty of people in front of us (descending at 9-10a) in just spikes. Things got super slushy around 1pm(yeah, we were taking our time - it was a gorgeous day and my girlfriend‘s first 14er). It‘s gonna be a little bit before this route dries out. Spikes might be a mandatory piece of gear on the East Ridge for a few weeks.
|2013-05-20||Route: East Ridge
Info: Still lots of snow, pretty much whole way to the summit. Snowshoes are a great idea, especially if sun comes out. Snowed on us nearly the entire time from timberline to summit to back down to the trees again. Left winter TH at 12:45, back to car by 6:30 with just a few freezing minutes on the summit with NO VIEW (white-out).
|2013-05-19||Route: South Gully aka Cristo Couloir
Info: The route was in excellent shape for climbing, as we got a hard freeze the night before. No bucket steps the entire way up. The snow felt fine and consolidated, but we did notice some debris to climber‘s right. Staying left and well away from the fall line seemed prudent. Coming down was another matter. We headed down around 10am, and it was already pretty slushy. I‘m not sure there was a good mode of transportation down.
|2013-05-12||Route: East Ridge
Info: Quandary was FULL of snow on Sunday. Early morning was fine with just boots...even the final pitch to the summit, but you might want to keep micros handy if you‘re up there really early. Drifts 4-5 feet deep on the ridge along the summit. There were not alot of folks up there, but half were skiing. Flotation is a NECESSITY on the downclimb just before re-entering the forest. Lots of folks stuck post holing their way for long stretches. Nasty knee popping terrain.
|2013-05-10||Route: East Ridge
Info: Tons of fresh powder up there. Was breaking trail through 6" above treeline. Wind covers up the trail pretty quickly; in the trees the trail is well established and compact. Snowshoes or floatation needed above treeline.
|2013-05-05||Route: East Ridge
Info: Hiked Quandary from the East Ridge 5/5/13. Upper parking lot still not accessible, but it is a very easy hike form the lower lot. We were the first ones out, and a dusting of snow from the night before made the trail tough to see in some areas. Hiking in the morning was good because trail was solid, but by 1:00 conditions below tree line were starting to get soft. Wore basic snow shows the entire time and had no issues.
|2013-04-27||Route: East Ridge
Info: Trail was well packed down. Did not need snow shoes at all. Started at 7:45 and the trail was frozen solid. Very sunny day. Things loosened up significantly towards 1:00. I only postholed maybe 3 times. Could not have been a better day.
|2013-04-27||Route: East Ridge
Info: Trail snow covered even above treeline. Good trench in place through the trees. Wore snowshoes the whole way, although many people went with MicroSpikes. Traction was good to have. On the way up the snow was hard enough flotation was not an issue. On the way back through the trees there were some post holes. Be wary of the snow built up on the south side of the ridge.
|2013-04-13||Route: East Ridge
Info: Standard route on Quandary today. Miserable weather with high winds. The trail was hard packed to the summit. Some people used snowshoes, I just used microspikes. The wind picked up tremendously and the trail disappeared above treeline on the way down. Had to use GPS to get back on track. With new snow coming, I would strongly suggest snowshoes.
|2013-04-06||Route: East Ridge
Info: Enjoyed a fantastic day on Quandary Peak for my first 14er snowboard descent with four other first-timers! We shared the mountain with some really cool people, most of which were stronger and more experienced. There were about 25 to 30 other hikers, most of which were skiing/boarding. The snow conditions were excellent, and we were able to ski/board right off the summit. I managed to keep the board on all the way to the car, although there were a few flat sections where a pole was needed to avoid walking, as well as a rocky section where the trail returns to the road. However, it was a very fun day and I‘d love to do it again! Image 1 - Looking up the route from around 12,000‘ Image 2 - Climbing up the East Ridge in excellent snow Image 3 - On the final 1,000‘ Image 4 - On the way down, enjoying the snow!
|2013-03-28||Route: East Ridge
Info: Two friends of mine and I did a full moon hike of quandary tonight. We had no issues and did not post hole at all, however we all wore snowshoes from the parking lot. There is a very obvious bootpack all the way to the summit. The snow felt very stable and solid to us.
|2013-03-28||Route: East Ridge
Info: There is still quite a bit of loose snow below and above treeline. I found it necessary to wear snowshoes and got tired out about 1000 feet below the summit. Even with snowshoes there was quite a bit of postholing with depths up to my thigh. If you don‘t like trudging through snow, you may want to wait a while on this one.
|2013-03-16||Route: East Ridge
Info: Since there hasn‘t been much new snowfall, the trail is well-established and well-packed from bottom to top. Brought snowshoes but never needed them. Definitely spring conditions...deep postholing below treeline (off-trail) and above treeline is melting off and icing up...traction from 12,000‘ up is a good idea. Should be a getting a few new inches of snow in the next couple days!
|2013-03-03||Route: South Gully aka Cristo Couloir
Info: gully has recently had a large slide, and there are smaller slides that have occurred on the road to blue lakes. the current snowpack and conditions makes it easy to climb up to the gully on the hardened avy debris on the lower flatter section, and on the rocks on the left side of the upper section. the gully is not holding much snow after the slide, and the current snow pack is a half inch or so of suncrust, and sugar snow underneath. we used snowshoes for part of the hike. road is plowed to the Monte Cristo TH, and the road to blue lakes is snowmobile packed most of the way with a few bare spots.