Click to Expand
|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|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.
|2015-06-20||Route: South Gully aka Cristo Couloir
Info: Cristo Couloir is in excellent shape this late into June and a continual line of snow cover on the couloir could remain through mid July. Crampons are recommended, along with an early morning start.
|2015-06-19||Route: East Ridge
Info: Started 0530, there are several snow fields to cross. Most are trenched, easy to follow. Minor postholing on the ascent, started sinking occasionally around 0800, at most waist deep. The snow can often be avoided by bypassing to the hiker‘s left on the ascent. On the descent, the snow had turned into mashed potatoes, soupy. Postholing was more frequent, but still a relatively small issue, IMHO. I did not use snowshoes (you will posthole with them on, just as much as without them, takes more effort to extract yourself with snowshoes on!), or any traction. Waterproof boots necessary. Doable conditions. Start early to get the firmest snow!
|2015-06-13||Route: East Ridge
Info: There is still some snow below tree line but not very much. Probably 90% of the route above tree line was still covered in snow. We summited just after 7 am and the snow was firm the entire way up. Microspikes were useful though not absolutely necessary. Around 8-8:30 though snow started becoming soft pretty quickly. We had abundant postholing (up to the hip at times) on the way down. So if you get an early start, microspikes are more useful. I‘d say snowshoes are still useful if you plan to get a late start. (3 of 4 in our group had microspikes, no snowshoes)
|2015-06-06||Route: South Gully aka Cristo Couloir
Info: There is still some excellent snow on this route. We used the wet slide paths today for most of the ascent- found good snow there as this was scraped down to the harder bed surface. Some areas were a struggle, but it was fun trying to find and stick to the better quality snow. Many wet slides on the other side of the valley (North and East aspects)- this route has seen some wet slides but is not as affected (found reasonable skiing conditions on the descent- earlier would have been better). Any wet slides on the descent were easily manageable and did not propagate. The weather was in and out but we stuck with it and had some great views as the clouds passed through the valley and overhead- some snow but no lightening. We were not able to find the summit register as there is still a lot of snow up top. I witnessed a large wet slide release off the due West end of the valley and run over a large cliff (the ridge between Wheeler and Drift peaks). The snow is not fully refreezing overnight, so I would recommend an early start if possible. We were greeted this morning by (no joke) 35 mountain goats! The surrounded us while we got our gear on- it was pretty unreal. I‘ve never seen that many together at one time.
|2015-06-03||Route: East Ridge
Info: Left the trailhead at about 7:20 in the morning. The snow was firm enough for the first quarter mile or so to not put on snowshoes, but after that it became a necessity. There was evidence everywhere of people postholing up to their hips. Above the tree line I ran into 8 other hikers, four without flotation. While we all ended up summitting around the same time, it took those without flotation a 90 minute head start to get there. The way down was even worse. Standing at the summit we began sinking in to our calves, and by the time I got below 13,000‘, with snowshoes, I was sinking above my ankles. I had a great time but I‘m sure it wasn‘t nearly as enjoyable for those without flotation. Overall it took me 4 hours to summit, and 1.5 hours to get back down (thanks to glissading). Snow still covers 90% of the route, so you‘ll end up finding your own way to the treeline.
|2015-05-31||Route: South Gully aka Cristo Couloir
Info: Nice conditions early for the climb. Got a bit soft as the sun came out and the temps went up. Several skiers coming down who all must be vegetarians as they were all talking about corn or beans or something... :-)
|2015-05-29||Route: East Ridge
Info: Early morning (6 am) departure from the trailhead. Snow still starts almost immediately after departing the trailhead. A few bare spots where you will want to take off snowshoes or skis. The day was partly cloudy and the route was more often in shade than in sunlight; this kept the snow firm longer. The lower part of the route is full of evidence of people post holing up to their hips. The upper part of the route is still fully snow covered, firm, with a 1" wind crust (pencil) over recent snow (fist). On the ridge we never sank in deeper than 2 inches. Skiing down was very nice. The snow is mostly smooth, and there are a few rocks sticking out here and there. Just above the trees at 11:30 am, we met a party of four climbing without snowshoes, and they were crawling from post hole to post hole. I would not climb this route without snowshoes or skis.
|2015-05-17||Route: East Ridge
Info: Continuous snow coverage from the flat section just below treeline ~11,700‘ all the way to the summit. As one would expect in May, snow conditions are variable including section of breakable crust, wind slab, powder, re-frozen ice, and corn. Below that, snow is discontinuous and melting out fast. Would guess that most of the below-treeline section will be snow-free in a couple of weeks. We used snowshoes on pretty much the entire ascent, and much of the descent. Microspikes would‘ve also worked for the upper mountains, but some kind of traction is definitely nice. Snowshoes were a must on the walk-out near treeline and below (the post-holing is truly horrendous), and, unfortunately, it does mean you have to take them on and off a couple of times in the woods. For skiers, with the current state of things I‘d recommend bringing snowshoes for the below-treeline portion and then stashing them somewhere near treeline, as trying to either skin or ski through the trees right now would be an exercise in extreme frustration. That said, the ski from the summit to just below treeline looks great. Sorry, no photos due to whiteout conditions most of the day.