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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2014-05-18||Route: East Ridge
Info: There is still a good amount of snow on Quandary. A couple of short sections have thawed out on the ‘trail‘ below treeline, but for the most part, snow is covering the trail. There are tracks left from previous climbers but with everything starting to melt, it‘s getting a bit messy. Some form of traction should be used. I was glad to have snowshoes today, especially on the descent, when things around treeline started to get slushy. The road to the summer trailhead is still snowed in as well.
|2014-05-10||Route: South Gully aka Cristo Couloir
Info: The road was impassable and completely snow covered beyond the second parking lot up Blue Lakes Rd, so the approach was about 1.8 miles. The entire route was well filled in with snow, with about 6-8 inches of partially consolidated snow sitting on top of a thick freeze/thaw crust. A few hard spots of snice, but not many. I did not use any flotation, just boots and crampons (and axe). A skier released a small sluff avalanche down the central gully that did no harm, but caused the parties below to reconsider. Sticking to the couloir‘s climbers left seemed to mitigate that risk. Scattered, light snow showers occurred throughout morning, which kept things from heating up and getting sticky until the afternoon, but later on during the descent via East Ridge things were getting really wet. It sounds like a lot of new snow came in over the rest of the weekend, so conditions could be quite different now.
|2014-05-07||Route: South Gully aka Cristo Couloir
Info: You can drive 1.2 mi up the blue lakes road before you encounter snow and have to park, after that there‘s mostly continuous snow on the road to the base of the dam with a few short dry sections. From there to the summit is continuous snow up the Cristo Couloir, although the bottom section with the willows is getting a little thin. Really good skiing once it gets soft!
|2014-05-03||Route: East Ridge
Info: Snow coverage most of the way. We used snowshoes on the way up, but the snow was firm enough they were for traction not flotation. The snow was soft & sticky on the way down so we took them off. A few people post holed but it wasn‘t a problem. Below treeline the track is off the summer trial more than on, but it hits the top and bottom in the right places. image
|2014-04-18||Route: South Gully aka Cristo Couloir
Info: Snow pack stabilizing out. Hikers on climbers left boot packed it without issue. 3 different groups of skiers made the descent on spring conditions- corn like, heavy at mid-day. Skied well to the dam and the road was covered and skied well down to the 1/4 mile clearance on the road.
|2014-04-12||Route: East Ridge
Info: There was a well-packed trail all the way to the summit and I was able to make it the whole way with only my boots and microspikes. By mid-day the snow on the peak was getting much softer and it resulted in quite a bit of postholing down toward the trees, sometimes up to my thigh! Rather unpleasant descent as a result, but a good day nonetheless.
|2014-04-04||Route: East Ridge
Info: Lots of fresh snow made for slower going. Broke new trail from parking lot to 12k where met up with a couple of guys from Oregon who were ahead on snowshoes. About 10 more folks came up later so trench in place now. Photo is from flat spot at 13100 ft. Bluebird day - almost no wind - got very warm - snowshoes helpful on way out at 1:30 pm.
|2014-03-29||Route: East Ridge
Info: Had a great day on Quandary - my friend and I hiked the mountain in our boots (no snowshoes, spikes, skis, poles, etc) and we made it up fairly easily, although snowshoes would have been much more efficient. The area just got a good deal of snow so there was a fresh foot or two on the mountain! Would have been great to ski, and most people did ski up and down yesterday. There was a clear trail to the top and it was packed down pretty well until the last 1/4 mile. The winds were terrible for most of the hike but it was a bright clear day. Quandary is a great winter/spring mountain and its a good time of year to hike it!
|2014-03-17||Route: East Ridge
Info: As of today the conditions are pretty good. We brought our snow shoes but kept them in our packs and didn‘t use them. Microspikes were helpful for traction but not necessary. The trail was packed down really well below treeline and then it got a bit spotty once we left the trees, but overall very easy to follow. Freshly blown wind over the trail made for a fun and slippery descent (even with traction), but at least there was not much post hole action.
|2014-02-27||Route: East Ridge
Info: Excellent boot path to tree line. No show shoes or traction required anywhere.
|2014-02-23||Route: East Ridge
Info: Skied Quandary East Ridge today, good snow all the way up and down. Snow in the lower half of the trees was slightly sun affected/crusty on top, Lower East face was thick powder. Upper east face looked pretty well filled in, but stayed off as avy danger kept us cautious. Plenty of snow on the solid part of the upper East Ridge kept us plenty entertained and safe. As far as I could tell, those with snowshoes were glad to have them. Also - thoughts on the last image? The upper ridge (along the east face) is collecting what I could best term a ‘cornice‘ along the north edge of the ridge hike, I wonder if this is anything that is likely to trigger a slide on the face if you get too far out on it. Also also - if I took your picture up on the summit, hit me up, I have a couple good pics of you!
|2014-02-15||Route: East Ridge
Info: Broke new trail the entire time until 13k, where we turned around due to poor visibility. Wore snowshoe the entire time. So long as there isn‘t any new snow, the trail was fairly packed all the way to treeline when we got back down. Above treeline snow shoes were still needed, saw two guys without who were thigh deep, but the trail we broke was swept away by the wind before we got back down.
|2014-02-07||Route: East Ridge
Info: Packed down trail until about treeline then we had to find our own way. Wind blown on the southern most portion of the east ridge but wish I would have brought my skis because conditions were perfect for a ski descent if you stayed to the not wind blown portion. We took a hard right at the tree line (see pics on east ridge route) to gain the ridge and avoid any avalanche conditions. After the past week of wind and less snow I would imagine it is now more packed down than what we saw. Great hike! We wore our snowshoes the entire way, probably not needed on lower portion to tree line but definitely needed from 12k to the top. Will post a trip report with pics tonight.
|2014-01-26||Route: East Ridge
Info: When I hiked it on Sunday, Quandary had a fairly obvious packed-in trail leading from the parking area off 850 all the way up the East Ridge Route to the summit. My friend and I hiked up and back in about 6 hours using our trekking poles and microspikes for traction. We saw at least a dozen people carrying their snowshoes, and no one wearing them, so I assume those weren‘t too helpful. The ever-present wind made for rather uncomfortable hiking, sometimes gusting hard enough to blow me a little off balance. In fact, I spoke with quite a number of parties who had turned back before the summit due to the wind. I couldn‘t blame them, and as small granules of snow managed to blast their way into my eyes, I mentally kicked myself for wearing sunglasses rather than ski goggles. I would also have liked my balaclava, but made the best of it with a neck gaiter. Probably because of using trekking poles, my gloved fingers became uncomfortably cold, and I wished for mittens instead of gloves. Thankfully, some well-placed handwarmers saved me the worst of the discomfort. My friend lamented forgetting his gaiters when a bit of snow got on his socks, but his feet survived the round trip in relative comfort, and with no blisters despite the damp. All in all, a little suffering led us to spectacular views and a rewarding summit.
|2014-01-25||Route: East Ridge
Info: There is a hard packed trench and trail the entire route. I wore microspikes from start to finish. Snowshoes were never necessary. The ridge and summit are pretty windblown and stripped of thick snow. Bring snow pants so you can glissade during the descent. Once you are back under treeline, soon there is a fork marked by a big branch where many missed the trail turning left. Leave your skis at home until one or two more storms hit.
|2014-01-20||Route: East Ridge
Info: Ski attempt (with AT setup) of E. Ridge. Mostly decent snow coverage up the flat spot at 13K - above that too rocky for skiing. E. Face likewise needs more snow to be skiable. Snow was generally hard, windpacked and bumpy above treeline, and deep and soft below. The best, most continuous skiing to be had is on the snowfields between about 12 and 12.5K. The large bowl to the N. (skier‘s left) of the outcrop at 12,100‘ also looked pretty promising, though avy danger could be an issue. All in all not terrible, but I‘d wait until a few more big dumps. As seems to be the story everywhere in CO this year, too much wind and not enough snow...
|2014-01-18||Route: East Ridge
Info: It could not have been a nicer day. Clear, blue skies and breezy on the ridge. We all lounged on the south side of the summit, and were treated to warm sunshine and comfortable temperatures - just a beautiful day. Lots of snow up to tree line, but there is an incredible trench that should last until the next heavy snowfall. Up on the ridge, we had intermittent snow and trail - I kept microspikes on the whole way up. Spikes are helpful right now, but snowshoes will not be necessary until that trench disappears. Get out there and enjoy it!
|2013-12-29||Route: East Ridge
Info: Good trail to treeline, snowpacked and visible (12/29/13). After that, it‘s windswept for the most part, so no problem getting to the top with spikes (no snowshoes necessary). There are a bunch of unofficial trails along the way, which can be a little confusing. Follow the most snowpacked/well-established trail, it will pop you out a couple of hundred feet below the official trail where you head up to the ridge. (Helpful trail hints: turn right right before the Private Property sign; if the snow is low enough, you will see a metal pipe sticking out of the snow on your right shortly after you turned right; when you get to the clearing at about 11,600ft, you can turn right up the clearing to meet the "official" trail, or just go straight through the clearing, which will pop you out a couple of hundred feet below the trail sign at treeline).
|2013-12-28||Route: East Ridge
Info: Trail showing well from parking lot. Snow shoes were nice but not necessary. Quite a few skiers hiking up and hiking partially down due to spotty snowpack. As we crested the Summitt the wind spiked and the temps plummeted. Beautiful views as long as you don‘t turn into a kite! Be sure to insulate your water as exposed bottles started to freeze.
|2013-12-27||Route: East Ridge
Info: Trail well packed all the way to the summit. Spikes are useful. One short section of post holing just after breaking out of the trees but nothing that would justify carrying snowshoes.