Quandary Peak hopeful this week. I need advice and maybe a sanity check as well as questions about parking difficulties

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drivenwarrior
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Quandary Peak hopeful this week. I need advice and maybe a sanity check as well as questions about parking difficulties

Post by drivenwarrior » Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:49 pm

Hi,

I am what you would deem a noob when it comes to 14ers. That said, I really want to hike Quandary while I'm here (until Thanksgiving morning). I thought I would drive over to the trailhead today in order to at the very least see what I'm dealing with in potential preparation for the hike. What I saw discouraged me. As I turned right on up 850, I saw 851 drenched in powder at levels I'm not sure a Nissan Sentra can traverse. I did notice evidence of other vehicles by tracks in the road, but I was too afraid to risk getting stuck. There was also a metal gate on 851. Does this signal closure? Is that always there? Is there another place to park? I keep coming across information concerning an extra parking lot just off 850 as you turn on it from highway 9. Any advice, clarification, and knowledge is strongly appreciated.
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Re: Quandary Peak hopeful this week. I need advice and maybe a sanity check as well as questions about parking difficult

Post by Ptglhs » Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:11 pm

That's the winter gate. It starts right after the turn off of highway 9. Winter parking for quandary is the summer overflow lot. It adds less than a mile roundtrip. Turn off highway 9, then almost immediately turn right. There's signage (and port a pottys from what I recall).

Can you wait til Sat? There's the winter welcomer group going up then.
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XrunclimbskiX
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Re: Quandary Peak hopeful this week. I need advice and maybe a sanity check as well as questions about parking difficult

Post by XrunclimbskiX » Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:29 pm

This topic has been hit regularly so you can search for it but before you get hit by people who not so politely tell you to not do it, couple of questions. Any hiking or climbing experience? Winter is a whole different ballgame than summer. You would want to be in killer shape to attempt Quandry and have summer climbs under your belt. Lucky for you, you have a weather window that may make it work between now and Wednesday. Bring - flotation (snowshoes or skid) or at least traction (microspikes, crampons, etc.) Warm coat, very warm gloves, warm boots and warm pants. Plus more warm stuff in a backpack. A friend if you can. The trail probably has a trench from others hiking so you could get away with just traction. Be ready for really cold temps and hurricane (maybe just tropical storm) winds. It’s no joke up there but I have done it a couple of times in winter and is fun as hell if you have the experience, are prepared (mentally and physically) and have the gear.
drivenwarrior
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Re: Quandary Peak hopeful this week. I need advice and maybe a sanity check as well as questions about parking difficult

Post by drivenwarrior » Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:56 pm

I don't think I saw the overflow parking lot because of the snow and my preoccupation with getting to road 851. But if I do decide to go back, I will make an immediate right following the turn from 9 to 850, which, if I understand you correctly, would place me in the overflow parking lot.

Sadly, a big negative on waiting until Saturday. I fly home to Dallas on Thanksgiving morning.

Yes, I did try and do a search but was unable to find anything and thought it would be quicker to make a post. Anyway, I do have minimal hiking experience but I'm not a PhD, more working on Undergrad. As for climbing, I do not have any experience, but since this is the East Ridge and not one of the other three routes, I think that should be okay. I'm in pretty decent shape and am not too concerned about that, as long as I am careful.
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Re: Quandary Peak hopeful this week. I need advice and maybe a sanity check as well as questions about parking difficult

Post by Eli Boardman » Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:26 am

Research the winter route--it takes a short deviation from the summer trail near treeline in order to avoid a potential avalanche slope.

The route is very popular, so given a good weather day, you should probably be able to follow a boot track most of the way, or at least until the upper route becomes obvious. There will also likely be a lot of other people on the route on a good weather day.

If you go for it, just bring a lot of warm gear, and don't be ashamed to turn around if you're too cold, not sure of the route, worried about the weather, etc. At all times, make sure you are 100% sure that you can get back to the car. Warm, waterproof boots and general ski-type-clothing will be crucial.

FWIW, Wednesday looks like a pretty good weather day. With that, I say go for it, but be conservative and don't count on making the summit.
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Re: Quandary Peak hopeful this week. I need advice and maybe a sanity check as well as questions about parking difficult

Post by CheapCigarMan » Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:47 am

XrunclimbskiX wrote:Winter is a whole different ballgame than summer. You would want to be in killer shape to attempt Quandry and have summer climbs under your belt. Lucky for you, you have a weather window that may make it work between now and Wednesday. Bring - flotation (snowshoes or skid) or at least traction (microspikes, crampons, etc.) Warm coat, very warm gloves, warm boots and warm pants. Plus more warm stuff in a backpack. A friend if you can. The trail probably has a trench from others hiking so you could get away with just traction. Be ready for really cold temps and hurricane (maybe just tropical storm) winds. It’s no joke up there but I have done it a couple of times in winter and is fun as hell if you have the experience, are prepared (mentally and physically) and have the gear.
Quandary was my first 14'er, did it in January. People from Wisconsin passed me wearing shorts.

Wear layers, have a balaclava, ski mask if windy, snowshoes, and microspikes. It's just a walk up on snow.

Always such helter skelter on here. Then when you get out there you find tons of people enjoying the outdoors. Those people probably aren't on this 14'ers forum to hear the Sirens.
I should be on a mountain
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