Quandary Peak  
Condition Updates  
 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-14, By: ssides
Info: Great weather all day, a little cold at the top but otherwise perfect. There's essentially no snow below 12k, and no significant accumulation above. The trail above 13k has lots of packed ice/snow on the trail, spikes were nice but not necessary. I did it in cross-trainers, no boots needed. Lots of people out on Sunday. 
 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-13, By: Askgeeves
Info: Snow above 13,000' but not unmanageable. Seemed to be less crowds compared to reports from Saturday. Trail was still passable as would be expected 
 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-13, By: Askgeeves
Info: Snow above 13,000' but not unmanageable. Seemed to be less crowds compared to reports from Saturday. Trail was still passable as would be expected 
 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-13, By: lauradaughtry
Info: Got to the overflow parking lot at about 7:30am with one of the last parking spaces left. (We purposely started late, around 8am, to give the snow melt some time.) The trail below tree line: completely clear of snow. Starting before the ridge and all the way to the summit, you'll definitely see some snowy patches. I recommend poles and microspikes, though you'd most likely be fine without them. I did it without microspikes, but I am grateful I had poles. Sunny, beautiful, perfect day. 
 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-12, By: LoveThisSite
Info: Few patches of snow/ice upto 13k. While not continuous, I'd say trail was mostly snow beyond 13k. The snow is packed down and most people seemed to manage without traction. I used microspikes and it was more enjoyable since I didn't have to worry about slipping and falling. I was hopeful that the crowds would stay away because of the snow, but no such luck - several hundred on the trail, and parking was almost full at 6am. 
 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-06, By: geg86
Info: Mostly dry with some ice/snow patches. Majority of ice patches were avoidable but in 1-2 spots it made for some trickier maneuvering. 
 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-05, By: chassis
Info: Summited 9/3/20 at 9:30am. Peak conditions were perfect. Clear sky, low 50s temperature, no snow and almost no wind. Around 25 people at the summit at 9:30am. Brass geodetic disk easily found. 
 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2020-08-19, By: nilaoire
Info: The trail from the reservoir has been rerouted a little from the track shown on 14ers, an improved and more efficient route I think. Follow the cairns and it is no problem. Have climbed the West Ridge many times, my first time seeing people on the ridge as we climbed. The best way to climb Quandary - lets be honest the standard route is a total slog. 
2
 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-29, By: jadh429
Info: Parked at the upper lot just before 4:30a. Lot was full and people had started parking on the road (both the okay side and the no parking side...). Looked like I was the 6th person to summit for the morning, so not sure where everyone in those parked cars went! Windy and cold -- especially at the top -- but perfectly clear morning. First time up this trail, all as expected and easy to follow for the most part. Very few people on the trail up. As I descended there were probably 75-100 hikers making their way up. Even so, plenty of space to share the trail with everyone. Arrived back at the TH at 8am -- both lots and roadside parking were jam packed. 
 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-29, By: Misi197
Info: Really interesting to read the report from jadh429. Hard to imagine my report is about the same mountain on the same day. This was my 7th trip up Quandary but first time on the West Ridge. In my 6 hour round trip, I didn't see another hiker, including on the summit through a stroke of good luck. The walk up into the basin to the headwall is lovely and in great condition. The route along the ridge itself reminded me a little of trips across the Diente/Wilson traverse, both in terms of route finding as well as the opportunity for vertical moves or downclimbing to avoid obstacles. The final stretch before the summit represents some sustained Class 3 scrambling with opportunity for Class 4 climbing. Snow is completely avoidable and traction is not necessary. Photo #1 shows the route up the headwall with the dry section you can use to access the saddle. The one move across the top of the snow chute referred to on previous West Ridge reports is still in place and requires a bit of slow going and careful hand/foot placement. 
4 1
 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-28, By: Bccrhp
Info: Plenty of parking at dam at ~7 AM on a July Sunday. (Note: to get to West Ridge trailhead, follow the signs to Blue Lakes, NOT Quandary Peak trailhead. The latter is for the main East Ridge route.) Despite the recent rains, the road to the dam was in good shape & should be accessible for pretty much any car. The West Ridge route itself is not very well marked before you get up onto the ridge. The Cristo Culouir is pure scree this time of year (and hard to even see when the summit is foggy, as it was when we did it), so unless you want to descend ~2000 feet of scree in a mile, consider downclimbing back down the West Ridge or descending via the traditional East Ridge route and walking back up the road. 
 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-26, By: Patagucci
Info: Arrived at the trailhead at 4:50am. The first parking lot was already full at that time. Trail conditions were excellent, and the path is extremely well marked all the way to the summit. Some visible snow towards the summit, but all avoidable. Saw a couple hundred people on the trail which was expected on the weekend. Weather was clear until about 10am when clouds quickly swooped in and made visibility a lot harder. By 11am, storm clouds were clearly visible at the summit, and we saw people still continuing to climb despite potential for weather. Overall a great day. If its your first 14er, highly recommend good trail shoes/boots and a pair of trekking poles. 
4
 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-29, By: 14er101
Info: Route up to the top was completely dry. Parking lot began to get crowded at about 5AM. Rocks were quite slippery on the way down (it had rained the night prior) so make sure to take your time. 
 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-26, By: aidancromer
Info: I'm a 41 y/o male from Austin and brought my wife (has rheumatoid arthritis)and my 13 y/o daughter. We acclimated for 5 days at 10,200ft at a cabin near Alma. We decided to let my 15 y/o son at the cabin as he was having stomach issues due to altitude (he didn't hydrate properly prior to). We left our 10 & 5 y/o with grandparents. I think they could have done it, but based on a previous hike around Peak 8&9 in Breckenridge it was better for everyone that they didn't. A single dad took his four kids age range from 5-12 and had his youngest on his shoulders 95% of the time. He didn't bring near enough water and it just seemed a miserable time for all. A few of us had more than enough provisions and we were able to give them water and snacks. This is not recommended. I thought the first mile- mile 1/2 was brutal. I think because everyone set a pace that was too quick to sustain. We saw a few groups turn around before they made the last ascent. Oh, don't be discouraged by the few who will be running down like they were taking an afternoon jog. I'll be honest, as much as I drank I needed the cover of trees a few times before elevation took us above the line. Once above the tree line there's not much cover, so prepare for that. The middle section (around mile 2.5-3)was a relief, a nice chance to rest the legs and gauge what was ahead of us. The final ascent was like climbing stairs. You're facing gradients between 20-50% according to all trails app. But once you get to the top, you forget about all of it. In fact, a bunch of us were literally chased off the top by a mama mountain goat protecting her baby. She charged us a couple of times. A little scary but I'll never forget that. I think she was on edge due to the presence of a larger dog. Anyway, be careful and treat them as the wild animals they are, with respect and awe. The descent. This is where you'll want good hiking shoes and trekking poles. A great couple from Virginia noticed my wife struggling (who wasn't?) a bit and offered her a pole. It made a world of difference for her. We went slow on the way up, probably about 4 hours to the top. We stayed up there about an hour. Ate lunch, lots of photos. Hydrated. Took us about 2- 2.5 hours to come down. I had prana pants, which I eventually rolled up to my knees on the way up, a moisture wicking tshirt base, a moisture wicking long sleeve middle, and a fleece pullover that I only wore at the top. I had a hat, but make sure to sunscreen your face and neck. All of us received a nice little sun kissed burn. Again, good hiking shoes/boots, trekking poles, layers clothing, at least 3 liters of liquid per person (more for those who didn't prepare) some snacks and you should be good. Oh, lastly, make sure to eat foods that aren't gas producers, if you know what I mean. At high altitude, those cramps can be killer😆! Trail conditions were great. Easy to follow, no snow, no trash! Lots of folks, but it's nice to struggle alongside others! Last thing, be on the lookout for an older gentleman, early 60's, tall, average shape who's jogging up the trail. He's shirtless, probably without sunscreen and has no water. Ask him if he's okay! Tough hike, great reward. 
 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-23, By: MOthenCOnowCAlady
Info: I started my trip up Quandary at 6:11am on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 in memorial to my dog who passed away last Sunday. I am 37 and in good physical/athletic health, run 6-10 miles per week, however am slightly overweight. What can I say? I like beer and pizza. I also had not done a 14er since 2012. I am also visiting CO from CA and had been at elevation for 12 hours in Breckenridge prior to starting my trek. It took me around 6 hours and 45 minutes to summit and return to the lower (I think overflow) trailhead parking lot. I spent 30 minutes at the top not accounted for in that time. Parking was good when I arrived at 6am. The weather was actually perfect throughout the experience. I wore a long-sleeve tech tee, a flannel shirt, ball cap, and athletic pants. Since I am traveling I did not have hiking shoes; I wore running shoes which were fine going up, but worthless coming down. I slipped and fell 4 times on loose rock or packed dirt (twice distracted by talking to chipmunks and the other times just losing traction.) I did bring one trekking pole that helped me a lot. If your hands get cold easily, I would recommend bringing gloves during chilly times. If you have never done a 14er, please know that weather fluctuates A LOT. I had my camelback with 1.5L of water. Next time I'd bring more water as I ran out with 1.5 miles left. It did sprinkle rain on me with one mile left back to the TH and I was concerned about folxs still on the trail who started much later as storms were in the forecast for the afternoon. I went alone and there were many 3+ person groups/families hiking together which made it a bit too crowded for my taste and as a pro-masker, in the time of COVID. I masked up when passing groups of people and vice versa. Many people did not have masks, most of them being young folks (pre-teens, teens, college-age) who are typically asymptomatic. Shout out to the people who did have masks and covered up when passing others. ONE IN 100 PEOPLE... and I would estimate 200 people on the trail at any given time when I went. Yes, you are outside, but you definitely spend time right next to people when passing. I referenced this page prior to going up and noticed that someone mentioned crossing snow earlier in the week. I did not encounter crossing ANY snow. You do see some snow as noted in my pictures, but I never walked over snow. Mile 2.8 was a relief to me as a nice break, but it quickly turns into a rocky ascent with a false summit, so remember that it takes around 3.6 miles to get up via my Garmin. My bottom-line advice: start as early as possible to avoid people, bring a mask, bring plenty of water, dress in layers, bring gloves, and wear sturdy shoes. I hope you see a goat! (I only saw one.) 
15 1
 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-20, By: marcusmartin
Info: Monday morning, arrived at the TH at 6:00 am sharp. The lower parking lot was FULL and lots of people out getting ready to hike. I was kind of tempted to pull the plug right then and there. But decided to drive up 851 to the upper parking lot and there were plenty of open spots at the TH and along 851 road. Probably the most people I've ever encountered on a 14er - - a steady stream all the way up. Everyone was well behaved and respectful. The summit was busy but not too crowded. Again, everyone was behaving very well. Warm day - little wind. Strangely, I saw relatively few people on the descent as compared to the ascent. By the time I was half way down, I was pretty much hiking alone. Perfect weather conditions to hike a 14er. Very glad I did it. 
5
 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-20, By: Heading_Up
Info: The route is in excellent shape. This was my first time up and route finding is definitely tricky. A note for anyone else heading up the route soon - There is a gully on the north side of the ridge still filled in with snow. When we reached it around 10:00 am, it was rock solid. Some people had crossed it, but without an axe and crampons, forget it. Even with them, if you slip you'll just shoot down hundreds of feet. The route looks like you're supposed to cross it, and there is an apparent trail on the other side. DO NOT CROSS THE SNOW. Instead, climb up the right side to the top of the gully. Cross the ridge at the top. It doesn't look like the route and the trail below appears to be the correct route, but it's not. Having spent a half hour climbing up and down the East side of the gully, the correct route is to cross the ridge at the top. From the other side, the "official" route climbs straight to the top of the ridge. The top has a trail and is about two feet wide in places - sometimes less. There is tons of exposure on both sides, so don't fall. The alternative is to follow a faint path on the south (right) side of the ridge. This will connect up without requiring you to descend more than 20-30 feet, and has no exposure. It takes a little longer, but not much. 
 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-20, By: vondiesel
Info: Started at 7am from the 850 overflow lot. Sadly there was trash in the bowl and swastikas carved in one of the portable toilets. I didn't check the second one, but hopefully it was better. When I got to the trailhead, I saw there was parking available alongside the 851 road if you were willing to drive up past the trailhead and walk back down, so that's a potential option if there are no spaces below. Trail is dry all the way. As always on Quandary, make sure your hat is pulled on snug. I was lucky to pick a day with only light to moderate winds, but a few people still had their hats blown off at the summit. A few goats (adults and kids) were on or near the trail above treeline. 
 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-17, By: dfedak
Info: We planned our hike for a Thursday and started at 0615 on the standard route (East Ridge). The upper lot was full already, and though there was roadside parking up to the upper lot, we opted to park in the lower lot which had an outhouse. The weather was beautiful and despite the number of vehicles, we had the trail to ourselves for the first 2-2.25 miles. Only as we approached the summit did we start encountering other hikers and by no means was it the notorious "conga line" common on the weekends. We shared the summit with about 20 others at about 0900. During our descent, we encountered probably 50-75 hikers on their way up, but it was a pleasant crowd (no crazy music, good trail etiquette, etc). Nothing notable that hasn't already been said - trail conditions were great, no snow on the trail, weather was beautiful (but storms quickly came in after we had descended and were driving down I-70). We did see blood here and there along the trail in the rocky portion - whether it was from a cut paw, a bloody nose, or someone that took a spill, its a good reminder for self care and care for our canine hiking partners. 
 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-16, By: COMtnGirl-35
Info: Started at 6:15 am - Weather was great, got up to 13,150 feet and stopped. I didn't summit - however my friend did that I was with- at summit there was no snow on trail itself. Tons of people and too many dogs! this peak has sharp rocks/boulders all the way up after tree line- I recommend to not bring your pet on this peak! It was 79 degrees, which was very hot above tree line, too many dogs having issues up and down the peak. Many people struggling with the heat as well. As always make sure to have plenty of water with electrolytes and plenty of food, sunscreen and lip balm. If you really want hike with your dog at least put shoes on them to protect their paws from the heat and the sharpness of the boulders. Also, its about 9 miles round trip not 6 miles. 

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