Ascent of Quandary Peak on 2010-08-07

Climber: Luke Mullen

Others in Party:Aaron
Date:Saturday, August 7, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Quandary Peak
    Elevation:14265 ft / 4347 m

Ascent Trip Report

As Gerry Roach stated, this ridge should be treated with respect, and it demands it. We started a little later than we intended (10:30) but the weather was perfect as we left the trailhead. From Blue Lake to the Quandary-Fletcher saddle was pretty straightforward and of little difficulty; staying with the cairns was probably the most challenging part. We passed a few other groups heading up to the West Ridge, but none of them made it past the pond just below the saddle. From the saddle the route was fairly direct, and I found myself looking up to the summit in disbelief that this was considered a Class 3. However, at about 14,000 the real scrambling began. There were numerous towers to get around or over, all extremely exposed. We were stupid to leave as late as we did, but fortune smiled down on us as the clouds remained at bay. The last 265 feet up were by far the most challenging and time consuming, but the satisfaction at the summit was well worth it. We spent about 30 minutes relaxing and conversing with hikers who came up the popular East Slopes route before heading down the rediculously steep Cristo Couloir. I would not go down this couloir again, it is just too steep. Better to go down via East Slopes.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2565 ft / 781 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2565 ft / 781 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3.8 mi / 6.1 km
    Grade/Class:Grade I, Class 3
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Drizzle, Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2565 ft / 781 m
    Distance:2.8 mi / 4.5 km
    Route:West Ridge
    Start Trailhead:Blue Lake Trailhead  11700 ft / 3566 m
    Time:3 Hours 15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2565 ft / 781 m
    Distance:1 mi / 1.6 km
    Route:Cristo Couloir
    End Trailhead:Blue Lake Trailhead  11700 ft / 3566 m
    Time:1 Hours 45 Minutes

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