Elevation gain: ~3500 feet
Party: Eric W., Kurt W., myself
Starting point: Quandary trailhead
|Quandary Peak 14,265 feet.|
Eric had called me with a few days notice. He told me his dad was in town and they wanted to hike a 14er and they invited me to tag along. I suggested Quandary and we met at the trailhead around 6:30 am. It was his dad's first 14,000 foot peak.
It was a beautiful Saturday so the trailhead was crowded. Even in winter. Because of all the traffic this peak gets there was a nicely laid trench to follow all the way up. So route finding wasn't necessary at all. We kept a slow and steady pace nearly the entire way.
We began in the dark, led by headlamp. Before too long the sky began to light up and we could turn our lamps off.
|I'm upset at the blurriness here. It was a very pretty morning.|
|A look behind after emerging from the trees.|
|Looking south this is North Star Mountain 13,614 feet|
|Looking towards the goal Eric and Kurt ahead of me.|
From this point on, it's just one foot in front of the other. The scenery was absolutely gorgeous. The only downside was the wind that day. It really became quite frigid the higher we got. At the summit the fact that the sun was out seemed quite pointless. Removing gloves to take summit photos instantly froze my hands. Got a few summit shots and took a few for others as well.
|About five feet below the summit offered sweet respite from the wind while we figured out who would take who's pics.|
|You can see the loose straps on my pack are perfectly parallel to the ground. Wind was intense.|
|Eric (left) might be pooping here.|
|Looking east on our descent off the ridge.|
|Parting shot of the mountain before it leaves our view.|
|In this close-up you can see hikers speckled on the ridge we were just on.|
|Last shot in the trees about 1 mile from the car.|