A short attempt on Quandary Peak, 14,265′ 01/08/2017

On Sunday January 8th, 2017 I drove from Evergreen to the Quandary Peak trail head to climb this fourteener and activate it as a SOTA summit. Quandary has been activated as a SOTA summit three times previously, http://www.sota.org.uk/Summit/W0C/PR-014

I thought I knew where I was going to park by the trail head from looking at the area on Google Maps. when I arrived in the dark that morning, I discovered the road to the trail head was closed and not plowed. There turns out to be a large parking area for the trail head about 50 yards to the east. I did not notice the turn for the parking area in the dark and only found it after seeing it again looking at Google Maps on my phone. I pulled into the lot, parked and added a base layer of polypropylene leggings.

I started hiking at about 6:30 AM. There was snow with a little wind. I did not bring snowshoes as I believed the trail would be fairly well packed from climbers hiking the previous day. I also thought the ridge would be wind swept. The center part of trail was indeed well packed.

As long as I was careful to keep to the center of the track, the snow supported me. If I placed a foot down too far away from the center, my foot would plunge into the snow and I was postholing.

As I climbed closer to treeline, the wind was blowing harder and the trail became more difficult to see. I was eventually postholing way to often and started thinking that the trail would be much harder to find on the way back down, later in the afternoon, and I would be waist deep with every step. I hiked for an hour before I decided to call it off, and return with snowshoes. There is a SOTA weekend event for January 21st and 22nd, 2017. Maybe I will try again on the 22nd, or find another summit for that day.

01_08_2017_quandary_11

I did not get very far in that hour of hiking. I started at the lower right, QUANDARY CAR and turned around at QUIT. The summit is at the upper left.

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