Saturday, December 28, 2013

Quandary Peak - Winter 2013

Since Brad discovered the little snowflakes you can earn on your 14ers checklist, he's been knocking out the 14ers in calendar winter.  I had never stood on a 14er summit in winter officially, (though I've have hiked a few in winter conditions) so he asked me to join him on on of the easy ones.  It was an awesome day out on Quandary Peak near Breckenridge.

The hike started out fairly clear on a still day.  It's rare to have a windless afternoon this time of year so we were thankful.  As we approached treeline, we eventually found ourselves off route a bit.  We had to do some trail breaking with the snowshoes for a half mile or so until we gained the ridge again.  These "easy" peaks require more effort in the snow.

Hoosier Ridge from Quandary

Mt. Democrat at center

As we regained the ridge above treeline, the clouds started slowly moving in.  They would hover at the top of the mountains for the rest of the afternoon.

False summit

We met a couple other parties approaching the summit.

We had poor visibility on the summit, but being up that high in the clouds was an awesome feeling!

Summit marker

We made it back to the car around sunset and had some dinner in Breck.  Great hike, and I found that I'm horribly out of shape!