Quandary Peak 14er Ski Descent

For ease of access to a fourteen thousand foot peak, Quandary is tough to beat. You park at 10,900′ and the summit is only 3300′ and 3 miles above you. Our objective was to climb the east ridge, a mellow tour to the top, and then ski the Cristo Couloir which drops off the summit. I left the house at 4:15, only to realize I’d forgotten my gloves when I got to Glenwood. Lost a good 30 minutes, but figured I’d still be ok.

The two hour drive went smooth and I was soon racing up the ridge to catch up with my friends. The weather was beautiful and warm down low, I figured we’d be timing it perfect to ski off the top around 9am. When I crested the last bench before the final 1000 feet of ridge climbing, the wind hit hard. Sustained gusts of 30 to 40 mph were hammering. Two of the group decided to bail, while my brother and I continued up. Oddly enough, the top was calm and we hung out for a half hour, hoping the snow would soften.

We dropped off the summit onto still frozen snow, and carefully made our way to the top of the chute. Here we found soft, wind-blown powder and made fun turns up to a point where some rocks were poking through. After quickly navigating this thin section, we found everything from more pow to soft breakable snow to warm and heavy, and finally some corn at the very bottom. The skiing was challenging but fun, and it was a really great line.

There’s probably a couple of weeks of good skiing left, get it while the getting’s good!

Locals Corner

Bulldog Creek Dog Walk (IV WI 4+)

Hayden Carpenter and Tom Bohanon recently repeated an obscure ice climb on the south side of Mt Sopris. Given a brief mention in Jack Robert’s ice guide, Bulldog Creek Walk is described as being 100 meters of WI 4. What they found was seven pitches of ice in a remote setting that makes for one […]

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