Ascent of Quandary Peak on 2017-02-05
|Date:||Sunday, February 5, 2017|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Elevation:||14265 ft / 4347 m|
Ascent Trip ReportAscended the Sinclair Couloir Route (topping by switching onto Cristo Couloir Route): Moderate Snow (50 degree max) & Alpine Grade I. 3,382 net elevation gain & 6.0 miles RT from Blue Lake winter access trailhead (11,000) half a mile past the East Slope trailhead. Descended the East Slope Route for a loop. Party of two (Kristen, H TL).
To the annoyance of the CO day hikers that have "rules" about starting every climb at 2 am, being off the mountain by noon and only climbing on sunny July & August days. We started a night winter climb at sunset. Beautiful night for a short, straightforward, climb with great visibility, near full moon, mildly cool temps, moderate winds and very low avi conditions.
The Climb: Starts out as a 30 degree couloir (watch avi conditions).
We switched from the Sinclair Coulior to the Cristo Coulior below the ridge to stay on the snow the majority of the rest of the climb to the summit. The crux was soft steep snow on the upper portion of Cristo. Ice axe, crampons and helmet required. 2nd axe / tool optional. 5 hours on climb up & 3 hours down the standard East Ridge Route. 10 hours cumulative.
2 miles from Blue Lake winter access trailhead (11,000) to Blue Lake (11,700). 2 hours on approach.
Conditions & weather:
Great firm snow. Dug a snow pit to test avi conditions. Consistently firm layers. Near full moon with great visibility. Winds 5-25 mph from the NW. Cool temps in the upper 20's.
There was a snow storm two days later so be very wary of snow / avi conditions.
|Summary Total Data|
| Total Elevation Gain:||3265 ft / 995 m|
| Grade/Class:||AG I (50*)|
| Quality:||7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)|
| Route Conditions:||Open Country, Snow on Ground, Snow Climb|
| Gear Used:||Ice Axe, Crampons, Ski Poles|
| Gain on way in:||3265 ft / 995 m|
| Route:||Sinclair & Cristo Couloirs|
| Start Trailhead:||11000 ft / 3352 m|
| Time:||7 Hours |
| Route:||East Slope|
| Time:||3 Hours |
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