“Even through adverse condition… Mike and our friend Bryan summit Quandary Peak”
The day started at 4:00AM, with a kiss goodbye as Mike left to pick up Bryan for their summit attempt of Quandary. It was “suppose” to be a simple trip up a 14er, which changed into the not so simple.
I had downloaded the data onto the GPS so the they would be sure to be on the trail. Mike had all the important gear packed for he and Bryan, which included thermoses of warm soup, extra clothing layers, snowshoes, ice axe & crampons. He also packed bivy bags in case of any emergency. So everything was ready for unforeseen circumstances.
They arrived at the trailhead, got geared up, and headed on their way. Snow started to fall but visibility was good and they continued on. the trail was covered in snow, as expected and snowshoes were worn for a portion of the way up the trial. Once it turned icy, Mike changed to his crampons.
The conditions got steadily worse as they continued their way toward the summit. Bryan’s feet were getting cold and Mike began having troubles with his crampons. At this point they were in a situation of whiteout conditions and Mike lost site of Bryan.
After a while Mike began to get concerned, since this was Bryan’s first winter summit attempt, and called 911. They connected him with Search and Rescue and Mike informed them that there may be a possibility of a lost person on Quandary. Search & Rescue instructed Mike to continue on to the Summit so he would have better chances of cell phone service on the top. He was less then 1/4 of a mile to the summit, so he continued on.
During this time he also called me and told me to stay by the phone. I did not know the reason for this because that was the only part of the phone call I could understand before we were cut off.
Mike arrived at the summit finding Bryan huddled up in a snow shelter that someone had made. He had dug it out alittle more and had settled in to change his socks to some warmer ones drink some soup and hydrate. Bryan was safe…
Mike called Search and Rescue back and informed them that he had found his partner and everything was ok. Mike informed them that they were going to wait at the top for a short while in hopes that the weather would break. The conditions had already gotten better and so there trip down from the summit should be an uneventful one. I spoke with Mike while he was on the summit and he filled me in a little on what had happened. I had no idea what was going on on that mountain until that time… all I knew was that I was suppose to stay by the phone!
They arrived back down safely… about 12 hours later then when they left and I received the phone call that they were on their way home.
It was an experience I am sure… but so glad I wasn’t on that little adventure!
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