October 19, 2011 – Phurba’s 1st 14er, Quandary Peak

Phurba gets the 14er bug…

Well its WAYYYY bright and early this morning, maybe not so bright since its still dark, and we are taking Phuba out for his first 14er, Quandary Peak.  Its a close by peak, only one in Summit County, and its suppose to be a fairly easy one.

The conditions aren’t bad, but its snow packed and we are having to wear our crampons.  For those who don’t know what crampons are here is the definition:

“a spiked iron plate worn on boots or shoes for aid in climbing or to prevent slipping on ice, snow, etc.”

And they look like this…

They are a must have if you are going to be walking around on packed snow or ice…  but there is a very fine line as to when you should where them versus snowshoes…  Today the good choice was crampons.

So we started out around 5am this morning…  like I said in the dark.  We have a blinking light on the little guy so we can keep track of him, though he stays right next to us, but him being black he sort of blends in to the night…  we are wearing headlamps too so we can see the trail.

Its a cold morning, so we are wearing our heavy down coats.  Luckily there is no wind…  that is always a good thing when we are climbing.

Phurba is a real trooper, however I think he wishes we would speed it up a little.  He gets a bit bored at times, and just sits down on the trail and waits for us…  mainly me!

We make it to the summit and we have a perfect blue bird ski above us, time for photos and food, then we make our way down.  Its not suppose to take you long to get down compared to up… but I always hate the trip back!  Seems like forever to make it back to the jeep, especially that last mile…

Quandary Peak Stats:

Elevation: 14,265′
Range: Tenmile
County: Summit
Lat/Long: 39º 23′ 50″ N, 106º 06′ 21″ W
Trailhead Elev.: 10,850 feet
Elevation Gain: 3,450 feet
Trip Length: 7 miles

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