Quandary Peak  
Condition Updates  
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-06-23, By: zobbie
Info: Don't forget to make a parking reservation! They are out and were writing tickets. The trail was completely clear of snow and in full summer conditions except for a roughly 75 meter long section of snow just below the summit. This section isn't steep. No spikes required if you're relatively sure footed. 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2022-06-18, By: codyli34
Info: Decided to go up the West Ridge of Quandary today. Arrived at the gate 5:30 am. Gate was closed, but the dam wasn't too far ahead. It was a tough one. Lots of snow on the way up to the ridge and we lost the trail for most of it. The snow was too soft to go and it seemed like it didn't freeze overnight. Somewhere between photos 4 and 5 on the route page, the snow completely covered the terrain and we couldn't find where we were going. GPS was not super helpful and we ended up just rock hopping to the ridge (exactly where photo 6 told us not to, but there also were cairns in that rock field.) From there, it was mostly straight forward if you just follow the photos. However, lots of cairns will throw you off the correct route. I know it's hard to see what I'm referring to since you have to look backwards and figure it out, but in photo 20, there are cairns that try to direct you to go around the rocks instead of ascending, but those lead to very sketchy terrain. Make sure to follow the ridge for that part. Overall, very fun scramble. Summitted around 10 am. Summit was very quiet for Quandary on a Saturday, so I guess the reservation system is really working. Also there seemed to be a framed photo of someone a member of the military. While I understand the sentiment, this goes against LNT principles and now there's broken glass from the frame on the summit. 10/10 would recommend taking the West Ridge, but definitely wait a few weeks for the snow to melt to get the best out of it. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-06-14, By: Bdemz
Info: Got to the trailhead at 6:15 with plenty of parking in the lot still and had a relatively easy hike up to the peak thanks to a bluebird day. Mountain goats were everywhere past the tree line which made for a fun adventure if they decided to stop in the middle of the trail and stare at you for a few minutes. Snow was pretty solid on the way up so we decided not to put on spikes. Really only had to walk through snow for a quarter of the mountain to reach the summit, but was really soft coming down and post holed pretty steadily. All in took us about 4.5 hours with a quick summit break. 
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Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2022-06-10, By: JaredJohnson
Info: Acquiring the west ridge requires ascending a slightly large snowfield which is doable, I wouldn't do it without spikes and axe although it wasn't so sketchy in the morning that some would not disagree There is snow in the way of the standard climb on the ridge, it was kind of a lot of (very fun) work getting around it. I did not trust the character of the snow in today's warm weather enough to try to cross it much except on saddles where it was level. I estimate our workarounds involved some exposed and awkward class 4 moves and some pretty persistent mental work finding lines. We descended the Christo Couloir, the snow is not continuous but the rock and dirt nearby is fine, at least with microspikes to bite into that mid. We tried plunge stepping the snow in the couloir and got some vert knocked out, but spend more than half our time on land as it was getting too gloppy and slick in some places; we triggered a somewhat impressive wet slide below us on our way off the snow. We started down from the summit at 12:30pm and it was a warm day, maybe faster / earlier folks on a cloudy day will have more luck. All of the obstacles made it slow going, but it was a pretty fun adventure! 
Route: South Gully aka Cristo Couloir
Posted On: 2022-06-08, By: Crestoner
Info: The Blue Lakes Road was gated ~0.5 mile from the Upper Blue Lake Dam. I got on couloir snow at 0600...temp was in the high 30s. This is a long couloir climb, and it threw nearly every snow condition at me. Lower down, despite the above-freezing temps, the snow was hard...about halfway up, there is a ~15-foot band of icy rock and frozen mud...in some spots I was wallowing hip deep...about 4/5 the way, there is a ~200 foot band of exposed rocks (visible from Hwy 9 towards Hoosier) in which I was able to pick a crampon-friendly line through new snow among the rocks...and fortunately ('cause I was tired...), high up it was juuuust right. Above the rocky band, I followed good snow and ended up a little too far to the left...but an easy ascending traverse to the right kept me on snow and got me back on the route proper. I hit the east ridge ~150 east of the summit. My reward was a very satisfying climb and a beautiful summit (sunny, snowy, moderate wind, complete solitude). NOTE: Photo #1 is looking down from where I first got on couloir snow. I wasn't able to add a caption to the photo. 
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Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-06-05, By: ClimbingFool
Info: Bluebird day on Quandary today. Trail clear for first two miles, then nearly contiguous snow to the summit. Snow conditions still semi-firm around 8am then quickly softening. Traction helpful for our group. No snowshoes needed though postholed some to calf and occasionally to knee. 
Route: South Gully aka Cristo Couloir
Posted On: 2022-06-04, By: Agstrohmeier
Info: The couloir can be accessed by about a 100 ft scramble from the trail (upper trail, not sure if they are named separately, but you can follow a higher trail than the one along the lake). There are some snow patches below it, and there is a bit of a rock scramble to find the bottom. The lower few hundred feet of the couloir have a lot of wet slide debris, from about where the line transitions from the "face" to a recessed gully, down to almost the bottom. Above this it's slightly suncupped, but definitely skiable. It improves as you go up. Much better than it was a couple weeks ago. We did not go to the summit, it warmed pretty quickly today and we turned around at 8:30. It skied really well, feeling it on skis it probably had another half hour or so of quality skiing but we have been timing things late lately so we turned around on the earlier side. Don't know if it was due to the overnight conditions or if it changed as we climbed but it felt like a very quick transition from firm to ~6" boot penetration. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-05-31, By: griddles
Info: Good trail up to about 2 miles then snow begins. Traction recommended, flotation not needed crust of 3-8 inches of snow. 
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Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-05-28, By: seekingbeta
Info: Left the trail head at 6:18am. There were about 10 cars at the trailhead lot when we left. Dry until 11,700 where we transitioned to skis. Snow was relatively hard, so didn't have much trouble with traction on the way up except in a few of the steeper sections. Saw a lot folks just hiking up with spikes. Started our decent at 9:58 and the snow was just beginning to soften up on the upper east face, which made for some great turns. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-05-22, By: lang_daly
Info: New trail had to be broken in today. Trail looked much better on the way down, but I'd still consider bringing spikes for the upper slopes. Heavy fresh snow from 2-12 inches in places. Some wind affected snow on the east ridge but nothing too concerning. Hard turns if on skis/board 
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Route: North Gully aka Quandary Couloir
Posted On: 2022-05-16, By: bradyj
Info: Climbed the north gully today. Full of snow and in great shape. Lots of post holing on the approach. Goats on the summit and a moose in the parking lot. 
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Route: South Gully aka Cristo Couloir
Posted On: 2022-05-15, By: LoveThisSite
Info: Cristo was in great shape. Beautiful day but very windy and cold. I was able to glissade down most of the couloir (except for top steep section) - that was a blast. Snow was starting to get soft around 11. 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2022-05-13, By: timewarp01
Info: Pretty much continuous snow all the way up the bowl under Fletcher. We took the ridge on the south side of the basin to avoid it. Quandary's west ridge is largely dry up until the upper section which still has a lot of unconsolidated snow in all the gulleys. We opted to climb directly over most of the towers. Didn't need snowshoes, but used crampons for Fletcher and spikes for Quandary. Included a pic of Cristo couloir I got by accident because there happened to be goats in the way. 
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Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-05-12, By: takelifeoutside
Info: Started out at 7am, conditions still require spikes. Route felt good all the way up, no need for snow shoes. If the weather report says windy, take that to heart. The gusts were physically moving me around most of the way up. But a beautiful day nonetheless. Conditions softened quite a bit by the time I got back down to the lower half and started postholing a lot more. If I had started an hour earlier probably would not have been any problems. It took me three hours from parking lot to summit and back so I was coming down around 9:00-10:00AM. *Photos for Guys I saw on Mountain below* Strava for other details: https://www.strava.com/activities/7131059056 
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Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-05-09, By: GaryBroome6
Info: Started up around 6:20am with 2 first timers. We started without traction but threw on spikes almost immediately. Coming out of tree line was constant postholing up to the upper thighs. Had my showshoes in the car but figured I could handle it for a little while. Was probably the right decision. Once you get out of the trees and up on the ridge you're good. The final stretch was brutal between thin air and the wind whipping debris at you from the south. We took our time and summitted just after 11. Peak was beautiful. Wind was very strong but inconsistent. Seemed like you could get 30 seconds of still then 60 seconds of wind knocking you off your feet. On the way down the wind seemed to be getting worse with a lot of clouds rolling in but it wasn't affecting us too much the further down we got. Footprints and ski tracks everywhere made it hard to follow trail. We were glissading a bit, trying to find good footing to walk on and we got off trail. Ended up bushwhacking a bit for the final 3/4 mile or so. Saw a couple dozen skiers throughout the day but not many hikers. Pay attention coming back down to the tree line so you don't end up following prints into the trees like we did. 
Route: South Gully aka Cristo Couloir
Posted On: 2022-05-08, By: rjbundy
Info: Went up the East Ridge, down Cristo. Started skinning about .8 miles in, could have started a little earlier but wasn't sure about snow coverage and bootpacking was easy. Was able to skin pretty much the whole way up after that, one mandatory spot at a rock bench but otherwise great skinning conditions. It was sunny but windy and the snow didn't warm up too much on the East Ridge. Summited just before 10 and headed down Cristo. The first 100 ft or so after the summit are maybe negotiable on skis but much easier to walk. After that, didn't have to take off skis at all until the bottom of the couloir (the rock band at the top took a little bit of navigating but nothing bad at all). Snow was great, the perfect amount of softness at 10:30am. Coverage in the couloir was awesome on the right side, just starting to get a little thin in spots at the bottom. There is not enough snow to ski past the dam but the road walk isn't bad at all. 
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Route: South Gully aka Cristo Couloir
Posted On: 2022-05-01, By: thurs
Info: Decent coverage right now for Cristo Couloir and the East Ridge. Today we ascended the east ridge and descended Cristo. Some notes: - east ridge: you can skin all the way to the summit from the car except for the first 100ft of vertical or so above the upper TH - Upper bowl is in fat - Skiers right of Cristo has good coverage. The typical rock band near the top, was able to be sidestepped pretty easily. Plenty of avy debris on the the upper skiers right side. In fat all the way down to just above the dam. Cold temps and cloud cover today prevented a good thaw near the top...dropped at 12:30. There were the remnants of a now crusty wind slab at the top and without a good thaw this sucked quite a lot on light thin skis. Partner's heftier skis didn't have too much of a problem. Still got warm enough for corn in the lower half. The runnel section is starting to develop moguls haha Was able to ski down most of the first half of the blue lakes road but hiked out the rest despite some patches of snow here and there. 
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Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-04-30, By: csf-lhiver
Info: Ski descent of Quandary today. At the upper trailhead you'll have to hike up a bit then it'll become descent to skin on. It's possible to skin all the way to the summit. Towards the summit it does get somewhat icy so some may find taking skis off and hiking the rest a better option. Hung towards the ridge on the descent. 
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Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-04-30, By: Alpinefroggy
Info: Snow is pretty constant not that far in. It's packed down such that snowshoes aren't necessary but stay on trail otherwise is chest deep drifts. Only used spikes and poles. Should be in decent (I'm not a skier though!) Skiing shape for the time being. Have fun out there. It was a beautiful lowish wind day up there. Parking lot full by 9. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-04-29, By: dcsheldon
Info: It was cold enough today to hike up and down in spikes without postholing below treeline. Brought snowshoes and didn't use them I think that will change with warmer weather this next week. 
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