This weekend we finally got our first 14er of the year in. We’ve been mainly focused on backpacking and day hiking trips all year as Sara isn’t all that fond of the big mountains. This week she decided to do one with me so we decided on one of the “easy” ones, Quandary Peak just outside of Breckenridge CO. Sara’s Dad Bill came up with us but only hiked a portion of the trail. Still not bad at all for 76 years old!
We left the house at 5:30 and reached the trail by 7:00. The skies were blue but the wind was pretty strong. The trail starts at about 10,800 feet in the trees, but within a half mile you’re above treeline the rest of the way.
Bill and I near treeline:
Like most 14ers, the climb up is quite a slog. It’s only a 6.5 mile round trip, but you gain 3400 feet of altitude in the 3.25 miles to the top. You will get your cardio for the day on this hike. The trail climbs up the east ridge of the mountain and was exposed to the wind for most of the way. About 500 feet from the top the trail crossed into the leeward side of the mountain which was a nice respite from the 50mph winds, if only for a short time. Off to the left of the trail we were treated to views of Mounts Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln and Bross, all 14ers as well. These can be hiked in a single afternoon and it’s often referred to as the DeCaLiBron loop.
We reached the summit at about 10:00 AM. The wind was fierce and the weather was cold, mid-30’s at the most. We didn’t stay long because it was rather miserable up there. We took these photos and beat a hasty retreat back down to a more sheltered area.
On the way back to the car we came across a small herd of mountain goats, the first I’ve seen all year. These guys are not shy at all. I’m pretty sure you could pet and hand feed them if you wanted to.
Colorado wildflowers are in full effect this time of year.
A nice view of the road over Hoosier pass from near the end of the trail.
Another great hike in the books. We’re going to try to get one more 14er in this year, but the season for those is rapidly coming to a close. We still have months of hiking left, winter can start in early September up that high. Keeping my fingers crossed…