Quandary Peak  
Condition Updates  
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-12-04, By: pmreyn2010
Info: Pretty dry conditions for this time of year. Some packed snow/ice, some mud, some dry trail segments. As the day went on, some of the snow became a bit more like mashed potatoes. I didn't wear microspikes for the whole way up, but threw them on for most of the descent. Hoping to see more snow up there soon! 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2021-11-08, By: 1nt3rn3tc0wb0y
Info: Turned around once we gained the ridge. Did a good bit of postholing through wind-deposited snow on the approach. Crampons and an ice axe felt necessary. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-11-06, By: JtheChemE
Info: Wore trailrunners, which was still okay for me. Summer trail is still viable, mixed surface until around the winter split. A good amount of ice until on top of the east ridge proper. I carried microspikes but they were not necessary, but some would likely appreciate them. Snow is not continuous, and the east face is still looking pretty rocky. The whole trail is still decently runnable, but judging by the frozen mud carnage, the high afternoon temps will make it pretty sloppy later in the day. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-10-09, By: haydenm3
Info: Probably the last day for a summit with no spikes. Plenty of snow and gusting winds but was doable. Freezing overnight and snow coming in on Tuesday though. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-10-07, By: dknoester
Info: Blue bird day, temps in the low 30s early, a little windy throughout the day, maybe a hundred yards of soft snow at the summit, no need for spikes. Was happy to have a windshell above the tree line and insulation at the summit. 
1
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2021-10-04, By: lang_daly
Info: Blue Lakes Rd closed 2/3 mile from the dam. No snow until you gain the ridge. Perhaps 2-4 inches most of the way to the summit. Snow was loose and micros/axes wouldn't have been much help, would have just scratched them up on the rocks underneath. Photos of crux walls included. We traversed left halfway up the second and third walls to find less steep lines from the north side. 
3
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-10-03, By: CraigE
Info: Quandary's East ridge was clear and dry up to about 13,000 feet. Above that, there was 1 to 3 inches of snow on the north side of the ridge, but the snow didn't cover the trail until about the last 0.4 miles. See the attached photos. That last section of the trail was slick going up and slushy coming down. I was glad to have microspikes. Overall it was a beautiful day with no wind and good trail conditions for October. I'm also attaching photos of some nearby 14ers from the top of Quandary, to show how much snow was out there. They generally looked similar to Quandary: shallow snow on the north faces above about 13,000 feet. 
6
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-09-10, By: Brandon KS
Info: My first 14er! We pulled into the lower parking lot at 4am, at the trail head by 4:15am. We were the first group on the trail and enjoyed a beautiful morning and sunrise. Took our time and were second to the summit by 7:20. Cool and windy at the peak. Trail was clear and easy to follow. Constant stream of people going up on our way down, but it was a holiday weekend. Back down by 9:45am. Great hike! We had a parking pass and were unsure if it was valid for the upper and lower lot. We played it safe and parked in the lower lot. When we got back down, there were cars parked along the road with parking tickets. Cars parked in the upper lot did not have parking tickets. Looks like we could have parked in the upper lot with the parking pass. 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2021-08-11, By: cgobel
Info: Excellent conditions. Three notes about the route description on 14ers.com.: 1) the trail around the lake is currently closed for revegetation (sign), so follow the steep trail straight up to the right right after the dam and then make your way into the basin. 2) the route description mentions two options after regaining the ridge near 14,000': over or around some bumps; but only the first bump can safely be passed on the right. People have climbed around the following ones on the left, but the terrain is sketchy/loose; the ridgeline is much better (a bit more exposed but easy climbing & solid rock). 3) Right before the crux, at the end of the long catwalk, the description says to downclimb the south/RIGHT side near white rock, but - judging by reports & videos - most downclimb the left side. This seems indeed better! Or continue a little further to the very end of the rock and drop into the notch (steeper, perhaps a little more difficult, but solid rock and not very exposed). — Warning for all Quandary hikers: the new (7/31/21) PARKING reservation system is strictly enforced. Tickets are $ 100. if you reserve a half-day, be back at 11:30; you'll get ticketed 5 min after your reservation has expired. For those doing the traverse, this means they should park at Blue Lakes and hike back up Blue Lakes Rd after they descend the standard route (not park at Quandary TH & start by hiking up to Blue Lakes). 
2
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2021-07-18, By: soundchaser2112
Info: Any remaining snow patches on the approach are avoidable, the entire class 3 route is dry 
2
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2021-07-11, By: chicagostylehotdog
Info: Summer conditions. Set foot on snow for all of three steps crossing the flat basin headed towards Fletcher Mtn, which could have been avoided if you really needed. One narrow (2') snow band before one of the class 3 walls on the ridge, but no issues stepping over it. Get it. 
2
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-07-08, By: pmreyn2010
Info: This route is in full summer conditions at this point. I wanted to remind folks to not park on the road leading up to the upper parking lot. As I walked back to the lower lot today, I noticed there was both a US Forest Service truck as well as a Sheriff vehicle driving up the road slowly, and I wondered if tickets were going to be handed out to the offenders. Just saw someone posted on another page that all of those folks were indeed ticketed. Get to the trailhead early to secure a spot in the upper or lower lot (the lower lot was filling up when I pulled in around 5:30 a.m. this morning). 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-06-29, By: jkent818
Info: There was only one snowfield left, just below the summit, no more than a football field in length. The snowfield was relatively firm, but conditions were relatively cold - near freezing. I suspect on warmer sunny days it will be slushy and more difficult to cross. You can also skirt around the snowfield, and it looked like many hikers were doing so without issue. 
1
Route: South Gully aka Cristo Couloir
Posted On: 2021-06-19, By: Lithobatiks
Info: About the same as the last report. Wouldn't recommend trying to ski, but excellent climbing conditions. Wished I had brought a 2nd axe so that I could have front pointed a bit quicker, but one was sufficient. No boot pack, but lots of melt ridges (these have a fancy name - probably French or German but I don't remember). Left the dam at 5:30, summit around 7:45. Original intent was to take the West Ridge down and tag Fletcher and maybe Drift, but I got nervous about the dark clouds and decided to just run down the East Ridge. Probably 100+ other people on this trail and a ton of dogs. PSA...if you put the effort into bagging your dog's poop, then actually carry that bag out with you. I would prefer the poop on the trail to the poop in a bag on the trail. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-06-18, By: BetsyS
Info: Started at 5, so caught a beautiful sunrise. Afternoon conditions (thunderstorms) looked sketchy, so make sure you are watching OpenSummit and other weather conditions. Eastern ridge gets a lot of sun, so no snow until almost the very top. Snow is stable enough at the peak to walk across without post-holing that early in the day, but with a lot of direct sunlight is probably very soft. Recent trail maintenance is looking great, still a lot of sections with loose rock though. 
Route: South Gully aka Cristo Couloir
Posted On: 2021-06-18, By: Wallowa
Info: Scoped out the Cristo Couloir and the Blue Lakes Basin for skiing. Lines seem pretty melted out, and the amount of snow was surprisingly low for this time in June. I called it and decided lines weren't worth it. 
Route: up W Ridge down N Couloir
Posted On: 2021-06-17, By: slawrence2011
Info: Started W Ridge just after 8 AM, route finding was tough, did not find the trail in the valley, so slogged up and down on side slope to the end of the drainage, where it finally became feasible to gain the ridge. Snowfields mostly avoidable until gaining the ridge. Some deep potholes. There were a couple snow fields on the N side of towers just before the Crux tower that we elected to do class 4 moves around, as it was less sketchy than the buried class 2. When we finally got to the Crux, thought it was less scary and exposed than a couple of those moves, and than the exposed downclimb to get to the Crux. Took 5+ hours, probably mostly due to route finding. Searched for the top of the N Couloir immediately since it was already after 2. The top and bottom 500' melted out, and the top is not even close to visible from the ridge. When you find it, do yourself a favor and go straight to the lower left entrance, as I learned the higher right entrance rocks out after a couple hundred feet. After a super spooky ski boot traverse on rock, connected to the Couloir and had an amazing 1000+ foot descent. Crux was a little tight, so did a couple sidesteps. After walking bottom dry 500', put skis back on for about the same distance in the basin. Great conditions for late June! 
8 1
Route: Inwood Arete
Posted On: 2021-06-13, By: Delprincipe_mike
Info: Trail from McCullough Gulch is dry except for a few patches of mud. There's some unavoidable snow at the base of the 5.7 line, but soft enough to posthole a few steps through to reach the rock. The rest of the route is dry. East ridge has some snow on it still but nothing that needs traction. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-06-07, By: uziman88
Info: Started hiking at TH 0600 and reached the summit at 0830 - summit had amazing views and only had couple other people there. It was a little gusty and so hat and gloves really helped to hang out and enjoy the view for a bit. Left the summit at 0900 and glissaded down in a few slides- and got back to the car at 1030. Poles definitely helped brace with the last 1k climb and gusts on the approach to the summit. I had brought spikes but didn't use them, snow was softened up and enough tracks to follow. The earlier start the better as the snow was pretty mushy on the way down. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-06-05, By: Moco Fit
Info: Started hiking at 0615, was already starting to get full in both "upper" and lower lots (by the time we returned at 1230, lots were packed, but some empty spots from hikers leaving). Nice conditions on trail until 12.5+, and then from 13+ snow all the way up. Peak was busy--about 30 folks on summit. Coming down from 14-13K glissaded on butt in about 4 different "slides." (lots of fun, but watch out, some have rocks as snow is getting thinner). As usual, Snow was firmer in early AM, but by 10am was getting slushier and soft in the warm sun, and more postholing noted (I was able to avoid though). I wore microspikes past 13 (helpful for traction), and used poles. No need for snowshoes, some skiers were skinning their way up. Some bits of the trail clear even past 13K. Watch out for a lot of sun and reflection from the snow (wide hats, sunglasses and sunscreen a must!). 
3

Return to the main Peak Conditions page



© 2021 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.