Quandary Peak (Tenmile Range) – East Ridge (Class 1)
- Attempted 7/04/13
- 6.75 miles round trip
- Apprx 4 hr hike (that elevation gain will get to you, despite the class 1 rating)
- Easy 14er (Class 1 – East Ridge approach)
- +3,450′ net elevation gain to peak (14,265′)
- sunblock (at that elevation, you’ll feel the sun)
- tech shell (you will want a shell to protect you from the wind)
- Soft shell (always layer when attempting a 14er)
My friends and I attempted this guy for the 4th of July – this is our 2nd year doing a 14er for the morning on the 4th of July! We left Arvada, CO at a comfortable time for a 14er, probably about 4am. We then arrived at the TH around 6am; there was still sufficient parking at the TH at this time, but 30-60 minutes later people will have to park at the lower TH and add about a quarter mile onto the hike. There really wasn’t a need for a headlamp, the sun was high enough in the sky to illuminate the start of the hike; however, there is never any harm in bringing a headlamp and just leaving it in your car if it is light out. On the note of cars, no 4WD is needed to reach the TH, it is a paved road.
About half way to the summit you’ll make it above treeline; however, there is still a fair trek ahead. It was a nice hike in the trees, pretty dense so it was chilly.
Continue up the switch backs for awhile until you reach the summit ridge. The exposure never exceeds a level 1, meaning there really isn’t any risk of a fatal fall. The trail is well-hiked and obvious. Plenty of opportunities to take breaks along the switch backs and passing other groups is never an issue.
We reached the summit shortly thereafter. Even in July, the final ascent was snow covered. While there were adequate foot holds and no risk of a fatal slide (the slope was less than 30 degrees), we all slipped maybe once or twice on the descent and got a little wet. Just be prepared for this, it isn’t worth bringing snowshoes or gaiters or anything like that – nylon hiking pants would be a nice choice here to stay dry. Cell phone signals are strong at the top if you feel the need to share a snapchat or send a bragging text message to your friends.
I really don’t think there is much to say about this hike. It is a quick and easy 14er that is within a quick drive of Denver. It isn’t necessary to arrive super early on this 14er, as the summit is rather flat and storms can be seen from a distance. Often one cannot see incoming storms when hiking a 14er, and you don’t want to be stuck on a summit in a bad storm.