Monday, August 22, 2016

Hiking to Quandary Peak

Quandary Peak near Breckenridge is considered to be one of the easier "14er" mountains in Colorado (any mountain with a max elevation over 14,000 feet). It has a very simple elevation grade -- you just continuously walk uphill until you can't go any further.

We woke up at 4:30 with special parfaits from our innkeepers (since we'd be missing the breakfast portion of the B&B experience) and started the hike at 5:40. We needed flashlights for the first half hour, but the sun rose soon after.

It took us 3.5 hours to make it 3.3 miles up to the summit, an experience of endless boulder fields and low oxygen that probably nearly killed me several times while Rebecca charged ahead with her boundless yoga energy. We borrowed a cardboard sign from someone else for this picture because we came unprepared.

We saw a nice variety of birds (including ptarmigans) and mammals. There were 2 mountain goats atop the summit, but luckily they were far enough away to enjoy without worries of goring or being butted off the world. We also saw many pika, chipmunks, and squirrels.

Our descent took 2.5 hours and the daily thunderstorms started brewing as we reached the bottom, meaning that most of the people who started after us probably had to turn back before reaching the summit.

This evening, we're going to CB & Potts for burgers and good Colorado beers, and then to a tourist shop so Rebecca can buy a Quandary Peak sticker for her water bottle. A 14er bagged!

For more technical details about our hike, see Wednesday's post, Hiking to Quandary Peak - The Dirty Details.

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