The weather looked pretty good, but with predicted gusts up to 40 mph, wind would again be a factor. Our hope was the the mass of the peak itself would help to block the worst of it.
The summit is somewhat flat, and fully exposed to the wind. It was some work to make the final few hundred feet.
We didn't spend long on the summit due to the wind, and enjoyed the hike down. The temperatures were rapidly rising, unfortunately I'd dressed for the cold and could only shed so much.
Quandary is considered one of the easiest 14ers. In winter, that consideration remains true, however conditions make it more difficult than in summer. Please make sure you are adequately prepared for the weather.
Quandary Peak, 14265 feet, in Winter:
7.03 miles round trip, 3269 foot gain. Moderate+.
March 16, 2017.
Twenty miles planned for the day- originally I planned to go to Hermit Park and do Kenny Mountain and a few others in the area. Fortunately, I checked Larimer County's website before I left and found the trail I would need to take wasn't open yet. On to plan b.
The trail up is fun, steep at times, and technical. It's one of my favorites to mountain bike. It's quickly become a favorite to run.
My first goal of the day was Button Rock. I've done Button Rock Mountain before (just a few times), but I'd never climbed this rocky prominence that is visible from many points in the area. I was going around a slabby outcrop when I decided to poke my head up and see where I was. I could see the summit just a little bit ahead.
I picked up the trail again, and headed toward peak 7790. There was some dead fall along the way to slow things down, but the distance went quickly.
The loop was fun, though the uphill on the way back was a little difficult.
I took the trail until the four way junction. Right would take me back to where I started, but by my estimate, wouldn't get me enough distance. Straight ahead, a rocky and unfun descent. To my left, some more climbing on fun trails and the summit of Button Rock Mountain.
I originally planned to do the whole loop here, but started later than I hoped and I also forgot a headlamp. So I decided to just hit the summit and turn around.
There is a short but steep climb on the way out, but soon enough it was all glorious downhill.
I finished this twenty in just over six hours, getting around mid 18 minutes per mile, though in the low 17s if you don't count the time navigating the fifth class to Button Rock. I'm ok with that. It's reasonable with room to improve.
I feel like I normally have to go up higher and farther to avoid seeing anyone, but I did not see a single soul on this day, though I came close. And I'll begrudgingly admit it: running is fun!
Button Rock, 7790, and Button Rock Mountain via ?:
Button Rock, 8039 feet: 5.5 miles, 1379 foot gain. 5.easy (or easier). Moderate+.
7790: 8.07 miles, 1130 foot gain. Second class. Moderate.
Button Rock Mountain, 8450 feet: 13.36 miles, 1790 foot gain. Second class. Moderate.
As a whole, this day covered 20.08 miles