Monday, June 27, 2011

Return to Quandary

     Our journey began as we left Amarillo at about 4pm. We didn't decide exactly where we were going until we reached Vega. We stopped at Alsups where we ended up staying for a while as we accidentally locked the keys in the car. We called Jordan and he happily delivered our keys and we were on our way by about 5:30. 

     While waiting we decided to climb the North Couloir of Quandary peak. Since my Dad hadn't climbed a snow route before this seemed like a great option with an easy decent trail. We drove and drove until we reached the McCullough Gulch Trailhead at about  12:30 mountain time. We quickly shuffled our stuff around and went to sleep in the back.


     The alarm sounded at 4:40 and by 5:50 we were on the trail. It was already bright enough that we were able to navigate the trail without our headlamps. Once we reached the lake we saw a guy skillfully jumping on rocks to get across the raging river. Neither of us felt as agile and we looked for an alternate route. Downstream the river ran under a huge snow bridge that looked pretty stable. We loosened our packs and carefully crossed over the torrent of water. We easily made our way to the base of the Coulior where we took a minute to throw on our crampons. 




     We spent the next three hours climbing up the snowy couloir. We were pleased to find that the route was in excellent condition and we only sank into the slush a couple times. We kept climbing and climbing at a leisurely pace until we topped out the above the steep 50* section. 











     We took off our crampons and within 15 minutes we were among ye crowd of people on the summit at about 11:15. After a few pictures and a couple bites of food we began defending the East Ridge. We decided not to glissade the North Couloir because of the 50* section near the top. We were however able to glissade 500ft or so on the East Ridge.




    
Once we reached the road we began the 2.4 mile hike up to our car. Fortunatly, after about half a mile we were able to hitch a ride from a girl and her dog Stella. We reached our car and drove to Breckenridge for a late lunch. 

     We decided that instead of climbing the Kelso Ridge of Torreys Peak the next day, we'd go rafting for our first time in the Royal Gorge. We scheduled our raft tour and drove to Cañon looking for a room. Unfortunately the entire town was sold out. So we drove the scenic drive to Salida. We found a room and  went to sleep.

     The next morning we awoke and made our way to Royal Gorge Rafting. Unfortunately the Gorge was closed due to high water, but we were still able to raft a section upriver. Our raft was filled with strong guys and we were able to go down all the fun, hard rapids that some of the other rafts went around. The hardest that we did was just a 4+ making it a great trip for our first day of rafting. Once we finished we got into the good old Jeep and drove home after a great trip to Colorado. 


















1 comment:

  1. This looks like a fun trip!! - Jennie

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