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Quandary Peak

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Beardsley Route T,S 
Cristo Couloir 
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Quandary Peak  


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 14,265'
Location: 39.3972, -106.106 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 26,339
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Anonymous Coward on Aug 11, 2005
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Description 

Quandary Peak is the 14,265' peak above Breckenridge in the Mosquito-Tenmile Range. The easy trail up the east slopes is one of the most popular 14'er hikes in Colorado, and done often in the winter.

The Inwood Arete on Quandary Peak is one of the nicest moderate alpine rock routes on a 14er, and an uncrowded alternative to the alpine routes in RMNP. Most of the technical climbing is nice well-featured slabby rock.

Getting There 

From Breckenridge, follow CO 9 south for about 8 miles to Summit County Road 850. The main trailhead is about 2 miles up this road at Blue Lakes. The Inwood Arete trailhead turns right on Summit County 851 almost immediately and is at a locked gate 2 miles up the road.

Climbing Season



Weather station 5.1 miles from here

6 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',0],['2 Stars',4],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',3],['5.7',1],['5.8',0],['5.9',0],['5.10',1],['5.11',0],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Quandary Peak:
Cristo Couloir   Easy Snow     Snow, Alpine, 2500'   
Inwood Arete   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c R     Trad, Alpine, Grade II   
Browse More Classics in Quandary Peak

Featured Route For Quandary Peak
Andrew Gram on the starting pitch of the Inwood Arete.

Inwood Arete 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c CO : Alpine Rock : Quandary Peak
From the trailhead described (known as the McCullough Gulch Trailhead), hike for a mile to a small lake. The route is directly above the south end of the lake. Climb a clean but hard to protect 5.4 slab until it turns into a loose rock pile. Scramble up the rock pile to the base of a steeper wall leading to the upper ridge, and climb a short 5.3 pitch to a grassy bench on the ridge crest. Walk a few hundred feet along the grassy bench on the left side of the ridge to the base of a steep gull...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of Quandary Peak Slideshow Add Photo
Tenmile Range partly hidden by steam from Lake Dillon; Quandary on the left.
Tenmile Range partly hidden by steam from Lake Dil...
Finding superb conditions on the North Couloir of Quandary.  June 28, 2011.
Finding superb conditions on the North Couloir of ...
Tenmile Range, Quandary on far left.
Tenmile Range, Quandary on far left.
Tenmile Range and Lake Dillon, sunrise.
Tenmile Range and Lake Dillon, sunrise.
Tenmile Range hidden by steam from Lake Dillon.
Tenmile Range hidden by steam from Lake Dillon.
Tenmile Range and Lake Dillon, with Quandary at far left.
Tenmile Range and Lake Dillon, with Quandary at fa...
Sunset, Quandary is at left end of the  Tenmile Range.
Sunset, Quandary is at left end of the Tenmile Ra...
Tenmile Range, Quandary is on the left.
Tenmile Range, Quandary is on the left.
Sunset, with Quandary at left end of the  Tenmile Range.
Sunset, with Quandary at left end of the Tenmile ...
Sunset over Tenmile Range, Quandary right of center, Mosquito Range in center.
Sunset over Tenmile Range, Quandary right of cente...
Sunset over Tenmile Range.
Sunset over Tenmile Range.
Tenmile Range, Quandary is on the left.
Tenmile Range, Quandary is on the left.
Tenmile Range and Lake Dillon in storm.
Tenmile Range and Lake Dillon in storm.
Sunset, with Quandary at the far left end of the Tenmile Range.
Sunset, with Quandary at the far left end of the T...
Tenmile Range at sunrise, steamy from  Lake Dillon.
Tenmile Range at sunrise, steamy from Lake Dillon...
Sunrise, Tenmile Range, Lake Dillon.
Sunrise, Tenmile Range, Lake Dillon.
BETA PHOTO
Sunrise over Tenmile range, Quandary on far left.
Sunrise over Tenmile range, Quandary on far left.
Sunrise, Tenmile Range, Lake Dillon.
Sunrise, Tenmile Range, Lake Dillon.
Sunset, with Quandary far left on Tenmile Range.
Sunset, with Quandary far left on Tenmile Range.
Sunrise over the Tenmile Range, Quandary is at left end of Tenmile Range.
Sunrise over the Tenmile Range, Quandary is at lef...
Sunset over the Tenmile Range, Quandary is at the left end.
Sunset over the Tenmile Range, Quandary is at the ...
Tenmile Range from Ptarmigan Peak.
Tenmile Range from Ptarmigan Peak.
Sunset:  Quandary at the  left end of the  Tenmile Range.
Sunset: Quandary at the left end of the Tenmile...

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By Sean O'Dell
Mar 6, 2002
If you want to do Quandry, don't want to mess with the cattle drive of hikers that normally exists on the east ridge, but don't feel like busting out the pro for the Inwood Arete either, the west ridge is a MUST do. Roach's book lists it as class 3, but you can easilly make a lower 5th class route out of it (in some cases, purely by accident). The beta in the guidebooks for the approach is pretty good. Take the same road as the aproach to the east ridge, but stay left (south) side of the peak and follow the road all the way to the Blue Lake dam. From there, hit the trail that angles W-NW up into the Quandry-Fletcher basin. Turn north in the basin and head straight for the obvious Quandry-Fletcher saddle. If bagging the Centennial peaks is your thing, then be sure to hit the summit of Mt. Fletcher on the way up. (talus cone to the left (west) of the saddle) Most of the route up the west ridge from the saddle is just class 2 stuff. However, once you gain the top of the ridge, the fun starts. There are 3 or 4 40' rock towers between here and the summit, and negotiating them is a great way to practice your route finding for more serous peaks. I'm not sure if there even IS a correct route. I DO think you have to go right over the top of the last tower (I tried to decend to the north below it and wound up getting into a NASTY steep, loose gully) There's some neat exposure on this ridge, and basically no people (especially compared to the east ridge). Nothing technical, but fun nonetheless.
By Rob Migliore
Jun 16, 2003
Drove down on 6/14 to Quandry to climb Cristo Couloir Sunday. It's starting to get dry - didn't climb since we didn't know what to expect. Looks like you might want rock pro and we didn't bring any. Didn't look too deep where there was snow. Didn't look like the 30*/class II climb that it's supposed to be. Wish I had taken a picture or two.

While we were in the area, we headed up to Kite Lake / Lincoln Ampitheater. It was 10:30PM, but seems like there was a good route in on Democrat. Awesome area.
By Brett Bauer
Mar 27, 2005
This is a great route for an autumn jaunt or avoiding crowds in summer on a weekday! To avoid retracing route I simply drop south directly to the car.. this allows for a quick circuitous route. Be it known that dropping south off the summit is steep and loose!!! I had a tragedy on moonlight ascent in November with Ice and snow (partner fell to the North when a watermelon sized rock pulled off!!!) other times I've done this with my hands in the pockets... you can make it more difficult if you choose! Be creative and choose a more direct line to gain the ridge... I do often and find the trash and goodies blow/dropped from the summit... I still carry a dollar bill in my wallet I found 100 ft from the summit!! enjoy!
By Dave Jackson
Mar 6, 2006
Here's the skinny on the South face route. It follows a broad couloir for one mile straight up the side of Quandary. There isn't an actual trail and it's really better as a snow route, but if you want to get up quick and fast and have some fun route finding, then this is the best way to the summit. You can descend either the tourist highway down the east ridgeline and hitch back to the reservoir or the trail to the west, but I wouldn't recommend descending the couloir.

-D