Elevation: 14,265 ft
GPS: 39.397, -106.106 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 17,274 total · 106/month
Shared By: Anonymous Coward on Aug 11, 2005
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac
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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.

7 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Quandary Peak

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
Easy Snow
Cristo Couloir
Snow, Alpine
3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a
Uncle Andy
Trad, Alpine
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c R
Inwood Arete
Trad, Alpine
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Cristo Couloir
Easy Snow Snow, Alpine
Uncle Andy
3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a Trad, Alpine
Inwood Arete
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c R Trad, Alpine
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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. Mar 6, 2002
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. Jun 16, 2003
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! Mar 27, 2005
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 Mar 6, 2006