Who: Sarah Pasquel (Most awesome wife), Aaron "Lu" Lawler, and yours truly!
Well...I officially started my life goal of summiting all 14ers in Colorado. I chose to start with an easy class 1 hike up one of the easier 14ers-Quandary. So we left the DFW area, drove all night, picked up Lu who flew into Denver and spent a few nights there enjoying the city, and made our way into the Rockies...
We needed to acclimate...you know, being flatlanders residing at 700' to reaching 14,000' mountains the next few days, called for a little acclimatization..So what did we do? Obviously, we drove into Breckenridge, walked main street, and found the first cool microbrewery to hydrate for the trip!
Quandary Peak (East Ridge) 14,265 ft.
Class 1 hike
Mileage: 6.75 miles
elevation gain: 3450'
We left Breckenridge at 5:30 am and got on the TH by 6:00 am sharp…at 6am on this Labor Day Saturday, there were only about 5 vehicles in the parking area in front of the TH. This was a surprise…thinking it was going to be more people at this time. My wife Sarah and buddy Lu and I started the hike and felt like we did not see more than 5 people on the trail below the tree-line. My favorite part of the morning was smelling the fresh pine…which always brings back memories of previous trips in the mountains.
As we started to make our progression towards the top, we started to get passed up by many hikers who were on a mission. It was our second day in Colorado from Texas so we were taking it easy and getting our bodies acclimated to the elevation for the rest of our weekend trip. I personally did not mind our pace. This also gave me the opportunity to take in the scenery and appreciate the wonder of this place many of you call home.
We finally reached the summit at 9:45 a.m. We took in the views and had a snack…we stuck around for 20 minutes before we decided to make our way down.
This is when I first noticed the parade of folks making their way up Quandary. This mountain was loaded with people today…we would not go more than 2-3 minutes without passing someone. But I did not let this bother me since I too was one of those people hiking this mountain…We finally completed the hike at exactly 12 p.m. It took us 6 hours to complete this trail. Did not think it would take us this long but it did…oh well, it was totally worth it. Now I am sitting here in Texas wishing I can take back at least 1 minute from this hike…
We met the famous mountain goat I have seen in many of your pictures…met his family too. Awesome little guys…