Saturday was supposed to be a beautiful day, so a friend and I met up early in the morning and headed for Breckenridge. We arrived at the Quandary Peak trailhead around 8am and were on the trail by 8:30 after putting the gaiters and spikes on. We took our time on this one, as there was no weather to beat. It was a crisp 30 degrees or so when we started, with promising bright blue skies to the west. We had intermittent snow on the trail of 2-4 inches, most was packed. After we stopped for a brief snack at tree line, we headed up into the wind. The south side of the mountain was creating a wind tunnel that we had to march into. Just guessing, the winds were about 40-50 mph and of course, it was much colder above the trees. We both put on the balaclavas and took out the down jackets. This climb was only 6.75 miles, but you have 3,450 feet of elevation to gain, which proved a good workout. Off to our north east, we could see Grays and Torreys, which I had completed back in September. As we neared the top, we saw someone hunched over, spilling his breakfast. We asked if he was alright and he said he just didn’t feel well. He was experiencing altitude sickness, or acute mountain sickness. This is nothing to mess around with and the only cure is descending, which he did. After he left we had the 14,265 foot summit to ourselves. We hung around up top and enjoyed the views and had some snacks. I gladly partook in one of my new favorites from the Rocky Mountain Popcorn Company. I took the Naked flavor, which has just enough salt to taste. Pick some up if you see it.
We headed down and were treated with another awesome Colorado sunset. After stopping to put our headlamps on at dark, we arrived at the car around 7pm.