July 2, 2016

Quandary Peak – 14,265′

14er rank:

# of climbs:
First climbed:
Last climbed:
Routes climbed:


1,125' (Mt. Lincoln - 3.2 mi S)
Summit County
5 mi SW of Breckenridge
13.5 mi NE of Leadville

East Ridge (Class 1)

Google Maps


This is the sixth 14er I've climbed, back in May 2013 with my friend Chris. This peak the tallest in the very short Tenmile Range, which is really just a northward continuation of the Mosquito Range (but separated by the Continental Divide), and the 13th tallest in Colorado. It is a very popular climb since it is both easy (via the standard route) and somewhat close to Denver. It is almost entirely obscured from the north along I-70, about 15 miles away, but can be seen along stretches of Colorado Rt. 9 to the north of Hoosier Pass. 

We hiked the standard East Ridge route, beginning at the Quandary trailhead off of Rd. 851, around 10,850'. The trail begins here and winds up through a forest to the west for a short time before reaching treeline at 11,800'. In summer, the trail stays left (south) of the east ridge up to about 12,800'. From there the trail follows the ridge all the way up to the summit while remaining Class 1 the entire way. When the trail is covered in snow, which was the case during our hike, you simply head straight up to the ridgeline at 12,100' once you emerge from the trees. From there, it becomes a very simple hike along the ridge to the summit. 

Given how straightfoward this ascent is even in snow, Quandary can often be hiked year round. Some hikers decide to ski from the summit all the way back down to the trailhead, something I did with a number of friends in April 2017. There are several more challenging routes on this peak, including a Class 3 scramble on its west side.  


Trip Reports

Quandary Peak (May 2013)