14er Ski Descents – Quandary Peak – April 27, 2001
Route: Cristo Couloir
Team: Ted, Jared Ettlinger
Late April— snow is everywhere but the lifts are closed. It doesn’t always make sense to me, for example, why Aspen Highlands’ maximum base depth is often reached on or near the mountains closing day. There’s still so much skiing to be had when everyone starts thinking summer.
Jared agreed, so we went to Quandary Peak. In ten days or so I was headed to Peru with Chris Carmichael and Jann Stoeckl for three weeks, I wanted some acclimatizing before trying to tackle 5000-6000 meter peaks (it wouldn’t come so easily).
This was standard Quandary. We skinned the East Ridge from the car all the way to the summit, I can’t quite recall how long it took, but quick comes to mind. The greatest part of the day was eating lunch within petting distance of a whole pack (?) of mountain goats. Jared was glad I had that disposable camera.
Weather was fine, snow in the Cristo was getting soft. The ski down was possibly the best I’ve had in this couloir. I’d show everyone but the camera that captured it all, lunch with goats included, never made it back to the car because of my “chronic un-zippered pockets syndrome” (CUPS-self diagnosed). Bummer.
We got home and I sold Christy and Jill on a trip to Grays and Torreys, which I thought looked good from Quandary today. We would leave in the morning.
Zip those pockets!