On a normal summer day, Quandary is a miserable slog up boulders (like most 14ers) and a line of neophytes trying to cut their teeth on a tall mountain. However, this was no ordinary summer day. Instead, we went early in the season while there was still plenty of snow on the mountain. We arrived at the parking lot early in the morning, only to find a moose hanging out right by the road. A good omen for the rest of the hike. The start of the hike wound up through beautiful forests and it was cool with the promise of sun. By the time we reached tree line, it was clear we would be in snow to the summit. Perfect. The snow was firm, so there was no post holing and we climbed quickly into the clear morning ski. Denverites were wondering who the speedy little kid was that was passing them, and all I could do was puff out of breath for someone to tell him to slow down. In the end, Peter would make it to the summit a good 30 minutes before me. The climb was excellent, and we had our spikes on as we made a straight line to the top. We stayed at the summit for about 20 minutes, had lunch and then headed down. The best part was that there was snow covering all the big nasty rocks, so we could glissade all the way back down. On our way, we saw mountain goats playing in the snow. It was quite the site to see. Once back to treelike, we ran back to the car (Peter because he can, me because I had to). It was a great climb with lots of wildlife, clear skies and good memories. So glad to have a cool kid like Peter who likes to be out in the mountains. It makes all the hard work worth it.
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