Conditions Report: Cristo Couloir, Quandary Peak

Greg Obernesser | | Trip ReportTrip Report
View of Quandary Peak with the Cristo Couloir on the left. Credit: Book Breck

About Quandary Peak: This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to rally some friends and able to ski Quandary Peak again. The mountain sits south of Breckenridge, CO just before Hoosier Pass. It summit is at 14,265 ft.

East Ridge route up Quandary Peak. Credit: 14ers

About the ascent: We opted to skin the east ridge route, but the other route is to boot straight up the couloir. Starting from the parking lot, we shouldered our skis for about a mile before we hit snow in the high alpine. From there we were able to skin to the summit on some pretty frozen uneven snow. Total ascent is around 3,500 ft.

Cristo Couloir, ascent in red and descent in green. Credit: 14ers

About the descent: After letting the sun bake the snow for about a half hour, the cold firm wind buff turned into mashed potatoes. The couloir is about 2,500ft of decent and drops you right to the bottom of the mountain near the reservoir. Some pitches are steeper around 35 degrees, but the overall couloir is huge with many possibilities. The total trip took about 4 hours.

Photo Tour

Sam skinning the ridge. Credit: instagregoh
Dave & BP skinning up the East Ridge. Credit: instagregoh
Looking South West. Credit: instagregoh
Dave getting ready to ski the couloir. Credit: instagregoh
Greg slashing some warm snow. Credit: BP

Know befor you go: get the gear, get the training, get the avalanche forecast.


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