Category: quandary

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Thinking Ahead – Quandary December 15

I have been planning a trip to Colorado in mid-December for a little while now. It’s to celebrate an event with a close relative. While I’m there I hope to get a climb of Quandary in. I was hoping to make another climb back at the end of November, but the weather, road conditions, and a transportation issue meant that I could not.

As is typical, I’ve been monitoring the weather on Quandary, and here is a report from one of my favorite sources… https://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Quandary-Peak/forecasts/4348

The top image is from the summit, and the bottom image is for about where the bridge is near the “closed for restoration” sign. So not too bad for wind, temps, or wind chill. I’m in the middle of a little boot “quandary” (haha) since I’ve outgrown all my double boots. When the chills go below zero I prefer to wear light double boots, like my Scarpa Phantom 6000 Mountaineering Boot, which is what I did when I climbed Greys with Todd Gilles prior to Elbrus Race 2013. It was quite a bit below zero F that day and I was just fine.

Salomon Boots I’ll be wearing

The warmest “mountain” type boots I have right now that fit at all are my Salomon S-Lab X-Alp Carbon Boots (link is to a newer version than I have). They should be sufficient. I wore them last year on a winter climb of Quandary, but had issues with socks and slipping around inside on the descent as the slide locker loosened up. I’ll have to manage that I suppose, in the worst case possibly even unzipping and tightening the slide locker at the summit, in the cold, in the wind, prior to descending.

I’ll be packing up my gear over the next couple of days, so stay in touch here to get the full scoop as I prepare for whatever my goals evolve into over the next few months.

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Winter End Musings – Where do we go from here?

It’s been a long few years since I ended up returning to work as a “mere employee” and having to waste a lot of time commuting and then sitting at at desk in an office with 26 male employoees and one toilet between us. Since most of them are typical fast-food survivors and need to spend a good deal of time squeezing out toxic waste byproducts while playing on their phones, it’s somewhat difficult to stay properly hydrated.

If you can’t figure out what the connection is, let me know in a message and I’ll spell it out for you.

Fighting the results of my own toxic byproducts of training hard has become a real challenge. Enough so that my training is seriously impacted. Gone are the days of 10 days on and 1 day off.

Learning how to ride a mountain bike while overcoming the delusions of my youth that plague me has been a super difficult challenge as well. My memories of 30 years ago cruising along at 28 MPH on an 18 lb bike with 700 x 20 slicks confound me as I struggle to stay over 15 MPH on my 30 pound full suspension bike. Add in the inverted gravity response to cornering on loose gravel. It’s tough. But it’s part of the game when you’re a certified mountain bike coach for a local high school team.

I also get to spend a lot of time on a trainer, with the bad weather, or should I say typical Utah late winter weather?

I’ve been on the treadmill a lot, with various levels of incline, and overall it’s been okay, though not sustainable at heavy loads right now. I was using an Adidas Footpod and just recently changed to a Wahoo Tickr Run which provides the same data from a chest strap. So far I’ve liked it and it’s a bit more accurate than the pod, which is a mystery to me.

And on top of it all, I’ve been dreaming about Quandary. Remember my favorite Colorado Fourteener that I’ve ascended in every month of the year? I kind of do. I was thinking all winter of going out there to do it, but it’s been a bad weather and wind magnet all winter long. This shot is just an example. I saw days with > 60 MPH winds and way below 0 F.

Suddenly we get this:

Quandary Summit
Quandary Treeline

What is a sort-of retired, but not willing to give it up Skyrunner to do?

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