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Quandary Peak - East Ridge
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Quandary Peak - East RidgeSouth Central, CO
South Central, CO
Hiking avatar Sep 15 2012
big_load
Hiking6.20 Miles 3,450 AEG
Hiking6.20 Miles   6 Hrs      1.03 mph
3,450 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Quandary was the last of this year's September Colorado hikes. It capped an annual gathering of a large group from another forum, quite a few of whom joined me (and woke me up very, very early :tt: ) for an "easy" 14er. Its accessibility and relative ease and safety make this an extremely popular trail, and the good weather brought out amazing crowds. The ascent recalled descriptions I've heard of Mt. Fuji, where I'm told hikers form an almost continuous line.

Despite the lack of solitude, it was fun to be with some people enjoying a big mountain for the first time and the views were fantastic. I also saw my first mountain goat in the wild, and at very close range.

My rant for this trip has to do with a few very young children who were part of a large group that eventually broke up and spread way out. They were mostly going along with us and an older guy seemed to be watching them. A girl about eight years old already had blisters less than halfway up, but the guy didn't seem to care and was really pushing her. We saw him and some others on the summit, but not her. He said she was part of his group, but not his responsibility. While he was still up there, we found her and two younger children alone about 500 feet below the summit, without water, food, extra clothes, suffering from not only blisters, thirst, and cold, but also vomiting from altitude. We stopped to take care of them, and about 20 minutes later, the rest of their group caught up from below (including their parents). A few of the parents from our group gave them some firm advice, telling them about 15 times that they had to get her down right away. They were so beat themselves that they were unable to move right away.

We continued on, hoping they would finally comply, which I think they did about half an hour later. I'd still like to have another word with the older guy from that group, who seemed to be running the show. His whole party was short on water and food.

That encounter saddened me, although I was very impressed by the childrens' toughness and good spirits despite the severity of their plight. They would have tried to summit if we hadn't stopped them, no matter how bad they felt.

The night finished with a big meal in camp, stories around the fire, and sad farewells.
Fauna
Fauna
Mountain Goat
Named place
Named place
Quandary Peak
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