I climbed my first 14er today, Quandary Peak, elevation 14,265 feet, located in the Ten Mile Range in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Quandary Peak is one of fifty-three peaks in Colorado that rise above 14,000 feet (14ers). Although the 13th highest, it is considered one of the easier 14ers to hike. I wonder if that is why it felt like a shopping mall at the peak? Total distance was 6.5 miles with a 3,500 foot elevation gain.
Crowds or not, it is pretty amazing to stand on top of a 14,000 foot mountain and just look out over the horizon. I’ve read some banter about which mountain range is sweeter, the Rockies or the Sierra Nevada. I don’t think it is really a debate because they are so different. The one thing to me that separates them is the sheer size. The Rockies span 3,000 miles from New Mexico into Canada. By comparison, the Sierra range is only 400 miles in length, but is home to the highest peak in the contiguous United States, Mt. Whitney at 14,505 feet, as well as the world famous Yosemite National Park.