This sign really says it all. Although Quandary's is considered an easier 14er to summit, there is really no easy 14er. We also knew from other friends' past experience that we did not want to mess with any bad weather. They had gotten caught in an electrical storm. We did not want that to happen to us. I should have payed more attention to the 4th tip, but more on that later.
I really felt like I was in good enough shape to do this mountain. I had done two other 14ers and knew this was easier than either one of those. That was my first mistake. I had a big head. My ego was inflated. That hope was quickly deflated. I had prepared but obviously not enough. I had a really hard time keeping up. I don't know what happened, maybe it was God saying, dodo brain this is to remind you not to get overly proud of yourself.
With the encouragement of my friends I kept on.
We were almost to the first false summit when someone stopped us and told us there was a storm approaching quickly from behind us. We turned around and sure enough, a dark cloud was right there. The thoughts of our friends in an electrical storm were in our heads. We had a decision to make. Do we turn around now when we were so close to the summit? Someone with an altimeter told us we were at 13,899. We made the decision to go to 14,000 and reassess the situation.
At 14,000 feet we made the decision to take our pictures and turn around. In the next picture you can see the storm coming in fast.
Instead of lightening and rain, it started to snow on our way down. It is the middle of August and like the sign said, be prepared for changing weather conditions. Very true! The snow added some fun to our hike down. We tried to catch snowflakes in our mouths, some people threw snowballs, and the mountain goats came out to play.
Finally after WAY too long we made it to our car. So what did I learn?
-Train more than you actually think you need.
-Don't get overly confident.
-Watch the weather before leaving. (we did this)
-Keep a careful eye out for changing weather conditions while hiking.
-Take extra clothing for those changing weather conditions.
-EAT! I took lots of food, but about half way up I wasn't hungry anymore and stopped eating. I ran out of energy and really had a hard time.
-DRINK WATER! After I was done with the hike I realized I had only drank half of my water. I really needed to drink more. I was very dehydrated.