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 Peak(s):  Castle Peak  -  14,265 feet
Conundrum Peak  -  14,060 feet
 Post Date:  06/19/2011
 Date Climbed:   06/18/2011
 Posted By:  RJansen77

 Skiing Conundrum with Castle Climb   

This is my first report, and I'm sorry I couldn't figure out how to get the photos into the text, but I will soon!

Having moved to Denver a few weeks ago from the east, my roommate and I decided that there was still too much oxygen at 5,280', so we decided to go after some June turns on Castle and Conundrum. You can't drive very far up the Castle Creek Road yet due to avalanches (maybe 10,500' or so), and it will be a while until these melt out. The basin is still full of snow though, and while a summit ski of Castle is no longer possible, the Conundrum Couloir is in with a small cornice at the top center. Below this, the snow is pretty suncupped and runneled out, and gets soft FAST in the June sun, so I'd advise to start skiing pretty early, (we hit it at 11:30am and this was 1-1.5 hours too late). Overall, it was a great day on two awesome mountains.

There has been a lot of traffic on the forum surrounding these peaks recently, if you have any questions about the current conditions feel free to PM me!



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (4)
timf


So NE ridge on Castle?     2011-06-20 13:38:56
So what you're saying is the N couloir on Castle is gone for the season?


RJansen77


Re: N Couloir     2011-06-21 13:02:40
I believe so, I don't recall seeing any continuous lines off the summit of Castle, at least into Montezuma Basin. You might be able to still get a good ski in with all of the snow, but it won't be from the summit.


vorticity


Post Holing     2011-06-22 13:11:16
Thanks for the report. How was the snow quality for hiking? Lots of postholing, or pretty stable?


RJansen77


Postholing     2011-06-22 13:44:32
On the ascent the posholing wasn't a big deal, there was a nice bootladder through much of the basin and we hopped onto Castle's standard route once it started to gain the ridge. It was a problem on the descent after skiing though, so if you're not skiing I'd bring snowshoes. Also, it was cold that morning and actually flurried on us, (forecasted low for Aspen was 39F), so if the weather is going to be warmer than that I'd bring the shoes just in case. There's still tons of snow up there and I'd rather be safe than postholing. Have fun!



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