Boring Road, Fun Glissade
Our 14er Palooza trip for 2011 was winding down. We were only two hikers for the final excursion because of various injuries and work commitments. Plus, the lure of plush accomodations in Basalt and fun times in Aspen reduced several hiker's desire to get up in the dark and huff and puff up a mountain. I have read other reports that describe the hike up the road into the basin as "tedious", "never-ending", "boring", etc. All of these are correct - but, the hike is still absolutely worth it! We tagged two peaks and enjoyed several fun glissades back down. It took us 45 minutes from Castle summit to Conundrum and then back down to the saddle. Total roundtrip time for the hike was a little over 6 hours.
The first stream crossing. I was very happy to be the camera man instead of the driver.
Parked at the first turn after the second stream crossing. Garmin said it was a 7.25 mile roundtrip from here.
Waterfall by the second stream crossing was roaring.
Road or stream? Hard to tell in places.
Working your way up the road is a trudge.
Lots of these birds were flying around
A look back at the never ending road.
Microspikes on - probably didn't need them
Glissade tracks into the lower basin
Heading up from the lower basin.
Don't laugh at anothers misfortune - just take a picture.
A look at the connecting saddle and the glissade track into the upper basin.
Trail was snow free above second basin
Remaining snow on Conundrum.
Closer look at the cornice on Conundrum
Looking back on the trail
Fun scrambling near the Castle summit.
Soon determined that this wasn't the easiest route to the top.
Castle summit photo.
Mascot makes the summit
View from the top - Maroon, Snowmass, Capitol
Preparing to launch! Glissading was definitely the highlight.