Buying Gear?  Click Here
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...
 Peak(s):  Castle Peak  -  14,265 feet
Conundrum Peak  -  14,060 feet
 Post Date:  08/09/2006 Modified: 08/05/2009
 Date Climbed:   08/08/2006
 Posted By:  benners

 Castle and Conundrum: Northwest Ridge   

Date Climbed: August 8, 2006
Group: Solo
Goal: Summit Castle Peak via the NW Ridge and traverse to Conundrum Peak


I left the trailhead around 6am and headed up the road which goes all the way up to 12,800. I had to park before the stream crossing at 9,900, a bit nervous about the crossing with my 4x4 only to see three jeeps tear through the stream without a problem on my way back down later in the day. Anyway I reached the top of the road in about and hour and a half and continued up into the cirque below Castle and Conundrum. From here I decided on the northwest ridge route right up the snowfield which was more difficult than I expected (having left my ice axe in the car). If you are planning to do this route anytime soon, bring an axe with you!

Image
Snow field - Route goes up to the right


It was a steeper climb than I was comfortable with on bullet proof snow with no ice axe but I eventually made it up. From the top of the ridge it is about 10 minutes to the summit of Conundrum. Here is a view of the road from the top of the ridge.

Image
The road on the approach


And on to the summit of Conundrum . . .

Image
The rest of the Elks (Capitol is behind Pyramid on the right and Snowmass is behind North Maroon on the left)


From Conundrum to Castle took about 30 minutes, it's not as far as it looks.

Image
The connecting saddle


As the weather was starting to come in I decided to descend the northeast ridge route which was quite a bit safer than descending the snow field with no axe. Made it back to the car by 11:30am. These peaks have some really nice views and were pretty short and sweet for Elk range fourteeners.

Image
Looking back on Conundrum from the summit of Castle, Route in Red



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions

   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here


Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. 14ers.com and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless 14ers.com and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the 14ers.com Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2014 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.