Peak(s):  Castle Peak  -  14,265 feet
Conundrum Peak  -  14,060 feet
Post Date:  08/19/2008
Date Climbed:   08/17/2008
Posted By:  bergsteigen

 Siege of the Castle... Python style  

Siege party: Sir JB and bergsteigen

Attempt 1 (Aug 16):

We approached the trailhead at 11,200' to find the Castle taunting us with hail.


Not to be deterred, we continued up the road to see if we could sneak up on some clearing weather. The clouds lifted a bit to reveal the ridges and peaks creased with white.


Our spirits lifted, we continue until the keepers of the Castle began verbally taunting us with thunder and lightning, and flying hail in the shape of livestock. Time to retreat, or 'Run Away...'.

With that plan thwarted, we retreat to the beauty of some waterfalls to plan for the next day's assault.


Attempt 2 (Aug 17)

This time, we approach the Castle in our Trojan Jeep, disguised as a rabbit. The ruse works, the weather is passable, and we ascend up the trail to the start of the snow field armed and ready for battle.


Not to be outdone, the Castle sends clouds up the valley to disguise itself. We get tantalizing glimpses of the peaks around us.


Sneaking up on the summit...


We beat the Castle guards and have reached the summit!


The view of the next quest, teasing us with lifting clouds.


Looking back at the Castle:


Standing at the top of the couloir, or abyss. What is your favorite colour?


We answered correctly, and found ourselves on Cunundrum.


Looking down on the ever expanding lake crevasse.


Others did not think this crevasse was something to avoid, and brazenly took their dog down for a swim!!!


Thankfully, both dog and master (?) made it out safely.

Having successfully glissaded down and around the crevasse, the clouds reward us with some sun on the Castle.


The second glissade was 10X more exciting, as it became steeper than anticipated. After having made it down the first snow slope with only a few yelps, I thought, let's go for the longer glissade on the left (north side) of the valley.

My scream of Castle 'Aaargh' echoed for quite some time (and repeatedly too) as I tried to slow myself down, with little luck.


Thus satisfied with our successful assault of the Castle, and exciting descent, we had pleased grins on our faces!


We hiked off into the sunset, only a little silly and giddy (and maybe smelling a bit like elderberries), thinking about the next quest for the Holy Grail of 14ers.....


Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

08/20/2008 00:56
Brazen because of the water temperature or the crevasse?


08/20/2008 03:28
I enjoyed the unique approach to writing a TR.


08/20/2008 03:36
Classic writing.
Nothing better than being rejected one day and getting it the next.


Dog on the edge
08/20/2008 16:15
The crevasse has a bit of a steep incline, and the dog was running around at the edge of it, kicking rocks, and almost fell into it a few times! The owner mentioned how cold the water was afterwards. The dog seemed happy enough though...

Wish I lived in CO

em are not horses, em are bloody coconuts
08/21/2008 12:48
Nice picture of the shrubbery (Nee! Nee!) Maybe the first day instead of lightning it was the holy hand grenades! Nice TR Brave, brave Sir Robin (was not afraid to die ....) It‘s been 3 yrs now, I‘ll have to re-rent that classic


08/24/2008 02:59
How much of the trip did you use the crampons for? How advisable would it be to go without them? Thanks!


Soft summer snow
08/25/2008 17:07
Crampons are not absolutely necessary (at this point of the year). I like snow travel and wanted to test the crampons with my leather boots. You can avoid much of the snow if you want.


There are some who call me....Tim?
07/14/2009 09:43
Nice climb! And there was much rejoicing! yay....

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