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 Peak(s):  Conundrum Peak  -  14,060 feet
Castle Peak  -  14,265 feet
 Post Date:  06/27/2010
 Date Climbed:   06/26/2010
 Posted By:  PDavis

 Conundrum Couloir and Castle   

We decided to head up to the Castle Creek trailhead the night before to get a head start on the climbs. We were unsure if my jeep was going to be able to cross the river, so our plan was to park just before the bridge and then to hike all the way into the basin and set up camp. Once we reached the river and after some debate we decided that we should go ahead and cross it.

Pic of the river cossing from the way out
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After we crossed the river we drove up the road and parked just a little ways before the junction to Pearl Pass road. From there we put on our packs and starting hiking into the first basin at 12,800'.

The next few pics are ones on the way into the basin, but were taken on the hike out since the night before it was dark.
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The hike into the basin was uneventful, just staying on the road hoping it wasn't going to start down pouring on us. Luckily it just sprinkled off and on and before we knew it we were in the basin and setting up camp. Neither one of us had camped that high before, so it was pretty cool to be sleeping just below 13,000 feet.

Our morning view from inside the tent. Looking up the steep hill to reach the upper basin
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The couloir starts just a few hundred feet from the top of the hill. The snow was nice and hard all the way up, perfect for crampons.

Starting up the climb
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Working our way up
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About 3/4 of the way up there are some rocks to negotiate, but its not that big of a deal, just go to the far left side.
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Climbing under the cornice
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Side view of the cornice
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Castle from the top of the couloir.
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We exited the couloir on the right and went for the summit. The rock here is a little loose, but not to bad.

Views from the top of Conundrum.
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We stayed on top of Conundrum only for a few minutes and headed toward Castle.

The ridge to Castle
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We made it to the top of Castle in roughly 40 minutes.

Conundrum from Castle.
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Summit of Castle.
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We were thinking about taking the standard route of castle back down, but the glissade from the saddle was to tempting.
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After the fun of that glissade we couldn't pass up the one off of the steep hill back into the lower basin and to our camp. Only this one we had a long run out, so we just cut loose and went as fast as we could.
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We broke down camp and started back down the road. Making it back to the jeep in about an hour.

Close to the trailhead, looking back up towards the valley.
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Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
lordhelmut


Good to see     2010-06-28 11:20:08
Conundrum Couloir is still climbable, maybe not really all that enjoyable of a ski, but what is these days?

Nice photos as well



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