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:  07/31/2010
 Date Climbed:   07/18/2010
 Posted By:  Kitten

 Castle & Conundrum and a glissade   

Sorry for posting this with a little bit of delay, I have been out of town and I did not get to write my last reports on time.

We were planning on camping at the TH of Castle and Conundrum but we heard the campsites were closed that weekend due to bear activity. So, we decided to camp near Independence pass, we hiked for a mile and a half to Weller Lake and spend the night there. If you have not been here I highly recommend it, we were the only ones camping out there that day, compared to the crowded campgrounds in the area.

So, the next morning we hiked to the car and drove to the TH of Castle and Conundrum. We stopped at just below 11,200, after that the road becomes rougher and we did not want to push it.

Started hiking around 8am. The road was just a walk up to the end of the 4WD road at about 12,800.

Image

Pretty soon the upper basin becomes visible. You can see some hikers, on the right side of the pic below, walking on the road.

Image

Below the upper basin right at the steep slope covered by snow. You can also see some hikers in the snow.

Image

Looking back at the trail above the upper basin.

Image

A nice view of Conundrum Couloir.

Image

The last few feet to the top of Castle peak, you can see several hikers along the route.

Image

We reached the summit at 10 am. There were a lot of hikers up there that day!

Image

Got some nice views of the Maroon Bells. Alby426 was giving shots of Tequila to everybody, way to go!

Image

After spending about half an hour on top of Castle peak, Conundrum was the next target:

Image

A view down to the upper basin.

Image

The ridge was pretty easy to follow and free of snow. This picture looks back at Castle Pk from the trail to Conundrum.

Image

Made the top of Conundrum in about 40 minutes.

Image

Image

This picture looks at the standard route that we followed to Castle peak, it is a nice one since you can see the trail and even some hikers coming up (that late?).

Image

Clouds were starting to form, so we decided to head down (after another shot of Tequila of course! Thanks Alby426! ).

Here is a picture that Ben took of us in the snow cornice on top of the couloir.

Image

We went down the snow covered slope from the saddle with a group of hikers. The snow was not as soft as we would expect it and there were rocks, so we had to be careful going down. An ice-axe was required in my opinion, although we saw some people that were not using it. At the end of the glissade there is a frozen lake, you would not want to fall into it!
Looking up at the slope.

Image

Image

And the second snow slope just below the upper basin where you can see us sitting down and just letting the snow do its job. Thanks Ben for the picture, it was nice meeting you!

Image

We were back to the car at around 2.30, drove down and stopped at the Pine Creek Cookhouse for a well deserved cold beer.

Overall it was a nice and easy hike, especially fun doing the glissade down from the saddle.



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.