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Castle Peak Conditions

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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Castle Peak Conditions

Postby skystrings » Sat Jun 13, 2009 9:09 am

Has anyone been up Castle Peak in the last week or so? I'm looking for any information on road and climbing conditions? How far up the road can we make it with a 2wd car? Also any equipment recommendations would be helpful. How much snow is still hanging around and if crampons/axe are needed etc. We are looking at possibly trying to ciimb it next weekend.

Any info or better yet pics would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
"Life is what happens to you while your busy making other plans" - John Lennon

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Re: Castle Peak Conditions

Postby javy20040 » Sat Jun 13, 2009 9:47 am

The Elks always receive a lot of snow, so above 12000 feet you will be climbing in snow. You should carry your axe and crampons any time you climb in June-middle July, you never know. If you are a good driver you can make it to the first crossing creek at 10000 feet with a 2wd car, where the campsite are. From here is another 1000 feet-2 miles to the second crossing creek where is the trailhead, not a really big deal.

Here is a 2 weeks old trip report, I saw pictures from the Elks recently and they got more snow above tree line recently.

http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=6048&parmpeak=Castle+Peak&cpgm=tripmain

I hope this will help you.

javier
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The love of the mountains is in my heart, which spreads to the blood which I bleed.
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Re: Castle Peak Conditions

Postby skystrings » Sat Jun 13, 2009 6:25 pm

Excellent! Thanks for the info.
"Life is what happens to you while your busy making other plans" - John Lennon

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Re: Castle Peak Conditions

Postby kaiman » Sun Jun 14, 2009 3:22 pm

Yep, there is still plenty of snow in the Elks right now (more then the post from a couple weeks ago would indicate). I hiked up to Cathedral Lake and then up to Electric Pass yesterday and there was snow below the lake at about 11,800. By the time I got near the summit of the pass at about 13,000 feet it was post-hole city (thigh to waist deep in two spots). Fun stuff!! There is still lots of snow in Montezuma Basin and both Castle and Conundrum look pretty well covered.

BTW, I wouldn't take a 2-wheel drive car up the road into Montezuma Basin/Pearl Pass much past where the road splits as it is gnarly in places past that, if not before.
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Re: Castle Peak Conditions

Postby bckcntryskr » Sun Jun 14, 2009 3:42 pm

From 13 June 2009
Attachments
Castle.jpg
Castle.jpg (34.03 KiB) Viewed 335 times
Did I mention that "I hate postholing"

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Re: Castle Peak Conditions

Postby d_baker » Sun Jun 14, 2009 4:52 pm

For anyone going up soon...
We attempted Castle/Conundrum today but turned around before the Montezuma Mine due to poor snow conditions.

Saturday afternoon (4ish-6ish) at treeline (where we camped) the weather deteriorated; started as grappel and then turned to wet snow. Stopped, but rained/snowed again by 8:30pm. Stopped. Rained/snowed again during the night before midnight.
Snowpack did not freeze afterwords (above treeline) and was sliding on the dust layer on the approach.
There was also deeper pockets of powder, sitting on top of semi-firm slush from Saturday.
We decided not to bother going further, and went up part of Pearl Pass instead.

The new snow should settle in a day or so, and with a good freeze I would think it would be fine.

bckcntryskr: were you the guy in the Subaru parked below the camp on Castle Creek road? Solo skier?

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Re: Castle Peak Conditions

Postby skystrings » Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:16 pm

Thanks for the excellent information from both of the previous posts. Since I "overlooked" the fact that next weekend is Father's Day it looks like I'll be pushing this back until the weekend of July 11th. That should hopefully put a different perspective on things and I'll be monitoring as that date approaches.

Thanks again for the info.
"Life is what happens to you while your busy making other plans" - John Lennon

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