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Conundrum Couloir

Posted: Wed Mar 24, 2021 8:30 am
by CaptCO
Has anyone been up there lately to scope it out? Interested in climbing/riding it this spring.

Alec

Re: Conundrum Couloir

Posted: Thu Mar 25, 2021 3:01 pm
by TheRealRooster
No info to add unfortunately, but I'm also interested in this as well as Castle N. Couloir. Hope you don't mind the piggyback.

Re: Conundrum Couloir

Posted: Thu Mar 25, 2021 5:09 pm
by Gueza
Even in the worst of snow years, and well into the summer, that couly is typically in. I’d imagine the coverage is great right now, and will be great for the rest of the spring - just gotta manage your way around/over the cornice at the top. Can’t speak about the current avy or ski conditions though...

Re: Conundrum Couloir

Posted: Thu Mar 25, 2021 5:21 pm
by Scott P
I don't know what current conditions are, but I did the Conundrum and Castle Couloirs in April. Both had good conditions.

Couloirs aside though, you really have to watch the approach as it can be really prone to avalanches. If you climb those routes as early as April, what you want is a cold period immediately after a warm period. This will freeze everything up and make it stable.

Also, it might be easier to both ascend and descend the couloirs too. The col between Castle and Conundrum can be really corniced and almost vertical.

You probably know all this though.

You probably know this too, but even after the snow has melted off the lower slopes, the gate is still closed near Ashcroft and has to be walked. It is pretty annoying to walk a dry road, but just be ready for this. You sound like you are in great shape, but an overnight trip is better for most, because of the road closure. You might pull it off in a day.

Re: Conundrum Couloir

Posted: Thu Mar 25, 2021 6:17 pm
by CaptCO
Thanks Gueza & Scott. I’ll take beta from y’all anyday. Looks like next week might be the start of a possible warmer cycle (still got a few weeks I think). I was actually considering a pack in day prior, just not sure if I’d rather be a mule and haul 20-30lbs or just hope for the best on a day trip (with bivy). That approach is definitely eerie, but should be doable soon. Rooster if you want a slowshoer to join PM! The idea is to climb the couloir itself, and go from there.

Re: Conundrum Couloir

Posted: Thu Mar 25, 2021 6:57 pm
by lodgling
We did it with a bivy just after the Pearl Pass turnoff and got in Conundrum and Castle. The different aspects make it good for a twofer. Just be careful linking the top of Castle to the N couloir as it will have been cooking for awhile.

I highly recommend planning to top out on Conundrum just before sunrise:
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Here's Gueza in the bottom half of the inning:
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DSC02006 resized.JPG (161.87 KiB) Viewed 935 times

Oh, and Conundrum is the one on the right when you top out. I think it is mislabeled on some maps. It takes some creativity for the summit ski.

Re: Conundrum Couloir

Posted: Thu Mar 25, 2021 7:18 pm
by CaptCO
lodgling wrote: Thu Mar 25, 2021 6:57 pm We did it with a bivy just after the Pearl Pass turnoff and got in Conundrum and Castle. The different aspects make it good for a twofer. Just be careful linking the top of Castle to the N couloir as it will have been cooking for awhile.

I highly recommend planning to top out on Conundrum just before sunrise:

cropped.JPG


Here's Gueza in the bottom half of the inning:

DSC02006 resized.JPG


Oh, and Conundrum is the one on the right when you top out. I think it is mislabeled on some maps. It takes some creativity for the summit ski.
Epic pics, thanks for sharing! Sounds like it won’t be a bad idea to start sometime after dinner the night prior. Sunset up there is on the top of my list for views. What’s the best line from bottom of conundrum to the start of castle climb if you get some speed?

Re: Conundrum Couloir

Posted: Thu Mar 25, 2021 7:25 pm
by TheRealRooster
Thanks for the beta gents! CaptCO, will let you know if we end up shooting for Castle/Conundrum. I'm unfortunately a flatlander these days, so I have to pick a weekend (4/15-18) and make the most of time and conditions. We'll have a number of things on the radar - will let you know if we head that way.

Who knows if my skiing is even up for Conundrum? I think I got in 12' vert in my backyard this winter, ha.

Re: Conundrum Couloir

Posted: Thu Mar 25, 2021 7:26 pm
by CaptCO
TheRealRooster wrote: Thu Mar 25, 2021 7:25 pm Thanks for the beta gents! CaptCO, will let you know if we end up shooting for Castle/Conundrum. I'm unfortunately a flatlander these days, so I have to pick a weekend (4/15-18) and make the most of time and conditions. We'll have a number of things on the radar - will let you know if we head that way.

Who knows if my skiing is even up for Conundrum? I think I got in 12' vert in my backyard this winter, ha.
Sounds good and no worries! It’s only my first season snowboarding, I just tend to learn quickly (with a serious background in skateboarding). Cheers!

Alec

Re: Conundrum Couloir

Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2021 8:25 am
by BillMiddlebrook
CaptCO wrote: Thu Mar 25, 2021 7:26 pm Sounds good and no worries! It’s only my first season snowboarding, I just tend to learn quickly (with a serious background in skateboarding). Cheers!

Alec
Alec, quick learner or not, Conundrum Couloir is a fairly steep line and a fall would be unpleasant at best. Especially if you end up in there with firm snow conditions.

How steep? Well, it's steeper than Quandary's Cristo and North couloirs and Torrey's Dead Dog Couloir.

Be safe.

Re: Conundrum Couloir

Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2021 8:26 am
by CaptCO
BillMiddlebrook wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 8:25 am
CaptCO wrote: Thu Mar 25, 2021 7:26 pm Sounds good and no worries! It’s only my first season snowboarding, I just tend to learn quickly (with a serious background in skateboarding). Cheers!

Alec
Alec, quick learner or not, Conundrum Couloir is a fairly steep line and a fall would be unpleasant at best. Especially if you end up in there with firm snow conditions.

How steep? Well, it's steeper than Quandary's Cristo and North couloirs and Torrey's Dead Dog Couloir.

Be safe.
Thanks, I’ll take pics for you. :horns:

Re: Conundrum Couloir

Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2021 4:47 pm
by lodgling
BillMiddlebrook wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 8:25 am CaptCO wrote: ↑Thu Mar 25, 2021 7:26 pm
Sounds good and no worries! It’s only my first season snowboarding, I just tend to learn quickly (with a serious background in skateboarding). Cheers!

Alec
Alec, quick learner or not, Conundrum Couloir is a fairly steep line and a fall would be unpleasant at best. Especially if you end up in there with firm snow conditions.

How steep? Well, it's steeper than Quandary's Cristo and North couloirs and Torrey's Dead Dog Couloir.

Be safe.
Wise words, Bill. If you want to ease into it, the N couloir on Castle across the way is a bit more forgiving.