Conundrum Couloir

Colorado peak questions, condition requests and other info.
Forum rules
Please do not use this forum to advertise, sell photos or other products or promote a commercial website. For more details, please see the Terms of Use you agreed to when joining the forum.
Post Reply
User avatar
CaptCO
Posts: 1769
Joined: 7/14/2019
14ers: 58 14
13ers: 45 1
Trip Reports (5)
Contact:

Conundrum Couloir

Post by CaptCO » Wed Mar 24, 2021 8:30 am

Has anyone been up there lately to scope it out? Interested in climbing/riding it this spring.

Alec
"It's a thing if you want it to be a thing. What others think of something is irrelevant." -OldSchool

Proof is in the progress, patience is essence; I’m crazy as a fox

"The future no longer belongs to my generation"

DM @Capt_Alec for nudes
TheRealRooster
Posts: 103
Joined: 2/18/2016
14ers: 6 2
13ers: 3 1

Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by TheRealRooster » Thu Mar 25, 2021 3:01 pm

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.
User avatar
Gueza
Posts: 635
Joined: 11/25/2007
14ers: 58 56 12
13ers: 27 8
Trip Reports (15)

Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by Gueza » Thu Mar 25, 2021 5:09 pm

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...
Good luck breeds bad habits. Good habits save lives!
User avatar
Scott P
Posts: 8402
Joined: 5/4/2005
14ers: 51 16
13ers: 41 13
Trip Reports (16)
Contact:

Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by Scott P » Thu Mar 25, 2021 5:21 pm

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.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.
User avatar
CaptCO
Posts: 1769
Joined: 7/14/2019
14ers: 58 14
13ers: 45 1
Trip Reports (5)
Contact:

Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by CaptCO » Thu Mar 25, 2021 6:17 pm

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.
"It's a thing if you want it to be a thing. What others think of something is irrelevant." -OldSchool

Proof is in the progress, patience is essence; I’m crazy as a fox

"The future no longer belongs to my generation"

DM @Capt_Alec for nudes
User avatar
lodgling
Posts: 496
Joined: 6/21/2005
14ers: 58 57 2
13ers: 18 1
Trip Reports (11)

Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by lodgling » 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
cropped.JPG (94.88 KiB) Viewed 810 times

Here's Gueza in the bottom half of the inning:
DSC02006 resized.JPG
DSC02006 resized.JPG (161.87 KiB) Viewed 810 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.
User avatar
CaptCO
Posts: 1769
Joined: 7/14/2019
14ers: 58 14
13ers: 45 1
Trip Reports (5)
Contact:

Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by CaptCO » Thu Mar 25, 2021 7:18 pm

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?
Attachments
2A90EEAB-46B5-44D9-A076-CE93EF6B12E2.jpeg
2A90EEAB-46B5-44D9-A076-CE93EF6B12E2.jpeg (95.33 KiB) Viewed 791 times
56272B59-1EA2-4275-8515-B811EE81A62B.jpeg
56272B59-1EA2-4275-8515-B811EE81A62B.jpeg (98.53 KiB) Viewed 791 times
"It's a thing if you want it to be a thing. What others think of something is irrelevant." -OldSchool

Proof is in the progress, patience is essence; I’m crazy as a fox

"The future no longer belongs to my generation"

DM @Capt_Alec for nudes
TheRealRooster
Posts: 103
Joined: 2/18/2016
14ers: 6 2
13ers: 3 1

Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by TheRealRooster » 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.
User avatar
CaptCO
Posts: 1769
Joined: 7/14/2019
14ers: 58 14
13ers: 45 1
Trip Reports (5)
Contact:

Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by CaptCO » Thu Mar 25, 2021 7:26 pm

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
"It's a thing if you want it to be a thing. What others think of something is irrelevant." -OldSchool

Proof is in the progress, patience is essence; I’m crazy as a fox

"The future no longer belongs to my generation"

DM @Capt_Alec for nudes
User avatar
BillMiddlebrook
Site Administrator
Posts: 6282
Joined: 7/26/2004
14ers: 58 46 22
13ers: 167 55 45
Trip Reports (7)
Contact:

Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by BillMiddlebrook » 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.
“Some things never change, no, don't ever change
And I'm feeling the cold
Thinking that we're getting older and wiser
When we're just getting old”
- David Gilmour
User avatar
CaptCO
Posts: 1769
Joined: 7/14/2019
14ers: 58 14
13ers: 45 1
Trip Reports (5)
Contact:

Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by CaptCO » Fri Mar 26, 2021 8:26 am

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:
"It's a thing if you want it to be a thing. What others think of something is irrelevant." -OldSchool

Proof is in the progress, patience is essence; I’m crazy as a fox

"The future no longer belongs to my generation"

DM @Capt_Alec for nudes
User avatar
lodgling
Posts: 496
Joined: 6/21/2005
14ers: 58 57 2
13ers: 18 1
Trip Reports (11)

Re: Conundrum Couloir

Post by lodgling » Fri Mar 26, 2021 4:47 pm

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.
Post Reply