Peak:  Castle Peak (14er)
 Route:  North Face Couloir
 Range:  Elk
 Posted By:  screeman57
 Date of Info:  06/10/2013
 Date Posted:  06/11/2013

Had great climb of the North Face Couloir yesterday. Snow conditions are quite firm and good until about 150 ft. from the top, where it's getting thin. As I topped out, a skier was dropping in off the South side into Cumberland basin. Despite the very warm temps (50 deg. at 14k at 8am), very firm snow on the descent--no postholing whatsoever, and excellent glissades all the way down to the mining road. Unbelievable amount of water coming out of there, and a LOT of snow remains.

The ridge traverse is free of snow, except for a few tricky sections going up Conundrum. A lot of rockfall in the Conundrum Couloir (virtually constant after 11am). The cornice mentioned in the previous report remains immense.

#1) North Face Couloir from the upper basin (on descent)
#2) North Face from Conundrum

Photos (click for slideshow):
Image #1Image #2

 Comments or Questions

not far
06/12/2013 20:52
RT was 10.5 hours, with an hour spent on Castle summit, about 40 minutes on the traverse, and much time saved glissing down. I got a 4am start for firm snow.

I have a minivan, so didn't get more than half a mile. But even 4x4s couldn't get much further (none past the campsites), mainly because of washouts (by which I mean the road is the river).

Tim A

06/13/2013 19:43
Thanks for this update, looking at getting up there next week.

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