Peak:  Castle Peak (14er)
 Route:  Castle and Conundrum
 Range:  Elk
 Posted By:  craigjhn
 Date of Info:  10/13/2013
 Date Posted:  10/17/2013

I was up there last Sunday (Oct 13). We parked just before the stream crossing in our fairly new Forester, just because Im pretty squeamish yet about driving it on rough roads. At that time, there wasnt much water in the stream crossing. We watched a Land Cruiser go thru and it didnt even come up past the tires to the wheels. Also, there were tracks in the snow all the way up to the jeep parking area high up in the basin. Some of the tracks showed they had tire chains. There were some slick icy spots in the trees along the way which made me think I might not make it anyway. But we did see a couple of other vehicles make it up to the Pearl Pass turnoff without chains.

From the jeep parking area, it looked like a 4-wheeler (ATV) had gone a bit farther. And then there was a skin track that looked at least a day old. There was a good bit of snow and some significant drifting when I started the off-road part of the hike. I didnt have snowshoes or skis, just microspikes, and I ended up doing a lot of postholing up to my knees or more when stepping between rocks. After struggling a bit with the snow and getting tired, I ended up turning around. I had been planning both Castle and Conundrum. They were close, but no cigar.

Also, it rained quite a bit overnight and into the morning the next day in Carbondale (Oct 14), so Im guessing C & C got a lot more snow.

pic 1 - just after the creek crossing on Castle Creek Rd
pic 2 - at the turnoff to Pearl Pass rd
pic 3 - the ATV tracks leaving the jeep parking area
pic 4 - the skin tracks heading up to the C & C saddle.

Photos (click for slideshow):
Image #1Image #2Image #3Image #4

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