|Peak:||Castle Peak (14er)|
|Route:||Castle and Conundrum|
|Date of Info:||07/02/2011|
Hiked Castle Peak via Northeast route on 7/2, then took connecting ridge to Conundrum. Road is melting extremely fast, and trees that were blocking road from avalanche (just above creek crossing) have now been cleared, so you can drive 1+ miles up road past creek before hitting snow that may be impassable with standard SUV. However, within a few days I would imagine snow will have melted completely on road where should be able to make it to Pearl Pass intersection (@11,200') without too much difficulty.
Hiked up road from creek crossing as it was running fast and was nervous about crossing with my tiny Isuzu SUV. A few SUVs/pickups had crossed night before and said it wasn't too bad.
With "late" start (6:30AM at creek crossing), by the time I was above treeline snow was soft enough where crampons were not necessary on standard route (although I brought them, never put them on). Ice axe helpful on way up (more for balancing and piece of mind than absolute necessity), but imperative if you plan on glissading down from top of mtn. That said, I probably would not hike it without one. Above 13,400 feet or so is snow free, as are all ridges on top. Melting fast..
If you’d like any more info, PM me...Thanks..Mike