Peak(s):  Castle Peak  -  14,265 feet
Date Posted: 
Date Climbed:   07/04/2005
Author:  SarahT
 7/4/05 NE Ridge  

After hiking Wetterhorn, Uncompahgre & Handies on Saturday and Sunday I decided that I hadnt had enough yet and drove from Lake City up to Aspen. We found a camping spot right before the creek crossing at around 10,300 ft on the Castle Creek Road. Got started hiking the next morning at 6:50. I was excited to try my first Elk Range 14er. A few trucks had made it up to about 11,100 ft where a large snowdrift prevented them from going further. The snow was very consolidated and even in the afternoons hot sun there wasnt much postholing. Once we reached Montezuma Basin we could see a clear trail of footprints in the snow going up to the NE Ridge. The snow was in great shape and I was wishing I had and knew how to use an ice axe so I could climb the steeper snow. It looked like fun and much more pleasant than the talus/scree trail I had to follow once on the ridge. The trail was very straightforward and there was a bit of fun scrambling near the end. We saw about 5 people on the way up who were coming down and we had the summit to ourselves. I had wanted to pop over to Conundrum too but I decided that 4 14ers in 3 days wasnt bad. And I had to drive back to Boulder. On the way back down, we slid down the rather mild snow slope we had come up (brought our waterproof shell just for the occasion). That was a lot of fun! It was an easy hike back down the 4WD road to the trailhead.

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