Peak(s):  Castle Peak  -  14,265 feet
Date Posted:  07/05/2007
Date Climbed:   07/04/2007
Author:  14ergirl
 Castle Peak via NE Ridge route  

So I just wrote this long report and it got erased b/c I had to sign in again??????

We left Denver at 6:45 Tuesday night to go up to Castle Creek Road, arrived there at 10:00 and we were in the tent by 10:45. I, of course, didn't sleep until about 1am cause I stay awake listening to the sounds of the night. Alarm went off at 5am, we got up at 6am. We drove our Bronco up the 4 wheel drive road to 11,900ft and arrived there at 7:20. We walked the rest of the road to get the mileage on our feet and to save the Bronco, but the road was actually just fine, the worst parts were at the bottom after crossing the creek the 1st time. Image At the end of the road at 12,800ft, you arrive at a large parking lot. We striped some clothing because it was so warm and then headed through into some snowfields and short boulderfields. After we trekked through all of that, the slope steepens and I elected to put my snow shoes on to get better traction. Image My husband and girlfriend just kicked steps with their hiking boots and did fine. We got to the top of the first snow field and thought we would be at the Castle/Conundrum saddle, but in fact there was a whole other snow field that was much steeper. Image This was the NW ridge route snow climb that I had been dreading. We decided since it was steep and Nicola didn't have crampons or snowshoes we went the NE ridge route. That was dissappointing since we realized we would not get to summit Conundrum Peak due to time. Either way the 2+ climb up the NE ridge was so much fun, just a tiny bit technical, but I never felt scared. Just watch the loose rock and check your feet and hand holds. We arrived at the summit around 11:00pm and enjoyed conversation with a couple of folks as well as a guy who just recently had his foot fused. Image Image Image

On the way down I faced in on some of the climbing sections just to be safe, you could face out no problem, but I am overly cautious. Image We arrived back at the top of the snow slope at 1:15 and proceeded to glissade the rest of the way down. WOW- was that fun. We used our ice axes for the first time and totally enjoyed it. Image Image

We got back to the car at 2:00, Aspen 2:45, and Denver by 5:45. We had a great day and hope that next year we can go earlier in the day and pick up Conundrum, maybe even make a ski decent - we'll see? 8)

The summit was beautiful with views of Snowmass, Capitol, Pyramid, and the Maroon Bells. Just gorgeous! Image

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

08/28/2008 00:37 a fun but wet glissade! That area is beautiful!

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