Peak(s):  Castle Peak  -  14,265 feet
Date Posted:  06/26/2010
Date Climbed:   06/24/2010
Author:  CR0SS
 A quick after work ski trip   

It has been too hot working outside the last few days, so I decided to go make some turns after work.

Left the house at 5:30pm not knowing how far up into the basin I would make it. The drive up to Montezuma basin is almost free of snow. You can't make it to the upper parking lot yet. There is also a rock/mud slide blocking the road just short of the parking lot now. I was able to get within a 10 minute hike of the lot. I looked at where I could go and gave myself a mandatory turn around of 8:15pm

I have skied the basin a lot so I decided to go after a line I have yet to do top to bottom. I always seem to start about a 1/3 of the way down.

I took this picture from where I parked.

Malemute peak looked great in the setting sun.

The climb was fairly straight forward except the last part. I had to negotiate some scree fields and traverse one snow band. I could not find my regular poles so I took my whippet along thinking I really did not need it today. It was nice to have traversing the one snow band.

At the top looking down.

The snow had setup nicely. It made for a good firm surface to ski on. The snow kept me on my toes on the top pitch if you fell you were going to slide into rocks. The first choke at the top the snow went to shit. There was a thin crust that you broke through just enough for your skis to catch under the crust. Once past the choke things firmed up again.

The snow was firm enough I barely left any tracks.

The white snow in the choke was the worst snow of the line.

Greeted at the bottom by a full moon.

I think I prefer ending the trip in the dark vs getting up early and starting in the dark.

 Comments or Questions

Nice evening
06/27/2010 03:59
Great job getting out after hours. Looked fun


after work
06/28/2010 17:13
ski outings are fun, specially when you live in Pitkin County. Snow kind of sucks at dusk, but its better than sitting at home watching TV all night after work and its a great photo op.


06/28/2010 18:48
The snow was not bad at all. Sure it was not powder but it was fun skiing.

We went up again yesterday and have some video here:

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