Ascent of Castle Peak on 2015-09-08

Climber: Albert Wolff

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Castle Peak
    Elevation:14265 ft / 4347 m

Ascent Trip Report

Hiked up from the Castle Creek 2WD TH on 9/7/15 to a campsite by two waterfalls below the Pearl Pass Road junction (13S 341106 4318952). Good water source from pipe in side of hill located at 13S 340965 4318908. Spent the night and continued climb early morning 9/8/15. Time from campsite to summit of Castle was 3 hours 32 minutes and 3.2 miles. Hiked up to about the Montezuma mine with two hikers hiking at very slow pace, so my time is skewed slower. From Castle summit to Castle-Conundrum saddle was 0.3 miles and took 15 minutes. From saddle to Conundrum summit was 0.2 miles and 20 minutes. Should have stayed closer to ridge line after notch in Conundrum false summit ridge, but I dipped west on the ridge line on some slippery snow covered rocks which slowed progress. Wind died down once on Conundrum summit, so i spent a little time enjoying the 360 degree view. Beautiful Day! Descended off the Castle-Conundrum saddle directly into the basin with the still frozen tarn on loose rock and dirt. My poles very very helpful here. Crossed below the Conundrum east face to avoid rockfall. Several spontaneous rockfalls occurred while I was on the Castle-Caonundrum ridge. I recommend a helmet on this climb.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Castle Peak from Conundrum Peak (2015-09-08). Photo by Albert Wolff.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4465 ft / 1360 m
    Total Elevation Loss:445 ft / 135 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.2 mi / 10 km
    Grade/Class:Class 2+
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Clear
Some snow on ascent.
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4465 ft / 1360 m
    Distance:5.9 mi / 9.5 km
    Route:NE Ridge
    Start Trailhead:Castle Creek TH  9800 ft / 2987 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:445 ft / 135 m
    Distance:0.3 mi / 0.5 km
    Route:Conundrum South Ridge Route
    End Trailhead:Castle-Conundrum Saddle  13820 ft / 4212 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Castle and Conundrum (1 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Castle Peak2015-09-084465 ft / 1361 m
2Conundrum Peak2015-09-08342 ft / 104 m
Total Trip Gain: 4807 ft / 1465 m    Total Trip Loss: 4807 ft / 1466 m

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