Follow highway 82 west through Aspen to a a roundabout where you will turn onto Castle Creek Rd. Follow Castle Creek Rd for 11 miles to Ashcroft (winter closure). Continue 1.9 miles to a Y where you will take the right fork onto Pearl Pass Rd. 2 wheel drive parking is 0.7 miles further at 9800ft. Continue 3.2 miles on Pearl Pass Road to another fork. Continue left on Pearl Pass to the last Castle Creek intersection at 11280ft. Leave the road and follow Castle Creek drainage to the obvious deep couloir at the north end of Castles Northeast Ridge. It is very obvious how this gully got the name of Castle Moat.
Climb the snow slope to the base of the couloir. The walls tower over you as you enter the couloir. The right wall is angled just enough to keep the couloir shaded a bit longer than the rest of Castles east face. The max angle is 48 degrees. The angle does ease as the couloir widens at the top. You'll want to head to the left for a more direct route to the Northeast Ridge Route
which you will follow the rest of the way to Castles summit. Your descent options would be the the Northeast Ridge Route
or the Northwest Ridge Route
Ice axe, crampons and helmet. Snowshoes or skis may be very helpful for the approach.
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