Castle Mountain Climber's Log

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Gordon Hommes

Gordon Hommes - Aug 21, 2021 1:35 pm Date Climbed: Aug 15, 2020

South approach from Varve Lake  Sucess!

Afternoon climb from our camp on Varve Lake. Up steep meadow, bedrock, boulders, snowfield, talus to summit plateau. 2.5 hours up. Great views, but some smoke.


aarobkol - Oct 9, 2020 3:15 pm Date Climbed: Aug 9, 2020

Castle  Sucess!

Climbed from camp at shadow lake. Great peak, we avoided most of the snow. We ran into a guy named Brandon from Helena who was on an attempt to climb the 50 highest peaks in the state, unsupported, in a few weeks


kleinclimbs - Sep 14, 2020 10:10 am Date Climbed: Sep 12, 2020

From Shadow Lake  Sucess!

10 hours round trip from Shadow Lake, we had climbed Whitetail the day before so we were a little tired from the start. Fresh snow from a few days before made things more difficult, we were up to our waist a few times. Started at 5 AM, made it back to West Fork Trail head at 7:30 PM


rvancleave - Jul 31, 2020 5:45 am Date Climbed: Jul 25, 2020

From Omega Pass via West Fork  Sucess!

Base camped at Shadow Lake. 8 hour round trip from Shadow Lake on summit day.


freedeep - Mar 22, 2020 11:26 am Date Climbed: Aug 15, 1986

Approached from Varve Lake  Sucess!

Started at Island Lake trailhead, then on past Jasper, Maryott, and Flatrock Lakes, then on up to Varve Lake. My wife says this backcountry looks like where time began. Easy scramble to the summit from Varve Lake. The next day I was on the summit of Castle Rock Spire main summit block, and Castle Rock Mtn to the west. I have been back to this area many times since that first climb. The plateau area is a great place to spend some time.

Josh Lewis

Josh Lewis - Oct 2, 2016 2:30 am Date Climbed: Jun 16, 2013

Good Starter Kit  Sucess!

This was a decent choice for starting out in the beartooths.


josephbschmitt0415 - Jul 14, 2016 12:19 am Date Climbed: Aug 11, 2013

Via Omega Pass  Sucess!

Went on a weekend with 0% chance of rain. Camped at Silt Lakes with my pups. Woke up early and headed up Omega pass. Upon cresting the pass the entire Wyoming Absorkees were getting hammered with lightning and rain. Decided to make a run for it. By the time I was back at the pass the storm was upon us. With a titanium rod in my right leg, an ice ax, and metal crampons I wasn't about to find out how well they conducted electricity. For a quicker descent I glissaded every strip of snow in sight! The last and largest snow field was still froze in the middle and I lost control of my glissade. After two unsuccessful self arrests I turned around to accept my fate. Luckily my backpack and ice ax created enough friction for me to arrest just before the snow ran out and the moraine began. Also just enough time for me to catch my dogs who were screaming down the snow, back wards, and clawing like mad. Ran back to camp in a crouching manner as hail and lighting came crashing down. Good times.


pintlerpro - Apr 23, 2016 4:04 pm Date Climbed: Sep 2, 2015

via omega pass ,and ridge   Sucess!

solo from the pass and followed the spine of the ridge up from there to summit,, foggy conditions and rime ice.


Peaker - Aug 3, 2015 9:57 am Date Climbed: Aug 1, 2015

From the South  Sucess!

Approached from the Clay Butte trailhead and camped at Martin Lake. Took the next day to summit and packed out the day after that. This was a great first peak in the Beartooths; nice views of the plateau, Granite Peak, and Mount Wood.

Matt Lemke

Matt Lemke - Jun 19, 2013 5:05 pm Date Climbed: Jun 16, 2013

NE Couloir  Sucess!

Awesome climb up the NE couloir. Good snow


PanamaRed - Sep 30, 2012 2:00 am Date Climbed: Sep 22, 2012

Sweet!  Sucess!

Awsome remote peak. The hike in was long and strenuous. We went in via sundance pass and added a ton of elevation gain/loss to the trip. I saw some cool views from the pass though so it was worth it. The hike to the peak was easy with some 3rd/4th class scrambling in one section. It was very smokey on top so the view wasn't as good as i had hoped. Still i got some good pictures looking down the huge cliffs on the edge of the summit.


VincePoore - Jul 21, 2009 1:44 pm Date Climbed: Jul 18, 2009

Copy Cat  Sucess!

JCarlson's forum question about this route caught my eye and I just had to try it for myself the next weekend. An awesome route for testing my beginner snow travel skills. On the third day I was going to try for Whitetail via Sundance Pass, but turned around at Mt Lockhart because of a combination of time, weather, and weariness.


JCarlson - Jul 14, 2009 9:02 am Date Climbed: Jul 12, 2009

South Side Glacier via West Fork  Sucess!

Squeezed the climb into a two day trip. Camped just past the Sundance Pass turn. Started at 6am, summited at 2:30pm. Made it back to the trailhead at 1am that night. Had great weather for the climb, but a thunderstorm caught up to us on the way out.


OWilderness - Dec 7, 2008 6:18 am Date Climbed: Jul 14, 2003

Great peak in the Beartooths!  Sucess!

I climbed this mountain when I was 15 with NOLS on a month-long backpacking trip in the Beartooths. This was one of the most memorable moments of my trip staring down the sheer vertical cliffs dropping away from us on three sides.


bakcast - Aug 10, 2006 7:28 pm Date Climbed: Aug 3, 2006

Castle Adventre  Sucess!

Climbed Castle via south slopes and S ridge from Varve Lake. Descended west ridge below the spire. Traversed high most of the way around point 12,540 in an attempt to climb Castle Rock Mountain. Back to camp at Crystal Lake. Saw many insane goats on point 12,540. The glaciers back there are in bad shape - topo maps desperately need to be updated.


granitepeaker - Aug 23, 2005 11:48 am

Route Climbed: West Fork Rock Creek -> Omega Saddle -> South Side Glacier -> Castle Rock Mtn -> Castle Mtn Date Climbed: August 20, 2005  Sucess!

Summiting Castle Mountain this trip was a lot easier this trip compared to a month ago when we had bad weather. We left our base camp at Shadow Lake at 5am and got to the base of the Castle Rock Spire at 1pm. After descending off the CR Spire we returned to the adjacent snow saddle and walked up the gradual east side of Castle Mountain and summited Castle Mountain at 4:30pm with perfect weather and not a cloud in the sky. It was such a beautiful day and we could see as far as the eye can see, including Granite Peak, Wood, and Hague. We arrived back at our base camp at 8pm. It was a good day, but a long one.

~Jason Maehl


granitepeaker - Aug 4, 2005 4:49 pm

Route Climbed: West Fork Rock Creek -> Omega Lake -> South Side Date Climbed: July 16, 2005  Sucess!

After climbing Granite Peak 5 times I decided it was time to move on and try some other peaks. My friend Jade and I climbed Castle Mtn and Whitetail Peak all in the same weekend. The Castle Mtn hike was one of the most emotional and strenuous hikes I'ver ever done. It's not because it's a technical, but because of the horrible weather we had. Cold winds and rain made the hike to the Saddle above Omega miserable. Once we reached the top of the saddle the winds reached close to 100mph, which made boulder hopping unsafe and the hike slow going. The wind actually picked me up off the ground and threw me about four feet, very scary. Dark clouds were way off in the distance so we were able to judge how much time we had. Our original goal was to also go to Castle Rock Mountain and Spire, but we had to make the judgement call to skip these extra goals. Going down the peak was so much quicker. There's a little uphill scamble to get back to the saddle, but not to bad. Our round trip of Castle Mountain took about 12hrs from Shadow Lake and really took a lot out of us and we were both in really good shape. The next day we also safely summited Whitetail Peak via the snow coulier on the north face.

~Jason Maehl

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