Castle Peak - 14,265ft - North Couloir - Snowboard Descent

Castle Peak - 14,265ft - North Couloir - Snowboard Descent

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Oct 14, 2005
Activities Activities: Skiing
Seasons Season: Fall

Castle Peak - North Couloir - Ski/Snowboard Descent

Castle Peak - North Couloir 

Kya, jonpierre, SurfTheEarth, FigureEleven, iskibc
10.14.06 - Castle Peak - 14,265ft
photos by: iskibc iskibc's TGR report (click here)

 The crew started off another adventure 1:00am Saturday morning. After gathering everyone and making the early drive to Aspen. "This time of year really exemplifies how location, elevation, and terrain enhanced weather really play a role in the snow depth across the state. Some high mountain areas have seen rain while others have been getting hammered by heavy snowfall. Some mountain areas (mostly northern mountains) have no snow on the ground, while other areas (Elks, San Juans) have several feet of accumulation." --iskibc "Underneath the wind slabs we found some faceted snow about 12" deep on top of rock. Not looking good at all. This was the point where the weather went from overcast to downright white room where you couldn't see 15' down the slope. All in the matter of a couple of minutes. The decision to bail on this line came quick and we decided to head over to the north couloir and give that line a try. The snow in the north couloir was still slabby, but it had been cut up from the previous day and there wasn't that hollow-like feel to the upper layer. After a few ski cuts on the upper half we deemed it safe enough to head down slowly and work from safe zone to safe zone." --iskibc "My impressions of the snow conditions were mixed. I saw everything from blower powder to iced up crust. Above 12k there is plenty of base, almost 3-4 foot in spots. The concern is the weak layer below from the big storm in September. More snow is in the forecast so play it safe out there, we backed off our original line and hit the N. couloir instead due to unstable snow and large wind blown slabs." --JP North Couloir descent route on a good day:

 iskibc has an eye for photog:
 progession of the sunrise:
 could it get any better:
 Kya skinning up in the calm before the storm:
 jonpierre along the ridge up to Castle, almost 14000ft:
 weather moving in from south west:
 FigureEleven checking out our intended line:
 SurfTheEarth making some nice turns on the lower apron:
 Kya down on the lower snowfield:
 Next we made our way over to a super sweet narrow couloir, Kya, iskibc and Nate killed it:
 FigureEleven followed suite and made tele skiing look easy:
 This was the 3rd and final lap of the day and we were feelin it. Now for the 4 hour drive home. Until next time...


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