once I left the summit. I gave up my plan to traverse over to Conundrum because the conditions were bad. By the time I made it back to the Montezuma Mine, the weather was clearing up to make for a gorgeous day.
Got it, but should have followed the (hard-to-miss) cairns instead of opting for the class 2 gully that Ericd mentioned (it might have looked like a better way, but looks can be deceiving). Oops.
Started with a road hike passing an old torn down mining camp to the boulder field ...big view of Conundrum and already halfway there in terms of altitude and mileage! Took an early left variation that unfortunately confirmed the terrible crumbling rock from the southern Elk range (sapped 1hr). Up and over this class 3 onto a dog route with another class 3 bonus climb up 100' of chimney to ridge around 14,000'. 4hrs up beginning from Pearl Pass junction.
Left the bridge at 6am and got to the summit of Conundrum Peak by 10:15am. There was snow down to about 12k, maybe a little lower. The traverse to Castle was easy (a little hard in ski boots). I was hoping to ski off the summit of Castle, but we were two weeks late..bleh. So I skied the Castle headwall and got about 2k vert on the descent.
Great glissade on the way down.
Beautiful day on Castle and Conundrum. I got to use my ice axe for the first time glissading most of the way back to the upper trailhead!
Easy climb when you've got a good 4x4. The clouds/fog made it very interesting.
Second summit of Castle Peak. Went up and over to get to Castleabra Peak, the main objective for the day.
Hiked 5 miles up the 4wd road, with Conundrum. Was disheartening to see the Jeep's driving up and down the roads...while we walked.
Great backcountry snowboard run down the north face of Castle.. amazing sunrise
I got out of the truck at 11k and hiked the road up the the trailhead. Quick and painless with just a little snow for fun.
Fun little snow climb and scramble to the top.
Also did Conundrum, with Sarah and Jill
With Dirk Summers, an easy hike. Came down for some brews and an awesome lightening show.
with the roo...
Great hike with great weather. Light dusting of snow.
With Katie and Megan, both 12. Super snowy. Made for great views.
Last 14ers in 2010, beautiful day, no snow in the saddle between Castle and Conundrum made the descent spicy.
I scrambled from Cathedral Lake up unnamed 13,828' and then traversed the 2nd - 4th class ridge-line to summit Conundrum Peak and Castle Peak. I was also hoping to summit Cathedral Peak from the ridge-line on 13,828, but did not have time. I descended via the main hiking trail on Castle Peak. The ridge between 13,828 and Conundrum Peak was a blast, including several towers to navigate over/around.