Snow made this much more pleasant, with 2 glissades on the way down. Trip report
This was a very easy 400' scramble from the north ridge.
Sam and I hiked up the North Couloir and skied back down. Put up a high camp at 12,800 the night before, windy night! High camp was good though, and we were able to ski out before the road got to mushy.
Got myself into a dilly of a pickle, though. Got off-route - off the ridge and nearly slid off the mountain trying to get back on route. Luckily, it turned out okay.
Hiked up Castle Peak, then traversed over to Conundrum.
Came over from Conundrum after climbing the namesake couloir. A trip report and video are linked below.
Great climb, due to weather conditions i didint make it to Conundrum.
2nd time July 12, 2015
With sister Liz, her first fourteener.
We hiked up from just below the foot bridge that crosses the river. Started at about 9900 feet which made it a pretty long hike. Weather was excellent all day. Crampons would have made the snow fields a little easier, but we used a hiking pole and kicked in steps with hiking boots. Some people turned around at the snowfield because they did not have an ice axe and crampons. We made our way up to the basin and climbed up the Northeast ridge. Fun climb up ridge...guidebook says class 2+, but I would call a couple of the spots class 3 due to the high exposure and hands required (nothing difficult though IMO).
The summit was nice, winds were high though. The register on top had been eaten by marmots probably. Matt and I met a couple of nice folks from Grand Junction with 2 labs. Dogs did real well on climb..only needed a little help on a couple of sections.
We pushed on and also summited Conundrum. There was a register on top of summit. We came back to the saddle and did a glissade down to the frozen lake. Glissade was fun, but you have to avoid the occasional rock..easy to control speed. Did a few more glissades down to the road. There was a track people were using to glissade down..we did that and it was cool. Made the long hike back to the car. Nice day after being turned back on Capitol peak on Saturday due to bad weather on top.
16th 14er 15th Colorado 14er.
A fun climb on the North East Ridge. It snowed a little bit. It was horrible rock as usual in the Elks. The glissading was a kick.
Easiest one in the Elk range. Duchess did again great.
Started day early in blue skies and finished with a June white out, but a good snow climb.
We camped pretty low and hiked from there, was kind of funny to see how high the road actually takes you...
Lots of snow, even in August!
Tried it via the west ridge of conundrum. Monsoon weather pattern. Clouds closed in above and below about 12,700 feet. Lost my nerve and went back down. Hot springs were some consolation.
Started before the first stream crossing. Nice hike in great weather. Descended via the Castle-Conundrum saddle. Perfect snow for a quick descent.
Got up there after Conundrum. Started at 10,200ft, total 5,200ft vert per gps. Snow is melting out at top of snowfield, its going fast. Conundrum couloir is still looking sweet. NW ridge is very loose. NE ridge is not for people afraid of heights. Some class 3 moves in there w/A LOT of exposure. Some very fun mellow glissades to be had!
Drove the Montezuma Rd as far as I could. Started up at 7:00AM with a snow ascent to the saddle between Castle and Conundrum. Hiked the ridge up to Conundrum Peak and then back across to Castle Peak. Hiked the NE ridge of Castle Peak back down to the snow and glissaded to the road and back to the truck at 12:27PM. Fun day with perfect weather. My 38th 14'er............sweet!
Amazing but long hike, probably my favorite of 6 CO 14ers I've done. Love the Elk Range. My brother, being kind of new to mountaineering, kind of freak out at the exposure on the ridge, but loved the glissading on the way back. We got lost towards the end (guy at summit saw us and told us correct path), climbed up a scary couloir to get back on track. Unfortunately my brother lost a glove there and he had to climb it again! Great experience.