Castle Peak Climber's Log

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Reuben Shams Parker

Reuben Shams Parker - Jul 12, 2022 4:35 pm Date Climbed: Jun 13, 2022

Solo Off-Trail Scrambling  Sucess!

Instead of taking the trail up, which is of moderate difficulty for the average hiker, I decided to scramble up the chute in the basalt cliff below the summit. I lost the trail due to snow, and ended up about a mile right of where I needed to be. I scrambled back, with lots of talus and mostly class 2 but some class 3 sections.

Once on the summit plateau, I climbed to the top of the "castle", or east turret. That last bit I chose was certainly a steep class 4 if not a class 5, and if I fell there, I would have died. No question. But the rock at the summit has really big holds and looks like it would be loose but it isn't. It's some kind of hard, stable volcanic conglomerate. Very fun.

Overall it was really fun and not too hard. I went out of my way to make it harder and kind of scary at points but I'm an adrenaline junkie. I intentionally chose the hardest way up I could find, short of scaling the basalt cliffs. (I want to try though, just roped!) The main hiking trail is really nice too, and better for people who aren't lunatics like me.
About 1900' vertical gain. Would recommend for a fun day out.

Scott Fulton

Scott Fulton - Feb 21, 2022 5:28 pm Date Climbed: Feb 20, 2022

Nice winter ascent, 2nd time summiting.  Sucess!

I went up with three others, two of them turned back at various points, but just another guy and I made it to the official summit. It was pretty windy at times going up from Castle Pass to the summit ridge. We wore snow spikes and had poles. We did not bring snowshoes because we heard that they would not be necessary, and that was the right call. Very surprising to see so little snow up on that ridge. We walked along a narrow and snow-free trail along the sagebrush as we made our way to the easternmost turret, crossed a small snowfield, and arrived at the class 3 crux, which was entirely snow-free. We quickly and easily made it up that section to the top.


kleberr - Oct 5, 2021 12:06 pm Date Climbed: Oct 6, 2019

First 'Class 3 with Summit Register' for my 10 year old boy  Sucess!

Climbed the East Turret with my 10 year old boy Jason. We found a very full summit register and squeezed in our names on the last page. Very exciting for him.
On the way back we got Andesite Peak as well. A perfect and beautiful day


itzacho - Jun 20, 2020 7:24 pm Date Climbed: Jun 20, 2020

Warm at the Summit but still pockets or snow!  Sucess!

It was a warm day in the Donner basin that started out cool and quickly warmed up. Weather was sunny with a steady breeze that certainly got stronger once you reached the saddle between Castle Peak and Andesite Peak. There were pockets of snow on the backside still a decent snowfield below the summit on the north face. Took the PCT trail up and the snowmobile trail down. Both had streams running across the trail at various points, and Upper Castle Creek was close to full flow where it crosses the PCT.


colingregory - Sep 16, 2019 12:19 pm Date Climbed: Sep 1, 2019

Dayhike  Sucess!

Cross country to Basin Peak then hiked the ridge to get to Castle, We climbed all three turrets for fun. We ascended the main peak from the west side and I must say it was a little spicy. Sean says class 4, I don't know how to decide myself yet. Descended the south side and this was more comfortable.


Fleshj27 - Nov 2, 2018 6:10 pm Date Climbed: Nov 2, 2018

Brutish little bastard  Sucess!

Maybe I'm the victim of disorganized thinking but in my humble experience 8.2 miles, 2000 feet vertical, and no shit hands on rock climbs ARE NOT easy, cheesy after work climbs.

Who are you people? Are you even human?


patricklynch88 - Aug 18, 2018 10:41 pm Date Climbed: Aug 18, 2018

Castle Peak Trailhead  Sucess!

Castle Peak via Castle Valley Trailhead and Castle Pass. Party of 4. 3 miles and about 2 hours to the summit. Weather was sunny with no cloud coverage and mild winds. 1,800 ft elevation gain. The Castle Peak 100K was going on at the same time so plenty of company on the trails.


sgenise - Jan 3, 2018 7:58 pm

First snow of the season!

Love this casual but beautiful snowshoe destination (before it all melted back out the week after!). Linked up Andesite afterwards, and then beers after that.


GlennD - Sep 4, 2017 12:35 pm Date Climbed: Sep 2, 2017

Castle & Basin  Sucess!

Nice morning hike up Castle then across the ridge to Basin.


kaylam87 - Jul 4, 2017 11:42 am Date Climbed: Jul 25, 2015

Castle and Basin  Sucess!

From Castle Peak we saw a forest fire start--I think near Kyburz. Eek! We traversed from Castle to Basin, then took a cross country route down Basin and eventually met back up with the trail.


LincolnB - Oct 24, 2016 1:00 am Date Climbed: Oct 23, 2016

Quick climb with family group  Sucess!

Jon's SPS list finish


CWessels - Aug 8, 2016 3:50 pm Date Climbed: Jun 20, 2010

Dayhike  Sucess!

Easy scramble on a warm summer day. Still enough snow to glissade much of the descent. Driving back, I fell asleep on the 80 near Colfax. I collided with the car in the lane next to me and ended up totalling my Audi. I miss that car.


gordonye - Jul 8, 2016 3:18 am Date Climbed: Feb 2, 2013

Snowshoe hike  Sucess!

Lead a hiking group twice. This is my favorite North Tahoe hike.

Scott Fulton

Scott Fulton - Jun 26, 2016 3:32 pm Date Climbed: Jun 18, 2016

Reached true summit  Sucess!

Went up with two friends on a pretty cold and overcast day. It was pretty windy at the top. My friends were happy to reach the first turret, but I just had to go over to the east turret and climb the class 3 to the USGS marker. It was just a bit scary for a non rock climber like me, but I am glad I did it.


SonoraShane - Mar 1, 2016 10:44 pm Date Climbed: Feb 27, 2016

SMC  Sucess!

Made East Turret (true summit) with Sierra Mountaineering Club. Approached from west ridge. Icy snow and crampons to gain the top of the ridge in the morning.

I easily soloed the east face of the turret. borderline class 3/4. Borderline Class 4/low class 5 solo on the west face if you want something spicier.

Chains up top on west side to rap off (or set a fixed rope for east face followers). Supposedly bolts up top as well, but must have been buried in snow when I was there.


Fairweather - Oct 18, 2015 8:47 pm Date Climbed: Aug 9, 2014

Via Trail with Todd  Sucess!

Fun day exploring aiguilles as well. Great photo opp on the obvious one just SW of the summit.
X2 Also climbed Castle & Basin solo in 2011.


cab - Oct 5, 2015 12:00 pm Date Climbed: Oct 4, 2015

From Donner Pass  Sucess!

Short, fun climb on the summit block. Continued on to Basin Peak.


bechtt - Aug 21, 2015 2:27 pm Date Climbed: Aug 11, 2015

Trail  Sucess!

Drove to just below the pass and followed the use trail tot the top. Fun scramble! Peak #1/4 of the day

Larry Laverty

Larry Laverty - Feb 4, 2015 2:11 am Date Climbed: Feb 3, 2015

Warm Winter Day  Sucess!

A boot adventure all the way to the top. Snow on all but about a 1/4 mile of the route. Enjoyed meeting a small hand full of skiers and shoers. Five people, two doggies, in all the entire day. A glorious view and plenty of afternoon wind at the top.


ScottyP - Nov 10, 2014 8:07 pm

A lot more fun with snow  Sucess!

Nice and fast training hike

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