Snow was melted out last 50 feet or so. Made for steep, loose scree to top out on saddle. Only had ice axe and microspikes. Crampons and better snow would make this much more fun.
Quick jaunt over from Castle, and then back. Hit the downhill fairly hard and took 43:08 from Castle Summit to the Castle Creek Crossing at 10,000 feet where most people park.
Climbed from Castle and re-climbed Castle on the way out. No view due to clouds.
Descended from the west through the scree fields to reach conundrum hot springs. Hiked the 9mi out to Kelly's vehicle.
Combined with Castle. We decided that the gully going down looked a little sketchy, so we ascended Castle a second time to descend. We had a fun time ascending the headwall!
Worth grabbing after Castle. Adds 1-1.5 hours to the hike.
Solo from Castle Creek road near the last designated campsite. Avy debris is cleared from the road now and the road is an easy walk. Still some snow in Montezuma Basin. Traversed up and over Castle to Conundrum, then back over Castle as the glissade slope has a nasty loose scree field above it that lots of people were kicking rocks down.
With family and dogs; descended gully past lake; lots of pretty fire-weed down lower
Hiked from Castle. Glissaded down from saddle. Two fun and steep glissades made for a quick descent.
Pushed my bike to the top of the miners road for a fun way to get back to the car. Easy connecting saddle–much appreciated. On this date the glissade was in stellar condition!
Tried this one and Castle the week before and got rained out. But this time was good. Got Castle, tagged Conundrum and back over Castle.
Visited Conundrum after my first trip to Castle Peak.
#1 9-10-2016 After Castle Pk. With Lana on a very breezy morning. The trail between Castle and Conundrum is well defined. We didn't want to try the steep emery board masquerading as a short cut from the saddle so we chose to go back over Castle and never regretted that decision.
Bob is the best. Drove me to 12,500 feet in a 25 year old Ford. Kind man, great spirit, one cool dude. His friend Dave was awesome, too. That guy can break trail! Dave's daughter Miriam is no slouch either, rocketing up the moraine sections. To get her 42nd and 43rd 14er! I did Castle for the 2nd time and Condom (joke, you know I mean Conundrum) the first time. Easy except for the descent from the saddle. Steep sandy rock exited onto a steep frozen glissade path. Dave went first, slid a very fast 50 feet onto a rock patch, hitting full speed and cutting his hand. Then Miriam repeated the treachery, it was almost impossible not to. I had given her my axe but she dropped it half way down. Then Bob slides next, grabs my axe in speedy mid-glissade, and performs a textbook self arrest, a la Jason Bourne. Calm as a cucumber. Or cool. Or whichever. Great day with 3 great folks.
Today I climbed 14,265 ft. Castle Peak and 14,060 ft. Conundrum Peak in Colorado's Elk Range. After work on Saturday I drove up Independence Pass towards Aspen. I camped after driving up a rough 4WD road which included a river crossing. I started from camp at 11,000 ft. at 5AM and made fast progress on Northeast Ridge route. I made the summit of Castle at 8:30 AM and proceeded down to the col between Castle Peak and my next target, Conundrum Peak. I made the summit of Conundrum at approx. 9:15AM and then had to re-summit Castle Peak. I made it back to camp at 11:45AM. Epic day and 31 Colorado 14ers done!
Short and easy traverse from Castle Peak, great views!
Traversed from Castle's crowd. Initial downclimb was the steepest but was a short distance and took less than 1hr. Thought this highpoint had better views all around than Castle. Snow couloir looked tempting but with an ice ax.
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.
Enjoyed a beautiful early summer day on Castle and Conundrum. This was a great climb for my first ice axe self arrest/glissade experience!