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!
Hiked 5 miles up the 4wd road, with Castle. Was disheartening to see all the Jeeps driving up and down the roads...while we walked.
Need to go back earlier in the year to do one of the snow routes.
After Castle, with Sarah and Jill
as our guide. fun day!
Great trip, fall weather, nice and sunny, warm at the trailhead and freezing above timber line. Golden leaves of Aspens. Great weekend.
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.
Started at about 4:20am and summited Castle via the Northeast Ridge at about 7:30am or so. Then traversed over to Conundrum. Descended via the saddle through the nasty scree - it was only really bad for a hundred feet or so - the rest was just frustrating and tedious.
The weather held for us, so it was a no-brainer for us to enjoy he little sidewalk in the sky over to Conundrum. Ate some lunch and snapped bomber Elk range photos before backtracking over Castle for the descent. With Cheryl and Jill.
Climbed in conjunction with Castle. Summited both peaks during the storm. UNGODLY cold (-8F to -13F) and windy. Sun came out just as we crested the summit of Castle. That was wicked cool! First 14ers of the winter season.
From Castle on a crystal clear day.