Had a great glissade from the couloir between Castle and Conundrum.
Part of a 10 day 18 14,000 ft. summit solo climbing trip. I celebrated the sucess of the trip when I returned home with a bottle of Conundrum wine.
Started at 11000' at 4 am under a full moon. Reached the couloir and ascended under the rising sun. Awsome day and great snow conditions. 52nd 14er!
My friend Matt and I scrambled from the montezuma basin up a fairly solid couloir to the climbers right of the conundrum couloir. Great scramble, lots of fun, beautiful peak despite the fact that its not an official 14er. Whatever!
A nice snow climb to the saddle, but the final ridge to the summit was bare. Used snowshoes the entire time I was on snow, although crampons could've been used on the final slope to the saddle. Was able to do about 7 glissades down Montezuma Basin on stable snow. Following the creek bed was much easier and faster than trying to stay on the snow covered road. The road was impassable slightly above the first river crossing with the foot bridge. I started at 5:40 and reached the top after about 4 hours, and then headed over to Castle. Back to the car in 2.5 from the top of Castle. I started from where I camped 0.4 mi. up from where the Pearl Pass Rd. leaves the Castle Creek Rd. I would recommend an earlier start time to avoid soft snow.
Brad, Betsy, and I set out to climb Conundrum and Castle today. However, Betsy's feet were hurting and we encountered more snow high on the mountain. Thus, after an attempt to reach the Conundrum/Castle saddle, Betsy waited for us in the bowl below Conundrum and Castle, while Brad and I had a great time climbing Conundrum Couloir. We had great views.
See Brad's trip report for details on our trip and the conditions.
My first real snow climb, and what fun! Never made it to Castle Peak as planned, but had a great introduction to the Elks! Weather was beautiful and clear, but later in the day it started to get annoyingly windy. Lots of skiers out today on the slope between Castle and Conundrum.
A fun snow / ice climb to the saddle between Conundrum and Castle. Had to do the last 200 feet or so to the saddle on the loose scree. Not fun! Ascended Conundrum, made the traverse to Castle, and then descended the north ridge. A nice tour.
An odd little peak, with no real summit to it. Though it gives you nice views of Castle, and its routes. Just gotta love the scrambling.
Eric J Lee
return trip, not having bothered back when i did castle. excellent glissading, even this late in the year. loose and nasty above the glacier, though.
Climbed up _before_ castle.
Castle seems very imposing from this vantage point, and we
were a little worried about the ascent.
However, it did not take much more than an hour to make the
Once we were on top of Castle, it was easy to see how this
is considered a sub-peak, since it is very small, and seems to
simply be part of Castle's north ridge.
Why not stop by after Castle? PS Condundrum Hot Springs in December snow is a looooong tiring hike.
Came over from Castle via the saddle. A speedy glissade from the saddle back down! Fun, fun.
Fun little climb from the saddle after summiting Castle. There were several people around. A few even hoofed skis up. Nice small summit area.