Pleasant outing. Fairly short and easy trip (under 3hrs car to car unhurried). Scrambling can be kept to about Class 3 with moderate exposure around R (South) of the first tower from the standard west start. Staying more direct/true is Class 4+ with exposure on the first tower. Second is easier than it looks unless making it harder.
I wasn't actually planning to climb DC, but after I hiked up to the saddle between it and Sugarloaf, it looked like it'd be fun. I went to the second peak (the true summit, with the mailbox) and then turned around, because I didn't learn until later that there was a way to traverse the entire ridge and make a loop of it.
I reached the trailhead and saw the face of the peak was mostly covered with snow, including most of the trail. I therefore brought an axe and crampons with me. I hiked to the base of the mountain from the lake, and ascended the snow with the axe and crampons. That was a bit under 1000'. After that, I had about 100 - 200 feet of light scrambling and scree, after which I hit the ridge. I left my ice axe and crampons behind and started walking towards Devil's Castle.
The first part of the ridge is mellow, there is a climber's trail to the right most of the time. The only real exposed part is the last few hundred feet of the traverse. I made a couple of mistakes and took unnecessary risk, so before you make a move, look carefully. It's definitely possible to keep this 4th class/5.1/5.2. I made a few sketchy 5.6ish moves that I definitely could have avoided with better route finding. The wind was also around 20 - 30 mph, making it even more sketchy. I eventually got to the real summit, which has a mailbox on top. I signed the climber's register, and saw there were a bunch of rubber duckies inside left as a gift. I took one of those, and it's been on my dash ever since.
Note that the real summit is a bit past the first "castle". The traverse between the two is the real crux of the route, and you wouldn't have bagged Devil's castle without reaching that (because of elevation and the fact that its most of the scramble).
All in all, this was incredibly rewarding. Certainly the most "bang for the buck" climb I've ever done. I started with a relaxing 1 mile hike to Cecret Lake. Then, about 1000 feet of ascending on steep snow, requiring ice axe and crampons. After that, a very difficult scramble. Finally, a perfect glissade on the way down. Car to car it was a few hours. I think it's preferable in the early season, as ascending snow is much more fun and easier than ascending scree and talus.
Hiked up with Brit, Ryan, and Rachel. Loved this scramble. Then went back via Sugarloaf and then I ran home to Draper. 16:22 5k and 34:02 10k mid run, felt pretty smooth.
Started at parking lot>Lower Albion Meadows>Catherine's>Ridge to DC/SL saddle and down
I did the Devil's traverse from west to east. One of the tougher scrambles I've done but surprisingly manageable the whole way; it was a blast!
Started in Mineral Basin with Niko, on what was going to be a training run for Speedgoat. Got to the top of Sugarloaf, and saw that Devil's wasn't too far away. So Niko and I headed over. I made Niko sit and stay, just before the final pitch to the summit, cuz it looked too dicy. But then another guy came up the trail, and Niko thought he'd be more comfortable with me, than this stranger coming up behind him. So he jumped the gap, clung to the sturdy rock, and made his way over to me. I helped him route find to the summit, and he triumphantly laid down on top. Some of his maneuvers getting off the Castle impressed me most. I love that dog.
Climbed 11 times:
Went up in the afternoon, after I got off of work. Beautiful approach with the wildflowers in bloom. I stayed on the ridge as much as possible for the scrambling. The rock wasn't as bad as it looked but I sure tested every hand and foothold before trusting it.
Can't believe I waited so long to do this hike, but I was not disappointed. What a fun peak! Did a west to east traverse. Didn't stay directly on the ridge for the middle summit, but went around to the south & up the back side. Most of the scrambling much easier than it looks.
West to east loop via Albion campground TH. with Dennis.
I'll be honest I was scared to death while doing this. I completed it and I would go back and do this again. It really isn't as bad as it looks.
I climbed this peak with Rocky Alps. We did the west and the middle summits. It involved some fun, but exposed scrambling. We did Sugarloaf afterwards. The Albion Basin was beautiful with lots of wildflowers.
Can be climbed or "hiked" though exposure even on the standard walk/traverse there is a ton of exposure. Great thrill, spectacular views, and easily combined with Sugarloaf and another unnamed peak. The approach if timed right is through wildflower meadows also, though a cool winter climb could be done up the central gully splitting the face of the mountain.
Hit Sugarloaf, Baldy, and Hidden Peak as well.
9/10/2014 Traverse from East to West. From Catherine's Pass to Sunset and up and over Devil's Castle to Sugarloaf. Very fun, challenging traverse over Devil's Castle.
8/20/2012 Approached from the saddle between Sugarloaf and Devil's Castle. Traversed East across all three towers before returning to the saddle. Great scramble.
10/2/2013 Climbed from Albion Basin. From Devil's Castle I worked my way along the ridge to AF Twins. Returned the way I came to the saddle between Baldy and Sugarloaf and back to Cecret Lake.
Flew in from California at 11:45, on the trail with my son by 1:00. This was a cool hike, loved the views!
Excellent route. It was rated 11a in our guidebook but it wasn't that hard.
Scrambled free solo up the loose rocky couloir like an idiot.