Northwest Ridge Route (standard snow rou

Northwest Ridge Route (standard snow rou

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 39.00970°N / 106.8608°W
Additional Information Route Type: Snow Climb/Scramble
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: 2+
Sign the Climber's Log


From the Castle Creek road, hike or drive from the TH which starts at 9,800' on the Pearl Pass Road. Continue up the road over a creek crossing at 10,200'. Hikers can cross over a well constructed foot bridge and if you drive you must cross in the creek. The next creek crossing comes at 11,000', but another well constructed bridge has been built. This time both hikers and vehicles can use the bridge. Shortly after the second creek crossing, you will see the junction for Pearl Pass Rd. and the Montezuma Basin Rd.. Take the fork to the right, which will take you into the Montezuma Basin. From this point the road will get much rougher and can only be traveled by foot or by 4WD high clearence vehicle. Continue up the road to the 12,800' parking lot. If you start from the TH, figure 10 miles round trip. From the 12,800' parking lot, figure around 4 miles.

Route Description

From the 12,800' parking lot, work your way up the permanent snow fields to the southwest. If you are not comfortable on the snow, it is possible to climb the steep scree slopes. However, this will more than likely make for slower travel. As you make your way up the snow fields, the terrain will start to level off and Castle and Conundrum will come into view. Work your way towards the obvious saddle between Castle and Conundrum. This route is the easiest route up Castle as long as snow exsists all the way to the saddle. There should be plenty of foot steps to follow, but if not just make your way to saddle, which should be a basic snow climb. If you choose this route after the snow has started to melt off of the ridge, you will find a steep scree ascent to the saddle. Once you have gained the saddle, follow the trail to the south all the way to the summit. This route is also best if you are attempting Castle and Conundrum in one day.

Essential Gear

Standard Colorado hiking gear should be used. In addition, if you are familiar with the use of an ice axe and crampons, you will find these particularly useful. Crampons will make the ascent of the snowfields a lot faster. In addition, an ice axe will be appreciated when glissading down the permanent snow fields. There is exposure on this route, so short roping or some belay is recommended for the inexperienced.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.



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