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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-05-02||Route: Conundrum Couloir
Info: Climbed and skied Conundrum today. After 11:00 am the sun warmed up the constriction(which is about 3ish meters wide). Able to ski from the saddle to the creek crossing or about 6.5 miles and 3,900 vertical. My partner brought snowshoes but never used them. Trip report to follow soon. Snow starts about 200 meters from trailhead.
|2015-04-12||Route: Conundrum Couloir
Info: Phone Photo of Conundrom Couloir from last week per requests. Looked like it ran but had a large cornice up top. Hope it helps
|2014-09-24||Route: Conundrum Couloir
Info: Descent off Castle to the Saddle was filled with mixture of icy and wet rocks from overnight freezing. Made for somewhat treacherous descent in the loose rock. Climb up conundrum was hot and sunny w/ no real issues. Soil between false summit and true summit was muddy and slick, better to stick to the rock for good traction. Bluebird day.
|2014-07-06||Route: from Castle Peak
Info: Completely dry from Castle Peak. Trail is easy to follow. Snow still reaches the saddle but is beginning to melt quickly. Snowfields full from 12,800 parking area to the turnoff for the NE ridge to Castle. snow is completel avoidable from there to the summit of Castle. Bring an axe for a fun glissade! Conundrum Couloir is still in with a manageable cornice limited to the left side of the top of the couloir. No beta on snow in the couloir but was firm around dawn and slush by 10 AM on the sunny slopes.
|2014-06-07||Route: Conundrum Couloir
Info: Climbed and skied Conundrum couloir. With hard freeze cycle, couloir was in excellent climbing condition, even later in the day ~10ish. Saw some big postholes/caves on the right side next to the couloir wall. Cornice doesn‘t look like an issue (yet), bypassable/avoidable on the right side. Snow starts 20-30 ft below the summit block, rocky class 3ish section.
|2013-07-13||Route: From Castle Peak
Info: Trail from Castle to Conundrum is in great shape and easy to follow until you get close to the summit. The trail does disappear toward the second (official summit), but keep to the right (east) and you’ll get there. If you are planning to take the route down from the Conundrum-Castle saddle, be very careful; it is extremely loose and there are a few rock ledges to watch out for.
|2012-10-01||Route: Up the saddle between Castle and Conundrum
Info: Climbed Conundrum on Friday. There are 2 major Crevasses above the sunk in lake. They are probably 30 to 40 ft deep. They are easy to avoid now but if snow covers them I‘m afraid someone may walk over them before the snow consolidates.
|2012-08-10||Route: Descent between Castle & Conundrum
Info: Summited both Castle & Conundrum this weekend. The route is as described on the site. But we decided to descend from the saddle between the two summits. Big mistake! Maybe this route is reasonable with snow. But we found heavy screw over steep ice. It looked as if the ice was only to our right as you descend. But we could not avoid it. We found ourselves surfing down the ice on a surfboard of large scree. It was very difficult to to stop! Just to our right were rivers of liquid scree moving down in the gullies. Eventually the loose scree gave way to exposed ice with scattered rock here and there. Crampons would have been a huge help. So my strong advice is to descend from Conundrum back over Castle!
|2011-09-17||Route: upper Montezuma Glacier
Info: climbed Conundrum yesterday. Snowed all morning with just enough weather lift in the pm for a summit. The suncups on the upper and lower glacier are completely filled in with no sun cups visible. If you want some turns the glacier is in primo condition (for Septemeber), there is definietely some powder to be had. I climbed halfway up the Conundrum couloir and turned around because hard glacier snow was exposed in the choke and I did not feel like climbing through it. Then I downclimbed and contoured around the basin and climbed the upper Montezuma glacier on fresh new snow all the way to the Castle/Conundrum saddle and summited via the ridge from there. Fresh snow and no people made glacier and rockfall conditions more favorable then usual on this route. Snow fell all the way down to about 11,000‘ with multiple inches 4-10" (variable with windload and aspect above the upper parking lot) which I believe is around 12,800‘ or so. The Bells, Pyramid, and the rest of the Elk look to have similar snow coverage from the last few days. Sorry no pics, I forgot batteries for my camera.
|2011-08-10||Route: From Castle Peak
Info: Route is relatively snow free, or can be easily made so, all the way to the summit of Castle and completely snow free over to Conundrum. No traction devices needed. If you choose to go on the snow in the basin it is a very low angle and no exposure to falling. Coming down the Northwest ridge is very loose dirt so take your time and I would plan on glissading once past the ridge on the descent as you are going to end up on your butt anyway. It is not a fast glissade and I did not have to use anything to slow me down. The road is dry except for a small section by the second creek crossing. No problem keeping your feet dry. Saw an unmodified (stock) 4-runner all the way at the top of the road.
Info: Conditions basically the same as by unclegar from 6/24/2011. Conundrum couloir in great condition still. Significant sun cupping in the basin. Very warm today (69 F forecasted high on the site) but little/no postholing or need for snowshoes. The Pearl pass road jnct has a sign and is one or two bends in the road after the second bridge over the creek. There is a nice watefall at this bridge.
Info: There is avalanche debris not too far past the first stream crossing. Not much point in driving through the stream even if you can. The road is picked up again by angling slightly RIGHT after you loose it in the snow. It pretty much follows the stream. Significant avalanche debris (trees) in several locations on the road and then you pretty much totally lose the road in the snow a little after the Pearl Pass junction. Lots of snow! Conundrum Couloir was still in great condition and the glissades down from the saddle and below were pretty good. Check the jameseroni TR for some nice pics of different parts of the route.
Info: The avalanche debris field is about .5 mile from the first creek crossing. Some trucks are making it up the road to the debris field, but I would exercise extreme caution because the creek is deep and swift. There is also A LOT of water flowing down the road. When you reach the debris, angle slightly to the hiker‘s left if you are going up in the pre-dawn hours to find the road again. The rest of the road is a mixed bag, but you should be able to make it up and down without snowshoes. Past the intersection with the Peal Pass road, the snow becomes continuous. I deviated off of the road and headed straight up into the basin, but I don‘t know how much longer people will be able to do that. Castle Creek is flowing swiftly beneath the snow, so postholing will get your feet wet or worse. Snow was nice and firm in the morning, but I managed to posthole up to my waist near some islands of rock in the afternoon. There are some pretty big sun cups at the base of Conundrum Couloir that will probably make for a bumpy ski descent. Snow in the couloir itself was perfect for climbing at the time of this report. Cornice at the top is still avoidable by angling to the climber‘s right.
Info: Conundrum Couloir is in PERFECT condition! If you have time get up there ASAP. One word of caution - when skinning up the road in the early morning a huge avalanche has knocked down very large trees across the road and it is extremely difficult to tell where the road is supposed to go. If you have a GPS follow it even though it looks like you are going the wrong way - otherwise when you come to the first major opening continue straight across all the knocked down trees rather than heading to the left as this will take you off route. I started climbing the Coul around 8:00 and topped out around 8:20 - if you stay to the right side much of the snow will stay in the shade as rocks block the sun. There is almost NO cornice at the top - its maybe 10 feet wide and very easily avoidable. The ski is NOT in from the summit unless you want to shovel some snow and have a few hairy moves on the way down. I did not ski the Coul as I wanted to get Castle as well and was concerned about it getting too late with the sun. The traverse to Castle is very easy and all cornices are easily avoidable. You do not need crampons once you reach the saddle and start to climb up to Castle. GET AFTER IT! Picture attached is from summit of Castle.
Info: The snow was solid and the cornice was small. What more can you ask for? We stayed right against the rock just as a precaution and that worked well.