Peak:  Castle Peak (14er)
 Route:  Castle and Conundrum
 Range:  Elk
 Posted By:  coopereitel
 Date of Info:  11/06/2020
 Date Posted:  11/06/2020

Once this storm hits, this info could very well become irrelevant.

Road to lower 4x4 is snowy. I stopped before the Pearl Pass fork because there was an icy luge. If you could get past the luge, your chances aren't bad to get to the upper 4x4 TH.

I went up the left side of the wall which I guess is standard to go up the slope to the Castle ridge. Ridge was 70% snow free. Low winds. 45 mins to get over to Conundrum at a hiking pace.

I debated and debated about going down the saddle gully. I did. It is crap, but I guess that's the trade-off to going back over Castle. I used crampons to go down the gully and then they were necessary all the way back to the upper 4x4 too.

I brought snowshoes but never put them on

No traction required if you play your cards right and stick to the ridge the whole time instead of going down the gully. Poles helped.

Photos (click for slideshow):
#1#2) The luge#3#4#5#6) Not much snow to ridge#7#8) Wall feature#9) Dry road above TL

 Comments or Questions
Good Job
11/08/2020 16:01
I was up there a few days before and postholing was pretty shortly after the 4x4 (had a hard time approaching the "left wall" standard route until I was above 13k ft). Struggled with it so went straight up the snow slope (followed the ski tracks for the most part).
You're right the ridge is pretty good, and the saddle descent looked horrible (ditched my pack so resummitting wasn't difficult).

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