Conundrum Peak  
Condition Updates  
 
Route: Castle and Conundrum
Posted On: 2020-10-17, By: arianna2
Info: Icy with spots where ice is covered with an inch or two of snow. Slow ski for the couple we saw do it.. No snow in the gully to the saddle. Crampons recommended. Trip report soon. 
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Route: Castle and Conundrum
Posted On: 2020-09-27, By: mountainmaestro
Info: Traverse from Castle had very little snow and it did not require traction. We reascended Castle (but descended a couloir off the summit, see my Castle Peak CR) rather than taking the scree slope off the saddle. Others took that option and while it “went” they described the experience with swear words. 
 
Route: Conundrum Couloir
Posted On: 2020-07-29, By: davidhall401
Info: TH Info: Drove a 3” lifted 4Runner to the upper TH at 12800'. With an experienced driver, low range gearing, aired-down off-roading tires, and a capable vehicle (lifted SUV/small truck or stock Jeep) the road is driveable to the end. There are a couple of spots that will test the vehicles ability to keep all 4 tires on the ground and traction control systems (or lockers) would be greatly helpful in these spots. Conundrum Couloir Info: The couloir still holds snow from the top down to where it opens up above the lake, however, the couloir is NOT ADVISED for skiing for the remainder of the season. The exposure, steepness, massive ridges from melting, rocks throughout the couloir, and extremely variable conditions will test even the most experienced skiers (to give some background, I'm 21, ski around 150 days a year, and spend about 80 of those days at Alta, UT jumping off as many cliffs as we can get good conditions to send). The descent was nerve-wracking, outside of my comfort zone, extremely high consequence, and very regrettable the entire way down. Would not recommend. For those planning to climb the couloir - the snow seemed stable to me, however, a climber I met on the way up told me that the snow was thinning and that the couloir would not be safe to climb for very much longer. 
 
Route: Castle and Conundrum
Posted On: 2020-07-23, By: geneseejen
Info: Took the standard route up Castle, then down the C/C saddle, up Conundrum, then back to the saddle. Found the descent from the C/C saddle sketchy. Scree portion of descent (for maybe 150 ft vert) to reach the snow was steep and nasty; few handholds or footholds; easy to kick rocks on climbers below (fortunately none there during my descent). There's a well-established snow chute down the middle but regretted taking. It's more like a tunnel that runs maybe 100+ yards (?) before opening. Seem to remember passing over small rocks which I couldn't avoid during my uncontrolled glissade. Stopped and regrouped after the tunnel. BTW I took it around 10:30 am with mushy snow. Might be better off to make your own glissade path (ice axe highly recommended) or consider other options. 
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Route: Castle and Conundrum
Posted On: 2020-07-12, By: cdgibbons
Info: As has been reported elsewhere, conditions on the descent from the saddle are pretty messy right now. There's about 150 feet of dirt above the snow, quite steep. Once on the snow, there are exposed rocks in the glissade track, mostly in the bottom half. I descended by an inelegant, slow glissade mostly in self-arrest position. For what it's worth, I thought the best option was in the center of the slope to the highest point of snow, but I saw others try other lines. You can preview this descent from about halfway down Conundrum's summit ridge. It's hard to see much from the saddle itself. 
 
Route: Castle and Conundrum
Posted On: 2020-07-07, By: andrew85
Info: Full summer conditions on the ridge between Castle and Conundrum. When returning, it's a loose downclimb to enter the snow off of the northwest ridge and what's there is beginning to be rocky. I'd recommend facing inward and downclimbing it as there are enough rocks beginning to poke through the snow to potentially scratch you up. As stated in the Castle conditions report, the lower headwall is in fully and you can glissade down safely. 
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Route: Conundrum Couloir
Posted On: 2020-07-04, By: mountainmanfrank
Info: Had an amazing trip up the Couloir on 7-3. Snow was in great shape. We started at the bottom of the snowfield at 11:30am (after reading suggestions to wait until the snow softened from previous folks). We wore crampons (100% necessary) and each had only one ice axe. This is totally doable if you are confident in your cramponing skills. Others we talked to went with the double tool approach, which would be preferred (if you own them, take them). Othet notes- We parked at the large creek crossing and walked about 4 miles to the snowfield. Easy road walk. After the Couloir we took the ridge over to Castle's summit, then back down to the saddle for the infamous glissade. Others mention same things we experienced...top is very steep and difficult to keep control, rocks present, bottom portion is quite nice. 
 
Route: Castle and Conundrum
Posted On: 2020-06-23, By: Amarposon
Info: Hey all! Conditions on Castle and Conundrum are amazing right now- some navigable snow but spikes were very helpful. Just like the other mountains in the range, some of the rock is loose but considering everything the rock is in good shape! The glissade is perfect but I wanted to give people a heads up: The other day I lent a friend an older Elderid Excalibur Climbing Axe to take with her on Castle/ Conundrum for the glissade down. She summited Monday, 6/22/2020 and long story short, she made it to the bottom safely (yay!) but minus one axe. The Ice Axe got lodged in the first 1/3 of the glissade going over the steepest portion from the saddle and it sounds like they unfortunately parted ways. If anyone does the hike any time soon and happens to find my axe/ pick it up I would be so grateful to get it back! If I never see it again it's not the end of the world, but I figured it couldn't hurt to post here and see what happens. ALSO, let this be a forewarning, there is an axe stuck in the snow, so keep an eye out and be careful on that first 1/3 of the glissade so you don't hit it and hurt yourself! 
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Route: Castle and Conundrum
Posted On: 2020-06-22, By: JakeByk
Info: A lot easier than it looks from Castle Peak. I recommend having an axe for the descent if you drop down the glissade off the saddle. The coulie is still in as well, and the cornice isn't ~too big~. 
 
Route: Conundrum Couloir
Posted On: 2020-06-17, By: dmccool
Info: Couloir is in great shape. Cornice is present, but easy to avoid to climber's right. We arrived at the base of the Couloir around 7:00am, which was about an hour too early. The upper half of the route was shaded/frozen and made for tough steps. We waited for about 45 minutes on the rocks mid-way up for the sun to hit the upper portion. The choke/constriction took a long time to get sun and is arguably the steepest portion of the route. Highly recommend giving the line a little time to soften up in the morn. 
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Route: Conundrum Couloir
Posted On: 2020-06-14, By: emily_m
Info: Couloir was in great climbing conditions today even after some recent storms. I would expect it to be in for a while still. The snow was getting quite soft in late morning, and the wind was throwing some small icy snow chunks down the couloir when it really picked up. I didn't see or hear any rocks coming down, and personally didn't think the conditions were right to be more concerned than a normal level of caution. The snow on the head wall was solid as well, though the top was getting a little slushy by 10. 
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Route: Castle and Conundrum
Posted On: 2020-06-13, By: CaptCO
Info: Basically dry from castle, nothing harder than class 2+ needed but class 3 options. Glissade is still in but hard corn in the evening. Heard rockfall near the couloir. Idk why the pics are sideways 
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Route: Conundrum Couloir
Posted On: 2020-05-24, By: cseanm
Info: Conundrum Couloir was in great shape, good climbing conditions, and perfect corn ~10 am. Snow started about 2/3 of a mile after the stream crossing, and was continuous except for a 300 vertical foot patchy section between the Pearl Pass bridge, and a bit after the Pearl Pass junction. EDIT: I am trying to add pictures but running into an issue adding photos to this report. I will add them when I can. 
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Route: Conundrum Couloir
Posted On: 2020-05-19, By: TakeMeToYourSummit
Info: I almost didn't post since someone else put one up for Castle. No pictures on that one though. We managed to drive all the way to the 10,200 creek crossing. Couloir is in pretty good shape. Some haze & wind kept the snow cold enough for our 10AM descent. We managed to ride 98% of the vertical & distance back to the truck. Enjoy this one while it is in great condition! 
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Route: Conundrum Couloir
Posted On: 2019-10-15, By: gsmhikerdude
Info: Conundrum Couloir is still in, all the way from the base to the summit. Used ice axes and crampons. An ice tool would have been nice. 
 
Route: Conundrum Couloir
Posted On: 2019-08-18, By: KJMc
Info: Snow is continuous from 12,800', easy top out to the right. I intended to ski it but the runnels were too deep for me to attempt, so I down climbed it. Choke is plenty wide. Then skied what was almost corn from the apron down into the lower basin. Still a great snow climb. Plenty of cars made it to the upper trailhead. 
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Route: Conundrum Couloir
Posted On: 2019-08-12, By: Cereal
Info: The couloir was very much IN this past Friday. In fact, it was actually a little on the hard side, in the shaded part around the choke (started the couloir at ~8am with temps in the 40s). I estimate it'd still be in and continuous for at least a couple more weeks at this rate. Snow is continuous, as expected, from the flat area at 12,800, up the right side of the headwall to the upper basin, and onward to the couloir. So putting the crampons on at 12,800 is reasonable. Side note: Traversing over to Castle and then descending via its NE Ridge was an excellent option for bagging both peaks. Traversed against traffic, and avoided the scree-y descent from the saddle that folks seem to be having issues with (rockfall from other parties). I got a worthwhile glissade from the base of the Castle's NE Ridge (bottom of the switchbacks) down to the flat area at 12,800. 
 
Route: Castle and Conundrum
Posted On: 2019-07-30, By: cmbaker
Info: Conditions about as described. Two nice gentlemen were doing some work on miscellaneous trail debris with chainsaws, had a lot of fallen timber cleared between when we started and got back down. Get out there before the snow's gone! 
 
Route: Castle and Conundrum
Posted On: 2019-07-30, By: JDG7
Info: Following up on what Jhorne6 said, did the couloir on Friday. Hit it late, about 1015, was concerned the snow would have softened too much. Unfounded concern. Snow was amazing. Solidity and grip. If you have time, it is worth giving it ago still. At this rate, it will last the summer. Enjoy (and the serac still looks solid) 
 
Route: Conundrum Couloir
Posted On: 2019-07-23, By: Jhorne6
Info: Conditions in the couloir are still excellent. Hit the bottom of it at about 645 and snow was bomber the whole way to the top. Little evidence of recent rockfall and the cornice at the top looked stable. 
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