Peak(s):  Castle Peak  -  14,274 feet
Argentine Peak  -  13,738 feet
Square Top Mountain A  -  13,794 feet
Mt. Spalding  -  13,842 feet
Gray Wolf Mountain  -  13,602 feet
Date Posted:  06/16/2014
Date Climbed:   06/14/2014
Author:  killingcokes
 A few days in the hills   

Here's a combination trip report from the last few days. Click thru for more pics and words.

Gray Wolf Mountain 13,602 East Couloir - Mount Spalding Windy City 13,842 6/11/2014 Pushing The Weather
It's getting really close to being done for what I need to accomplish this spring. With a beautiful sunrise me and Jerome headed up to Summit Lake. We meet up with Kevin and geared up. The plan is to ascend the East Ridge of Spalding then cross over to Gray Wolf. Ski the East Couloir and reascend to the top of the Black Cliffs to get some pics of the Chicago Lakes trail. Then we'd head to the top of Windy City and have some more corn. From there it was a hike up to Chicago Lake trail and an easy return to the overlook. Pretty much everything went as planned except the weather came in while we were nearing the bottom of Windy City.

Square Top Mountain 13,794 North Slopes and Argentine Peak 13,738 Southeast Slopes - Cool Clouds
Some days you wake up and it just doesn't seem like it's gonna happen. Today was one of these days. I opened my eyes and looked up at Otter Mtn. It was shrouded in clouds. Surprisingly I had service at my camp site though not the greatest, but I could text. So I fired off some texts. Ooops I sent them to Allison, not Gary. "Sorry Honey, didn't mean to wake you" Hmm let's try and figure out if this is an inversion or not. Never know till you go. Gary showed up with reports of clear skies in Summit. We could see up high so it was time to go. Need some coffee first though.

We geared up and headed up the trail. At tree line we headed for the ridge among swirling clouds. It seemed like we were along the dividing line which was the Continental Divide. The clouds to the east of the Divide were coming from the southeast. The winds were coming out of the northwest and we were right along that break. Let's just go and see what happens. At the summit of Square Top we had a snack and got ready. The line I wanted had melted out but there are some choices up there. We got a sweet corn filled gully...

Castle Peak 14,265 North Face 6/14/2014 - Smooth Snow

So we headed up to the Stevens trailhead looking to get in some lines on Edwards but upon arriving at the trailhead we found less than full lines. So we decided to just head for Aspen and our goal for the next day. We got up at 5am and geared up. After a quick creek crossing in the truck we got the gear ready and made our way up into the alpenglow filled peaks. We made our way up the Montezuma Road and took some snowy short cuts where we could. We were making pretty good time but with all the booting in shoes Allison had some cold feet issues, then some nausea issues. We decided that I'd head up for the summit and she'd wait at the pond and if she started feeling worse she'd head down.

Comments or Questions
Mike Shepherd
sun hat
06/17/2014 00:58
you weren't by chance wearing a sunhat and climbing the N. Couloir on Castle like a freak of nature were you?

Were You
06/17/2014 04:13
Were you the guy I talked to that nabbed his first 14er and was heading down the ridge toward Conundrum for his second 14er?

Castle Road
06/17/2014 22:50
Great trip report.
So how far can one drive up the road after the creek crossing before having to stop because of snow.

Mike Shepherd
06/18/2014 00:11
Yes I was that guy. Nice to 'meet' you on the summit.

Not Far
06/19/2014 00:02
There was a very solid patch of snow at the base of the first Avy Chute. It's gonna be a little while until you can get over that.

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