Peak(s):  Castle Peak  -  14,274 feet
Date Posted:  09/11/2005
Date Climbed:   09/10/2005
Author:  roozers42
 9/10/05 up NE ridge, down NW ridge   

Bring your orange vests and hats, ladies and gentleman, because it was hunting season on the road leading to Montezuma Basin. The night before our trip and during our hike up the road, there were trucks and guns, guns and trucks roaming around looking for targets. Before dusk we were lulled by the sounds of shooting practice not too far from our campsite below the first creek crossing. We were a bit nervous during the first part of the hike even with bright colored clothing.

We took the NE ridge up to Castle because the snow does not extend all the way up to the saddle. After summitting Castle and then Conundrum, we decided to make our way down the steep scree slope and onto the snowfield in the basin. Looking at the route from lower in the basin and from Castle, it seemed really nasty. However, once we got above the area, it looked much more doable. Just one section at the bottom of the scree that was a little tricky to downclimb before getting to the snowfield. The snowfield was fairly icy in spots and after hiking down a bit and getting stuck in very firm snow, we slid the rest of the way down using poles to slow our descent. We traversed over to get to a point that had fewer rocks for our slide. All in all, a good way to get down, but I wouldnt want to try going up the scree.

Great weather, great trip!

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