Otina's Adventures

Otina's Adventures

Trip reports and photos from hiking, climbing, skiing
and mountaineering adventures in Colorado, Alaska, NY and beyond. Gurlz Hike 2011

Castle & Conundrum Peak
Region: Elk Mountains
State Rank: 12 & *
Elevation: 14,265' & 14,060'
Date: September 18, 2011
Mileage: 8
Elevation Gain: 3,350'
Partners: scramble, SnowAlien, surfcolorado, tundratif, Jump Roper, LynnKH, kara, lovskiing, Birdie, moon stalker TR: Queens of the Castle II

Castle Photos: (View Slideshow)

Pearl Photos: (View Slideshow)

Trip Date: SUNDAY September 18, 2011

Trip Choices
  • 1. Peak 1 Y = Kit Carson & Challenger
  • 2. Peak 2 Z = Castle & Conundrum Winner by a nose

Saturday September 18 13ers
  • Malemute Peak - could add on Sat if time & weather allows (TR beta)
  • Pearl Mountain (Peak on left) ~6mi, 2.5K
  • Electric Pass Mountain (TR beta) ~8mi, 3.7K
  • Taylor Peak
Look for this sign at the trail head / campsite

After last year being in the Sawatch, it would be nice to go to a different range, and up the difficulty by a little. Both choices have 13er options for Sunday including centennials.


Castle & Conundrum: This will require 4WD (and or carpooling from 2WD TH) or willingness to backpack/hike to about the 4WD trailhead before the switchbacks at ~12K. Plus ice axe (and maybe crampons/micro spikes) for the snow on route and for the glissade(ing). I'm guessing we could rally and find extra ice axes if needed. I have one extra mountain axe I could lend. Glissading can be avoided by returning over Castle and down the NE ridge (if desired)

Route: NE Ridge with saddle descent: ~8 miles & 3,350' routes: Castle & Conundrum
Theme: Queens & Princesses ala :Queens of the Castle - I got 10 pink tiara's and some pink wands ;)
Theme Part 2: Breast Cancer awareness. Wear pink. I will try to bring pink ribbon stickers. May try to get some pink scarves. (This is for Wife of Bill)
Start Time: 6am from 10,800' - earlier if camped lower or poor weather forcast
Radio: 14-14 if you have them
Weather: Great weather site tracking hourly temps, wind chills, precip etc

Some cold weather/snow advice: I will wear (or carry) a thin thermal layer top & bottom, my regular hiking pants and shirt, Patagonia R1 hoody, a windproof fleece, Montbell ultralight down jacket, and a shell for top and bottom. Extra liner socks, thick socks, waterproof boots, yak tracks (cause I have them for my ski boots), poles, ice axe, helmet, hat, headband, multiple gloves, glacier glasses. I will carry plenty of high energy food. Eating = warmth, just like hiking = warmth. I will bring my grill for cooking a hot meal in the evenings. Drink lots of hot drinks in the evening and morning. I may bring a thermos on the hike. Have a good sleeping bag if camping.

I would prefer to camp just before the switchbacks on the way to the 4WD trailhead (ie before junction with Pearl Pass Road) at ~10,800'. This will require a high clearance 4WD (or a carpool or backpack or start earlier) to get to.

Glissading instruction and practice: There should be a snow slope near by on the the ascent. Why don't we take a break here, and so we can instruct and practice glissading on a safe snow slope! We have many among us who are experts or have done plenty of big glissades.

As with past Gurlz hikes, we will stay together (if there is a large group, there may be a faster and a slower group), and work together through the class 3 or hard sections. This means we will have to start earlier than normal, so that we are not rushed.

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Page Last Modified = 2015-07-22 11:11 PDT
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