14er Ski Descents – Castle Peak – October 20, 2005
Route: North Face Couloir
Team: Ted (solo)
This was standard Castle Peak. Autumn rain in town falls as snow up in Montezuma Basin. Mike Sladdin, Johnny Love, and I piled in the Tacoma and headed up.
I had been up here earlier in the week and knew the couloir was skiable. Mike unfortunately wasn’t too interested and Johnny regretfully left his ski poles in the back of his truck in town, so he wouldn’t be up for a summit either. They were fine to hang out high in the basin, so I skinned to the Castle/Conundrum saddle and then hiked the NW ridge to the summit. It’s a quick trip. There weren’t too many pics taken, being solo, and with Mike following my progress from below, I didn’t feel totally alone up there. Once into the couloir, the wintry snow made for good skiing.
The past two springs proved pretty productive for skiing 14ers, while needing to redo a few, I counted 41 as having been skied. Earlier this fall I met Chris Davenport in a coffee shop to talk about his plans, he was just getting ready to announce it all. As I stood alone on Castle that morning I remember thinking about how it’s always a struggle to find partners for this stuff and that maybe Chris and I should hook up and help each other get some peaks skied— that would be cool.
It would start with Quandary.
Here are some photos from skiing the lower slope that day.