Ascent of Castle Rock on 2009-08-22

Climber: Dennis Poulin

Date:Saturday, August 22, 2009
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Castle Rock
    Elevation:5829 ft / 1776 m

Ascent Trip Report

The Castle Rock trailhead is in the same parking lot as that for Fish Mountain. This time I headed north towards Castle Rock. There is a trail of sorts leaving the parking lot and goes about 600 ft to a rocky outcropping on the ridgeline. I climbed this rocky area and could see the forested ridgeline ahead as it descended down towards Castle Rock. The trail kind of ends at this rocky outcropping and now I was following animal trails through the forest. This forested area is littered with down trees and it is not quick going. I knew it wasn’t that far down to Castle Rock so I kept going and soon I could see the bare rock of the castle ahead through the forest.

The forest continues right up to Castle Rock. I found a bit of a climbers trail heading off to the right of the rocks, so I followed that a little ways until I saw a talus slope heading up into a slot in the vertical walls of Castle Rock. This slot goes completely through the formation and I could see a tree on the other side of the rocks. I climbed up this loose talus and scree to where is topped. At this point, I was at a break in the vertical wall on my right and it opened up into the middle of Castle Rock. Now it was time for some rock climbing. It was easy to scramble up the first couple of ledges to get into the center of the formation. Then it was up a loose rocky ramp towards the north side of the formation. I could see if I got up another 20 ft or so, there was a ramp that passed by a large tree and it looked like it went up to almost the summit. I scrambled up some more and then got on the dirty ramp that had loose scree, soil, and rocks. It served me well and took me up close to the summit. A little more scrambling took me on to the summit proper. The summit isn’t very big, so I didn’t take any chances of stepping off the edges that went straight down to the forest a couple hundred feet below. I came back down the same way I went up. I didn’t feel the need for a rope, so I down climbed all the back to the forest. I did do a butt slide or two, but I felt good about the climb. If someone had been with me, we would have had to plan how to handle the loose rocks as we kicked them down.

The total hike was 1.25 miles, had 680 ft of elevation gain (half of that was climbing back up to the trailhead from the base of Castle Rock), and took 1.75 hours. On to Rabbit Ears.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:680 ft / 207 m
    Elevation Loss:680 ft / 207 m
    Distance:1.3 mi / 2 km
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Rock Climb
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:680 ft / 207 m
    Distance:0.6 mi / 1 km
    Route:From end of road.
    Trailhead:5149 ft / 1569 m
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:680 ft / 207 m
    Distance:0.6 mi / 1 km
    Trailhead:5149 ft / 1569 m

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