Ascent of Castle Peak on 2013-07-27

Climber: Kyle Davis

Others in Party:Skye
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, July 27, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Castle Peak
    Elevation:11815 ft / 3601 m

Ascent Trip Report

Used Pole Creek road to Three Cabins Creek trailhead and parked at trail 051.

The last 10 miles of road were more rugged than our internet beta had led us to believe. On the way out, we saw a Subaru Outback a few miles short of where we parked; they had obviously gotten nervous about a break down, as were ourselves in a Dodge Dakota V-8 pickup! ha. So take a solid rig if you go that route.

Friday morning our 3 man party set out on trail 51. We hiked east a couple miles, turned left onto trail 109 and continued another bit to trail 47(Chamberlain Basin trail). This led us to the lakes below Castle Peak. Before dropping into the lakes, we arrived on a ridgeline, and took time to compare ideas on lines up the face.

There is a large main slide that runs diagonally up from right to left with the beginning having a patch of small trees. This is 2/3 the route, and the easy part. 2/3 of the way up this slide, marked by large white stepped boulders, a large crack runs perpendicular up to the summit just right of the "notch" in the top of the peak. This is the remainder of the scramble, and if strayed off of, quickly becomes more of a climb. We all agreed afterwards, this was the crux, and the longest true class 3 scramble we had all done.

We started our scramble to the summit around 10 Am Saturday morning. Weather was not optimal. We had awoke to wind and sprinkles of rain, and thus waited for a semi-clear start at 10. We Followed our well scouted route, and other than waiting for a breeze and brief sprinkle about 700 feet from the summit, it went great. The only time our entire 3 day trip had no wind, was while we were on the summit. The descent took many careful footsteps to avoid rolling the extremely loose large rocks, and took a lot longer than your average scramble that lets you scree ski out. In the end we hit camp at 2:15PM, and reminisced for a while at what we had just done.

The hike back to the car flew by Sunday morning, it only took 2 hours. We used the extra time we earned to hit up Kirkham hot springs on the way home. There is no better way to enjoy yourself in the amazing state of Idaho, and was a very successful and highly recommended trip.

Just take caution and use common sense. The rock on this mountain was loose, and very sketchy looking. We didn't roll anything large, but the risk was obvious! Also the register on the top seemed to be missing, we couldn't locate it.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2398 ft / 730 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2398 ft / 730 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1 mi / 1.6 km
    Grade/Class:Long Class 3
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:3 nights away from roads
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Calm only on summit, lucky
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2398 ft / 730 m
    Distance:0.5 mi / 0.8 km
    Route:main slide to northeast crack
    Start Trailhead:Lake 9417  9417 ft / 2870 m
    Time:3 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2398 ft / 730 m
    Distance:0.5 mi / 0.8 km
    Route:northeast crack to main slide
    End Trailhead:Lake 9417  9417 ft / 2870 m
    Time:1 Hours 

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