Ascent of Castle Peak on 2018-06-16

Climber: Joe Merlone

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Saturday, June 16, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Castle Peak
    Elevation:9103 ft / 2774 m

Ascent Trip Report

Looking for a good peak to hike in early summer while trying to avoid snow. I had been to Castle peak twice before. Once in summer when we thought we had reached the peak (turned out to be on the second highest castle, should have known - no bench mark or register), and once in winter where I was turned back on the ridge due to blowing snow. Got a late start as usual, but clear cool sunny skies prevailed. Took the PCT from south side of 80 parking lot. There numerous wildflowers along the route, tons of phlox on the ridge. I didn't encounter any snow until above the PCT on Castle ridge, even then there was very little. The other side of the ridge (north facing slopes) did have significant snow cover however. Mostly easy hike all the way to third tower/castle, although I had forgotten how step the grade was on the upper portions of the trail. I climbed the chute on the SSW face. I m not sure if this was the easiest route, but I didn't have much trouble. The summit register was tiny with only a single waterproof notebook inside. The first page was taken up by a couple who had gotten engaged on the summit, super sweet. The wind was super gusty on top, I lost my hat twice, thankfully both times easily retrievable. Hike back down was pleasant. Roundtrip about 9.5mi, 2300ft elevation, 4:40 time.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble, Exposed Scramble

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