Castle and Conundrum Peaks

Dad suggests a couple of peaks he’d like to see in the Elk range, and we manage to reach more than one Conundrum. Again we pack in for an overnight, and I begin one conundrum by leaving the truck lights on when we embark.

Our embarcation point

Hiking Castle Creek road

Base Camp

Dawn brings a clear day that allows us to climb Castle Peak at a relaxed pace.

Dad climbing Castle Peak

Me and Dad on Castle Peak

Maroon Bells and Snowmass

By the time we reach Conundrum, small storm clouds have moved in. Our first conundrum is whether to try a quicker descent over a snowfield in light rain, or return back over Castle Peak.

Me on Conundrum Peak

Dad on Conundrum Peak

We choose the snowfield, which is too firm for comfort. Dad slides down over a rock before reaching the gentle runout. The thunder moves east, and we realize we could have safely returned over Castle Peak. The rest of our descent is peaceful, and we indulge in a nap before continuing down to the truck. Finding the battery dead, we take the first offer for a jump, and decide we should drive a ways to charge the battery. This takes us away from the campsites by our parking spot, and we end up spending a long night in the back of the truck at a trailhead. Conundrums come with the territory – we consider ourselves fortunate to find relatively easy solutions.

High Columbine

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