Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry
Need to Know
Bed surface is 2-3 ft diameter boulders/talus (very three-dimensional bed), so early in the season it might be worth hiking/skinning up this line to see what's covered and what isn't. I've climbed it early without skis, and there can definitely be pockets of snow that bridge but will collapse and "swallow" a leg.
Also early in the season or in the spring, the lowest bit before the lake will require bushwacking to get back to the lake trail. The trail doesn't go completely around the lake, as the cliffs on the south side of the lake prevent that.
The lake can completely freeze to the point you can walk on it (have done it with snow shoes in January), but don't count on that.
This is the most common descent coming off of the high point of Castle Lake into the SW corner of the lake. I am pretty sure this the most common route due to the direct south side of the lake having plenty of cliffs. There are no real objective hazards on the descent other than normal avy considerations.
This is a D4-D5 descent.
Shared By: Forthright