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A steep but wide line on the highest peak in the Elks.


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Map Key

0.2

Miles

0.3

KM

Ski Line

14,125' 4,305 m

High

13,603' 4,146 m

Low

0' 0 m

Up

522' 159 m

Down

60%

Avg Slope (31°)

68%

Max Slope (34°)
Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry

Overview

The North Face Couloir on Castle Peak is a great north-facing alternative to the Conundrum Couloir in Montezuma Basin and also a faster and more direct line to the summit of Castle than the hiking trail.

Description

Use the Castle Peak & Conundrum Peak Winter Approach to Montezuma Basin. Once inside this enormous cirque, both the Castle Peak North Face Couloir and the Conundrum Couloir (S Facing) will be very obvious. There are a lot of options in this cirque, as the ridge connecting Castle and Conundrum Peaks goes at a moderate 2nd class (maybe less with good snow coverage).

One can climb any couloir and ski any other - timing and snow conditions may guide your route more than a pre-determined plan, but it is nice to know there are both north and south-facing lines almost to the summit of both of these fantastic 14ers at your disposal. Another option is to drop the Castle Peak: East Face line, also documented on this website.

The Konsella's "Backcountry Ski & Snowboard Routes: Colorado" mentions all of the above lines in greater detail and is a fantastic resource.

Shared By:

Jake Albright

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#234

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  5.0 from 1 vote
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Ski Line Rankings

#58

in Colorado

#234

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Photos

Skiing the exposed snowfield above the chutes on the east face of Castle Peak.
Apr 5, 2021 near Aspen, CO
A view of Conundrum and Cathedral from the top of Castle Peak.
Apr 5, 2021 near Aspen, CO
looking at Conundrum Couloir from near the top of Castle's North Face Couloir
May 30, 2023 near Aspen, CO
looking down Castle Peak North Face Couloir, into Montezuma Basin
May 30, 2023 near Aspen, CO
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