Castle Peak (14,279 ft.) is the highest summit of the Elk Mountains, ninth highest in the Rocky Mountains. Castle is one of our "lighter duty" 14ers, typically done as a non-technical climb. Despite being the highest peak in the Elk Mountains, it can be a relatively moderate climb and therefore is an excellent intro 14er.
Castle Peak takes its name from the castle-like features on its southern ridge. The best climbing months are June, July, August, September through the Montezuma Glacier, a permanent snowfield between Castle and Conundrum Peaks. There are two standard routes for ascent. The Northwest Ridge features a moderate snow climb followed by an easy ridge scramble. It should not be attempted late in the summer when the 200 feet (60 m) of loose dirt and scree meet the climber near the top of the Castle-Conundrum saddle. The Northeast Ridge features an easy snow climb, but slightly harder scrambling and route-finding once on the ridge. This is a perfect 1st 14ner for people who are after a bit more than a walk up.
Conundrum Peak is a northern sub-summit of Castle Peak with elevation of 14,040 it is often climbed in conjunction with Castle Peak. In late May through June Castle can also be an excellent intro snow climb. The approach to these climbs either requires a long hike on the road or a 4x4 vehicle approach, which makes it very reasonable.
Our AMGA trained and certified mountain guides will tailor a memorable, one-of-a-kind climbing adventure just for you!Please contact us via phone at 970-925-7625 or email/form to determine the best date for you or to request more information.
Duration: 1 day approach/climb.
Location: The guide will be in touch with you the day before to determine your meeting place and any miscellaneous details. Please call 970-925-7625 for any questions.
Maximum Guide Ratio: 4:1
Fitness Level: You should maintain an overall general level of fitness as this climb is challenging.
Includes: AMGA trained/certified mountain guide, use of all technical equipment (helmet, harness, climbing equipment, ropes, packs, etc.), and a 3% USFS land use surcharge.
Not included: water, lunch/snack foodPlease contact us via phone at 970-925-7625 or email/form to determine the best date for you or to request more information.
Prep- Your guide will contact you the day or two before at the voice number you provide us; you will discuss the plan, including a confirmed meeting place and start time; go over necessary gear/food to pack; and¬† any other questions/concerns you may have.
You will be provided with a helmet, harness, climbing equipment, ropes, and a pack as required.
The Day - Water, lunch/snacks are not included.Please contact us via phone at 970-925-7625 or email/form to determine the best date for you or to request more information.
CLIMBING EQUIPMENT LIST
The following items are provided for your climbing day:
- Climbing Equipment
- Socks: thin hiking socks, wool or synthetic
- Bottoms: pants or shorts should be comfortable & allow the freedom of movement
- Top: synthetic or wool t-shirts, tank-tops or long sleeves - no cotton!
- Warm layer: nice to have along as the temperatures can vary with altitude and shade
- Warm Jacket: a down or synthetic - perfect for night time and early am start
- Rain Jacket: a waterproof jacket, in case of occasional afternoon rain showers
- Hats: one with brim to keep sun off your face and one for warmth
- Helmet (provided for you by AE)
- Water bottle
- Sunscreen and lip balm: water/sweat-proof
- Personal first-aid kit: for your personal meds/needs
- Camera or Smartphone
- Water, Lunch/Snack food
If you are missing a piece of gear, we have a selection of outdoor technical gear / backcountry supplies - at our retail shop at the base of Aspen Highlands - including the Summit Series from The North Face.
Summers in Aspen tend to be warm and mild, but temperatures can easily drop as you head up in elevation, for example on Independence Pass. Rain/thunderstorms occasionally occur, more often than not in the afternoon rather than mornings. Rain gear will be essential if necessary. Participants will travel in the backcountry and should be prepared for any or all weather conditions.Please contact us via phone at 970-925-7625 or email/form to determine the best date for you or to request more information.
THE FIRST STEP
It is suggested that you maintain a good level of physical fitness, as these climbs are challenging. Exercise uphill with a moderate-sized pack. Go for long runs or bike rides - try to increase your cardiovascular health.
THE NEXT STEP
Colorado has 58, 14,000-foot peaks! Let us help you summit the ones here in the Elk range, including South/North Maroon Peak, Pyramid Peak, Capitol Peak, Snowmass Peak, Castle Peak and Mount Elbert (the highest and one of the easier 14ers).Please contact us via phone at 970-925-7625 or email/form to determine the best date for you or to request more information.
AE requires a full credit card or cash/check payment to hold your reservation. If you choose to cancel within 7 days of a scheduled trip, you will be charged full price. Within 7-14 days of your trip, we would be happy to work out a date to reschedule. If you choose to cancel 2 weeks or more (3 weeks or more for multi-day trips of 5+ people) prior to your scheduled trip, you will receive a full refund. If your guide decides that weather makes your scheduled trip a no-go, we will work with you to reschedule, give you a credit, or refund your trip. Travel Guard insurance is available via our website homepage.
For weather and extenuating circumstances: if when you reach the trailhead and the guide calls the day off, you will be entitled to a full reschedule. If the trip begins (0-2 hours in), you will be charged for a full day hike, with a credit in the difference of price, which can go towards a rescheduled trip with us. After 2 hours into the day, full payment for the scheduled trip is due.
Please note: AEW's number one priority is your safety. Many conditions affect our guides' decisions in the mountains, including client fitness and comfort, weather conditions and route conditions. There are inherent hazards in mountain travel such as inclement weather, avalanches, rock fall, ice fall that our guides manage yet cannot eliminate. The combination of our guides' formal training and wealth of experience assures that their sound decision create an enjoyable and safe mountain experience. Aspen Expeditions reserves the right to turn around or change routes without refunds or credits under any conditions.Please contact us via phone at 970-925-7625 or email/form to determine the best date for you or to request more information.