Placeholder Routes & Places

Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Pinnacle Peak & The Castle

Pinnacle; mixed rock, cautious climbing, helmet required. Castle; solid rock, short

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Good trail, snow crossings above 5200' with several side hill sections of steep snow with harmful consequences in the event of a fall. 

Cool cloudy/foggy weather for the ascent to pass west of Pinnacle. Ice axes required crossing extensive snow fields on approach to pass, 1 hour to the saddle. Intermittent clearing with territorial views. Helmets on at pass to follow climbers trail on south side quickly ascending into variable rock scrambling conditions, lots of loose rock. Definitely not for the faint of heart, high exposure. Lots of room on the Pinnacle summit, 45 minutes from saddle to summit. Descended approximately same route, SW shoulder then directly down another couple hundred yards to obvious climbers trail to The Castle, this eliminated crossing diagonally on scree and minimized environmental impact. Ascended second gully of Castle, which put us on SW snowfield, ice axe approach to final rock summit. Solid rock, exposed crossing and ascending final 50+ vertical feet, time; 2 hours from Pinnacle summit. Returned to SW snowfield same route. Alternate approach on loose terrain visible on NW side of Castle, viewed from summit area. Easy Castle approach from E shoulder. Left trailhead at 9, returned at 3. Occasional views of Rainier, more clearing to S with views of Goat Rocks, Adams, Hood and Mt St Helens.