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Trip Report    

Basic Alpine Climb - Pinnacle Peak & The Castle (winter)

Snow climb in the winter, scramble in the summer

  • Road suitable for all vehicles

On June 19, 2016, road was clear to the Reflection Lakes trailhead. We followed boot trail toward Castle, then traversed west on a contour, dodging a few ridges and periodically dropping down a bit to find a better option across snow. (We were higher up than the summer trail route, which would have been a better approach.)

Surprisingly hard snow - used ice axe and crampons - kicked steps didn't go in very far! At the Pinnacle-Plummer saddle, we took a break and then stayed somewhat low to circle around to just under the south face of Pinnacle. The gully to the summit was snow-free - loose and chossy in places. I would recommend a rope for a handline on descent. We met a nice Mazamas party who offered their rope as a handline - don't say no to that! Lovely day with great 360-degree views. Saw marmots below and maybe a fox or wolf (pretty big from a distance).

We descended the gully then traversed back to the Pinnacle-Plummer col. We then descended pretty much on the summer trail route, though we were mostly on snow. Under the trees we picked up the melted out trail periodically and arrived at the trailhead maybe 1 h 20 mins from the col.

I did come across some unburied human waste near the trailhead - no toilets (that I found) at the trailhead so plan accordingly. Yuck!