Trip Report    

Pinnacle Peak & The Castle (winter)

Successful winter climb of the North Face of The Castle

  • Snow and ice on road
  • Left side ice didn’t look like it would go.  Instead, opted to climb the snow ramp on climber’s right.  Deep snow low on the route so continued in snowshoes until we reached a stopping spot among trees to switch to crampons.  Following the rock straight up led to a broken portion of the ridgeline but not the summit. Crossed ridge on climber’s right to the south side of the summit block.  Climbed two different rock gullies to summit.  Made about four gear placements, plus anchor, but there were also several horns that could be slung.  Single rope rappel from summit block.  Descent via standard east ridge route back to Reflection Lakes.

    Time: 7:15 car to car

Driving / parking notes:

Carpooled in two vehicles from Longmire parking lot.  Chains required on Paradise road beyond Longmire.  Although web site posted an 8:00am opening, Paradise road gate opened a little after 9:00am.  Web site posted gate closing 9:00pm but sign on the gate still showed 6:00pm.

Equipment notes: 

Carried and used snowshoes, ropes (60m), ice axe, crampons, rock pro. Carried but did not use pickets, screws, second tool. 

Weather Notes: 

Morning weather was mostly broken clouds.  Light snowfall around noon.  Afternoon was mostly sunny with blue skies.

NWAC forecast: Moderate, with primary risk factor loose, wet slides on south aspects, and cornices on north aspects.

Permits required?

MRNP entrance permit.