Nor Cal Castle Peak
(Castle Peak)

25 Apr 2009 - by Dan Lasage (view roster page)

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The exit and underpass (waypoint DSEXIT) is currently under construction and you can not get to the parking area (waypoint NORTHP). Go up to the next exit and come back down (if heading from Sactown). Usually the Highway Patrol is a little sticky about parking at the gated trail head...Luckily no one had tickets by the time we came off the mountain. Parking area was coverd in a fresh few inches from the night before, but melted off by the afternoon. Great snow base all the way up rite now. Early in the morning we had a perfect crust layer and needed to kick steps into the ice on the upper slopes. (Crampons are perfect here). We came up via the western ridge at about 40 degree slope. The wind lashed us a bit at 40-45mph gusts and droped the mercury to around 26 degrees for a few hours. The wind eased off at the summit and was quite an enjoyable place to choke down a hearty lunch filled with "Gu" and "Cytoplex". There are several Lava Pinnacles at the summit which offer up some great bouldering problems.

Take a few minutes to enjoy the lichen growing here. Also you may spot a few lady bugs that have been transplanted by the early morning updrafts. (To Whom ever left their waste at the summit...This a henious offence and punishable by death with a Crampon if caught!...Pick up after yourselves please. I really don't enjoy packing out your filth.)

On a lighter note: The South side has a few traverse routes in which you could crater below a hundred or more feet. So rope up if your unsure at altitude! The eastern peak is the highest but not so easy to get to with the snow and ice.(just bring an axe and spikes).
Dale used this mountain for quick trips on a regular basis in training to climb Mt. Everest.

We are using it to prepare for Mt. Shasta in just a few weeks. This is a great training mountain as you can get altitude fast and its just off the highway!

By early afternoon the Crust had melted to a bit of slush with the consolidated layer underneath...What a slippery ride down. A little bit of extra heavy plunge stepping was in a tall order to keep from going for an unwanted ride. The trail was a little crowded by now with lots of skiers and snowboarders. Snow shoes were needed at the base and lower elevation. As I kept providing post holes in the slush for the team behind me. hahaha take that guys!

Great day trip and once the weather breaks a bit the kids will be in tow for the next few trips.

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