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Denali4jr

Pinnacle or Castle

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Anyone done the Standard Route up The Castle (via col east of peak) or Pinnacle Peak(south side)? I would like any info you could provide: snow condition, exposed rock, etc...Thanks

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This is CHUCKYOURMEAT. If you're doing the South Face of Pinnacle bring your Avalung tongue.gif" border="0 , unless the snow is very solid. I would avoid the going up the saddle too. CHUCKYOURMEAT has spoken.

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I skied to 20 feet from the summit of Castle last February via a N. side approach, then around Castle to the East. We had aimed for Pinnacle saddle but avoided it because avalanche risk looked higher there. I considered scrambling to the summit-- it was literally 20 to 25 feet of high 4th/low 5th class-- but decided my tele boots might not be the best for it. The N. side is much steeper, though if approaching from the pinnacle/castle col it is still mostly snow and only briefly technical rock. Don't know anything about conditions there this year.

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An earlier post noted that the Summer approach to Pinnacle is probably not the way to go in the winter (the summer trail traversses steep, open slopes in a basin west of the peak). Head for the Pinnacle-Castle saddle (exercise caution as noted just above) and take your pick of either one.

For Pinnacle, traverse west on open slopes and look for a gully near the west perimeter of the South Face. The last 200 feet are moderately steep and may involve a short steep chimney through a rockband which can be scary enough some people might want a rope or, on the descent, a rappel (a bush anchor is available just above the difficulties).

[ 01-02-2002: Message edited by: mattp ]

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I spent yesterday teleing around the Castle in the Tatoosh. The snow conditions varied from great to so-so. Aside from the occasional ice patch there were many turns to be had in untracked powder and the snow pack seemed very solid. I brought along an ice axe and crampons, but never used them.

In the morning the sky was clear and the park offered us beautiful views of Rainer, however, towards noon a blanket of clouds came in and covered everything. At the beginning of our ski we followed the tracks of a small animal which I believe to be a fox.

A word to the wise, there were many ice lines forming up and with a few more days of below freezing conditions I think it might be worth it to check out. My partner had been in the park earlier in the week and said there was a noticeable increase in the ice flows. Narada Falls was almost (knock on wood) touching down and there were several good lines in the valley to climb, but only if you're a hard man (or woman) and willing to venture out on WI5 or there abouts. Nothing really looked fat.

Mostly I was just out there celebrating the fact that I was spending another magnificant Thursday in the mountains. My partner and I discussed the pit falls of American society and decided that , as I have said numerous times, work is just another four letter word, and one to be avoided at all costs. We vowed to work less, not more, and to meet again on a midweek foray into the mountains. I do not need a faster car nor a bigger tv, just a casual Thursday in Mt. Rainer National Park to soothe my soul and make me feel human again.

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quote:

Originally posted by Matt:

just a casual Thursday in Mt. Rainer National Park to soothe my soul and make me feel human again.

Didn't we just come back from the coast range on Sunday? You must be one inhuman dude.

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quote:

Originally posted by Matt:
Mostly I was just out there celebrating the fact that I was spending another magnificant Thursday in the mountains. My partner and I discussed the pit falls of American society and decided that , as I have said numerous times, work is just another four letter word, and one to be avoided at all costs. We vowed to work less, not more, and to meet again on a midweek foray into the mountains. I do not need a faster car nor a bigger tv, just a casual Thursday in Mt. Rainer National Park to soothe my soul and make me feel human again.

Amen, that's what it's all about.

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