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[TR] The Castle - South side scramble 6/21/2009

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Trip: The Castle - South side scramble


Date: 6/21/2009


Trip Report:

Another boring trip report of an easy route in a stunningly beautiful area.


The wife and I were staying in our cabin in Ashford celebrating our 22nd anniversary, but I had to sneak out for a quick adventure Sunday morning.


There was no one parked at Reflection Lake when I got there at 5:30 am. The weather had been mostly to partly shitty all weekend but the sun seemed about to break through at any moment (never did though). Nice firm snow right from the trailhead. I followed boot and ski tracks left to the bowl below The Castle. Instead of taking the ridge on the east side I went right up the bowl, keeping far right up steep snow to a rock scramble that soon led to the base of the fierce 50' south face.


I explored all along the south side looking at all the different possibilities... very doable routes around every corner. Below some orange tat was a nice looking bit I had not done before, so up I went. The reputation of the rock quality in the Tatoosh is sometimes deserved, but there IS some good choss and lichen as well... The route was easy 4.8 with good loose holds appearing every time you really needed one. I arrived at the summit 55 minutes after leaving the car. The mist and clouds were actually quite picturesque and didn't at all detract from the beauty of the mountains, a matter of perspective I guess.


I down climbed the same way as I had ascended. The firm snow was perfect for the standing glissade, which I used to great effect, but really wished I had brought my skis. 20 minutes of fun brought me back to the car and a passel of mounties. They were gathered in a great circle... discussing the pros and cons of venturing forth in such deplorable conditions. I assured them that wonderful times lay uphill and that, though damp, the rock was as good as ever.


Back to the cabin and my beautiful bride, still sleeping just as when I had left.


Gear Notes:

Alpenstock (no really)


Approach Notes:

Firm snow, no flotation required, but if you can ski bring 'em!

Edited by TMO

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