Looking for a quick Friday afternoon hike, Sprocket and I set off towards Castle Rock (5,200+’). We drove as close as snow covered roads would allow (which was actually pretty close, I guess it’s the one benefit of oil drilling activity around here? It certainly beats in roads!).
After traveling cross country for awhile, we ran into a snow-covered road and followed it south to the base of Castle Rock, passing some sweet rock walls that looked much brighter than usual against the white snow.
The closer I got to the rock, the more I started to doubt whether I’d be able to summit it. As much as I tried to pretend that my goal for the day was to be out in the sun and snow (and it was, kind of!), I couldn’t deny that I wanted to get a February summit in the books sooner rather than later.
As I reached the base of the tower at its southeastern corner, my hopes fell even further. I walked around the rock counter clockwise, looking up at the northwestern side and thought, no way is this happening:
This rock on the western side looked really promising but with snow, wet boots (and boots at all!), and pretty much nothing to hold on to I wasn’t going to be making any progress here either.
I got to the southern corner/face and pondered this for awhile because this looks totally reasonable to scramble alone on crumbly wet shit in snowboots, right?
Well, I did it (sorry, Mom). I was delighted by this AWESOME castle summit register and the views were incredible. I didn’t stay on top long because Sprocket was having a panic attack about what he perceived was a VERY BAD PLAN and the longer I stayed up there the more I was agreeing with him and worrying a little bit about getting down safely. (The up is always easier than the down…)
But mostly, I’d say I was psyched about the whole thing:
So basically, Castle Rock is falling apart. As I descended, I realized that very little is holding the top of the rock on so definitely approach this one at your own risk!
We were running a little late on getting back to De Beque for a meeting but we hustled back to Ruth and on the way, I think Sprocket forgave me for “abandoning” him for my perhaps ill-advised climb.