CASTLE #1: DEVILS CASTLE, ALTA, UT
For closing day at ALTA I was fortunate enough to tag along with some of the Skierboyz and go for the Castle Couloir. The technical couloir (usually requiring one or more rappels) opens up into a beautiful, powder filled, apron which can be seen from the top of the Collins lift. I had scoped the couloir multiple times and was ready to go for it. However, when we got to the top and saw that the couloir was very filled in we decided to hike a little higher and take a more exposed entrance.
After saying our goodbyes at the Highboy party, we headed back to the desert for some more sun and an even bigger objective.
CASTLE #2: CASTLETON TOWER, CASTLE VALLEY, UT
Day 1 was spent “warming up”. We thought it would be a good idea to practice a couple multi pitch climbs, since we hadn’t done much together. So we headed to the ice cream parlor and tried not to melt in the heat.
We made it! The view from the summit was breathtaking, partly from beauty, partly from the realization that we now needed to get down. I quickly wrote our names in the summit book and we discussed the best route to rappel. We encountered 60 mph winds at the top and were worried about our ropes getting tangled. We ended up sticking with the original plan and made three, two rope, rappels down the North Face. We had a couple very scary close calls but with luck on our side and Dylan’s extensive experience with ropes we made it down with all of our gear.
Braving the wind on top of Castleton Tower. Relieved to be down from the tower we made our Mothers day phone calls and had a delicious dinner with good friends. A major adventure and learning experience, climbing the tower is the highlight of my spring. Well… so far.
Next up, Idaho’s Pioneer Mountains.