Castle Peak (Colorado)

Last updated
Castle Peak
Castle Peak CO Full.JPG
View from NNE above Montezuma Basin
Highest point
Elevation 14,279 ft (4352.2 m) [1]
NAVD88
Prominence 2365 ft (721 m) [2]
Isolation 20.9 mi (33.6 km) [2]
Listing
Coordinates 39°00′35″N106°51′41″W / 39.0097375°N 106.8613598°W / 39.0097375; -106.8613598 Coordinates: 39°00′35″N106°51′41″W / 39.0097375°N 106.8613598°W / 39.0097375; -106.8613598 [1]
Geography
USA Colorado location map.svg
Red triangle with thick white border.svg
Castle Peak
Location High point of both Gunnison and Pitkin counties, Colorado, U.S. [2]
Parent range Highest summit of the
Elk Mountains [2]
Topo map USGS 7.5' topographic map
Hayden Peak, Colorado [3]
Climbing
First ascent 1873 by the Hayden Survey
Easiest route Hike/scramble

Castle Peak is the ninth highest summit of the Rocky Mountains of North America and the U.S. state of Colorado. The prominent 14,279-foot (4352.2 m) fourteener is the highest summit of the Elk Mountains and the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. The peak is located 11.6 miles (18.7 km) northeast by north (bearing 32°) of the Town of Crested Butte, Colorado, United States, on the drainage divide separating Gunnison National Forest and Gunnison County from White River National Forest and Pitkin County. The summit of Castle Peak is the highest point of both counties. [1] [2] [3] [4]

Contents

Mountain

Castle Peak takes its name from its castellated summit. [5] The best climbing months are June, July, August, September through the Montezuma Glacier, a permanent snowfield between Castle and Conundrum Peaks. There are two standard routes for ascent. The Northwest Ridge features a moderate snow climb followed by an easy ridge scramble. It should not be attempted late in the summer when the 200 feet (60 m) of loose dirt and scree meet the climber near the top of the Castle-Conundrum saddle. The Northeast Ridge features an easy snow climb, but slightly harder scrambling and route-finding once on the ridge.

There are two other peaks in Colorado that have the same name: one in Eagle County at 39°46′23″N106°50′04″W / 39.7730422°N 106.8344844°W / 39.7730422; -106.8344844 , [6] with an elevation 11,280+ feet, (3438+ m); [7] and the other in Mesa County at 39°16′16″N108°05′40″W / 39.2710898°N 108.0945204°W / 39.2710898; -108.0945204 , [8] with an elevation of 8,140 feet (2,481 m).

Conundrum Peak is a northern subsummit of Castle Peak. It has two closely spaced summits; the northern is higher, with elevation of 14,040+ feet (4279+ m). [9] It is 0.4 miles (0.6 km) north of Castle Peak, and has 200 feet (61 m) of clean topographic prominence. This does not meet the usual 300-foot (91 m) prominence criterion for an officially separate peak; however, it is often climbed in conjunction with Castle Peak. [10]

See also

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Argentine Peak

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Pyramid Peak (Colorado)

Pyramid Peak is a fourteen thousand foot mountain in the U.S. state of Colorado. It is the 47th highest mountain peak in Colorado, and 78th highest peak in the United States. It is located in the Elk Mountains in southeastern Pitkin County, approximately 12 miles (19 km) southwest of Aspen. The summit somewhat resembles a ragged square pyramid and is visible from the Roaring Fork River valley north of Aspen along the canyon of Maroon Creek.

Snowmass Mountain

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Quandary Peak

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Crestone Needle

Crestone Needle is a high mountain summit of the Crestones in the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 14,203-foot (4,329 m) fourteener is located 6.9 miles (11.1 km) east-southeast of the Town of Crestone in Saguache County, Colorado, United States. The Crestones are a cluster of high summits in the Sangre de Cristo Range, comprising Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle, Kit Carson Peak, Challenger Point, Humboldt Peak, and Columbia Point. They are usually accessed from common trailheads.

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San Luis Peak

San Luis Peak is the highest summit of the La Garita Mountains range in the Rocky Mountains of North America. The prominent 14,022-foot (4273.8 m) fourteener is located in the Gunnison National Forest portion of the La Garita Wilderness in Saguache County approximately 10 miles (16 km) north of Creede. It is situated rather far to the east of the other fourteeners in the San Juans, and has more of a wilderness setting than many of the others.

Stewart Peak (Colorado)

Stewart Peak, elevation 13,990 ft (4,264 m), is a summit in Colorado. The peak is the second highest thirteener in the state. It is located in the La Garita Mountains, sub-range of the San Juan Mountains, in Saguache County, within the La Garita Wilderness. Stewart Peak is the 55th highest peak in Colorado by most standard definitions, just missing the list of Colorado fourteeners. At one time, the peak's elevation was measured to be over 14,000 ft and it was believed to be a fourteener, but more recent and accurate surveys have dropped it below that threshold.

Snowmass Peak

Snowmass Peak in the U.S. state of Colorado dominates the view from Snowmass Lake. It is often mistaken for Snowmass Mountain, the thirty-fourth highest mountain peak in the state, as well as for Hagerman Peak. Snowmass Peak is not really a peak but the lower end of Hagerman Peak's east ridge. Natural forced perspective causes the optical illusion that Snowmass Peak is higher than Hagerman Peak though it is actually 221 ft shorter than Hagerman's summit. This illusion combined with its striking rise behind Snowmass Lake justifies it being a named point on USGS topographical maps. It is located in the Elk Mountains, within the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness of the White River National Forest. It lies along the border between Pitkin and Gunnison counties, west of Aspen and southwest of the town of Snowmass Village.

Mount Gunnison

Mount Gunnison is a prominent mountain summit in the West Elk Mountains range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 12,725-foot (3,879 m) peak is located in the West Elk Wilderness of Gunnison National Forest, 22.2 miles (35.7 km) west by south of the Town of Crested Butte in Gunnison County, Colorado, United States. The mountain is named in honor of John Williams Gunnison who explored the area.

Mount Guero

Mount Guero is a prominent mountain summit in the West Elk Mountains range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 12,058-foot (3,675 m) peak is located in the West Elk Wilderness of the Gunnison National Forest, 13 miles (21 km) east of Crawford, Colorado in Delta County and 24.3 miles (39.1 km) west-southwest of the Town of Crested Butte in Gunnison County, Colorado, United States.

Anthracite Range

The Anthracite Range is a mountain range in the West Elk Mountains, a sub-range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The range is located in Gunnison County of western Colorado and lies within the West Elk Wilderness of the Gunnison National Forest. The Anthracite Range is one of several prominent laccoliths found in the West Elk Mountains.

References

  1. 1 2 3 "CASTLE PK". NGS data sheet. U.S. National Geodetic Survey . Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "Castle Peak, Colorado". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  3. 1 2 "Castle Peak". Geographic Names Information System . United States Geological Survey . Retrieved November 14, 2014.
  4. The elevation of Castle Peak includes an adjustment of +2.165 m (+7.10 ft) from NGVD 29 to NAVD 88.
  5. Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off.
  6. "Castle Peak". Geographic Names Information System . United States Geological Survey . Retrieved 2009-01-03.
  7. "Castle Peak, Colorado". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved 2009-01-03.
  8. "Castle Peak". Geographic Names Information System . United States Geological Survey . Retrieved 2009-01-03.
  9. "North Conundrum Peak, Colorado". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved 2009-01-03.
  10. Louis W. Dawson II, Dawson's Guide to Colorado's Fourteeners, Volume 1, Blue Clover Press, 1994, ISBN   0-9628867-1-8