Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:19 am Posts: 544 Location: Capitol Hill, Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
I want to start this thread as the single-source for conditions on the elusive East Face of Castle Peak. Plenty of splitters make their way up to Pearl Basin on hut trips. If you get a look at the face, post up here with your analysis. Hopefully we can use collective reasoning to correctly predict when this rare line will be in condition.
Here are my pics from May 16, 2010.
This is the full view of the face. As you can see, lots of point-release slides from the rocks all around up in the basin. The best possible descent looks like the face that is 'looker's left' of the thin couloir. The couloir itself looks like it has a runnel in it.
Close-up of the upper face:
Here you can see multiple slides that propagated from the upper face and all funneled into the couloir. Even during brief periods of warmth, the natural topography here is going to create a runnel in the couloir.
Apron and runout:
No explantion here. As Barrows says, "this is supposed to be the part where you relax and open up the high speed turns". That doesn't seem like so much fun in a huge debris field!
I'm thinking that mid-May is already too late for this line. Davenport did this line in early April. I think what we need is more of a 'stable-winter' snowpack here than a 'hard-freeze spring' snowpack in order to ride this face. I hope that makes sense.
_________________ Riding a '06 Voile Split Decision Freeride 173, '07 Salomon Malamutes, Spark Ignition I bindings.
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:05 am Posts: 1537 Location: Colorado
Agreed Adam... I suspect the most likely time for descents these days is in April, catching it on one of those rare days when the snow is stable, and smooth. A powder descent with stable settled, slightly windpacked powder would be ideal. Looking down this line from the summit is awe inspiring-it gives one an AK type of feeling. Really, really, want this bad!