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A Day Trip into the Remote Castle Rock Peak
Timestamp Free: 2018.11.14 - 10:40:44
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Front Ranges
(1 days) Elevation Gain: 1500m
Participants: Trevor B, Cornelius R, Vern D
Difficulty: 2: Easy to moderate scrambling when the creek is fairly low. A long day at around 30km total distance including 13km of biking and 9 river crossings each way.
A long, scenic scramble up a rarely visited front range peak in the Ghost Wilderness Area of the Alberta Rockies.
With the upcoming Thanksgiving long weekend and some unexpected days off work the Thursday and Friday beforehand, I was looking to take advantage of a pretty nice wx with a scramble or two before the snow starts to pile up around the Rockies. Lucky for me, I received an invite from two recent scrambling acquaintances in the form of an email from Cornelius Rott and Trevor Boyce, inviting me for a jaunt up the relatively obscure front range "Castle Rock" peak in the front ranges of the Ghost Wilderness Area just east of Banff National Park.
Castle Rock is a very dramatic looking peak, especially when viewed from the east. I first laid eyes on it's foreboding summit rock walls while climbing the deservedly popular Devil's Head, which is located just to the east of Poltergeist, Astral and Castle Rock. Despite very incorrect elevation labeling on some maps, Devil's Head is the shortest of any of the four peaks in this area by several hundred feet at least (not nearly the 2997m as indicated on ViewRanger). The eastern aspects of Poltergeist, Astral and Castle Rock all look impregnable - and for the average person they most certainly are! Apparently Cornelius and Trevor had discovered a passage that allowed them access to the summit of Astral Peak only a week before, and were so enthralled with it that they wanted to go back and apply their route beta to its neighbor - Castle Rock. I was certainly game to tag along and gain insight into a new area (for me) of the Rockies and a possible ascent of a relatively unknown (or at the very least, undocumented) summit.
[photo]castlerock001.jpg[caption]Aylmer, Poltergeist, Astral and Castle Rock (L to R) as seen from the summit plateau of Devil's Head, which I climbed in September 2012.[/photo]
We met in Cochrane at around...
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