Mt. Conundrum

S T A R T I N G   O U T

So, Adam and I invited you to come climb Castle Peak back in the summer of 2004, and you made up an excuse to not come around important sounding reasons, which probably wouldn't hold up in a court of law.  Well, now is your chance to live the incredible adventure vicariously, thanks to the Al Gore's legacy to the planet.

What follows is the work of three photographers: myself (Darren), Adam, and Kenn.  You can generally determine the shooter by process of elimination (they tend not to be in the pix they took). 

It all started out fashionably enough in lovely Aspen, CO, where we stopped in to have our last civilized meal with all of the CO yuppies before embarking on the mountain.  This is me (appropriately furthest to the left), Adam, Ned, and Marc. 

If you don't know who these folks are, see my pretentious write-up on them from a previous climb...

Here I am suiting up (with bizarre Photoshop coloration).  We bravely decided to sit out a rain storm in the van before getting this far...

This is the trailhead for Conundrum Creek, if I'm not mistaken.  We're all laughing at Ned (as usual).

A full 10 minutes into our climb to low camp, we're stopped for a photo op by someone from 14ers Monthly.  This was the cover shot for an article on "How Not to Climb Castle Peak".

If the National Forestry boys ever view this page, I'll have my climbing license revoked.  Kenn is shown here holding the best tool I brought this year (next to my crampons): Yup, that's a tree saw.  No more stomping on logs to break them into pieces that will fit in the camp fire.  Hence the wicked grin on Kenn's face...

This was the one campfire that Adam managed to light this year, I believe.  Although, he is not cursed with his cousin Reggie's ability to extinguish a campfire by merely walking near it...

If you're a non-camper and you're wondering about those things on their heads, those are LED head lamps, which are actually the best thing since sliced bread for campers (yes, even better than the tree saw).

Time for those deadly serious, soul-baring conversations that seem to happen around a campfire late at night, out under the stars.  At low camp, first night.

Next: High Camp