TR: 4/29/2017 Castle Peak & Peter Grubb Hut

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TR: 4/29/2017 Castle Peak & Peter Grubb Hut

Post by Flamingo » Sun Apr 30, 2017 2:02 pm

Hi All,

Yesterday I enjoyed a quick snowshoe day-hike up Castle Peak at Donner Summit, and I also visited the Peter Grubb Hut. I posted photos down below.

Overall, it was a nearly perfect day for the summit. There was no wind, the weather was warm, and the sky was so clear I could see Mount Lassen. There remains A LOT of snow. The Peter Grubb Hut is buried under a 25+ foot drift (see photos below).

Snow Conditions:
The snow quality was very mixed. In the morning, the snow was consolidated and firm; although I wore snowshoes, I could easily have worn running shoes and microspikes on the hard-packed approach through the trees. Later in the day, I encountered steep icy patches while ascending Castle Peak's western ridge. I'm glad I had aggressive traction on my snowshoes (MSR Lightning Ascents). With the televator bar up, the ascent was a breeze -- it felt like climbing stairs. During my descent, a couple hours later, the top layer of ice had melted and created some safety problems. Although my snowshoes gained traction in the top one-inch of snow, the top layer was prone to sliding over an icy base. I fell a couple times and fortunately self-arrested. I did not feel entirely stable or safe during the descent, and I wish I brought my 12-point crampons for this section.

I arrived at Donner Sno-Park at 9:30 am, reached Castle Peak summit at noon, and I returned to the Donner Sno-Park at 3:30pm.

I posted a few photos below. You can view all my photos on Flickr here:
DSC08034 (1).jpg
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Last edited by Flamingo on Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: TR: 4/29/2017 Castle Peak & Peter Grubb Hut

Post by rlown » Sun Apr 30, 2017 2:51 pm

Very cool! It's a great hike, but also a great trip on skis. Did that one year from your starting way down the carpenter valley East all the way to the condos North of Truckee. Nice pics as well.

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Re: TR: 4/29/2017 Castle Peak & Peter Grubb Hut

Post by Rockyroad » Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:46 pm

Glad you were able to find parking this time. Thanks for the report and nice photos. That's quite a crowd at the western summit. Last year Feb, there was only 1 other person so we went up the eastern summit together. Now I want to go again.

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