Castle Mountain


elevation: 2,545 m. height gain: 1,060 m.
area: Harrogate,BC map 82 K/16-N/1
2009-May-24


From highway 95, Ben Hynes Loop road is accessed north or south of Harrogate. From there, look for Headly road; the first kilometers are indicated on the topo map. At 399477, take the less-traveled road on the left, it is signed Headly road and has yellow km markers. Cross Hot Creek and continue to 375520 heading in a north-west direction. Just past the 7 marker the road switchbacks, it is possible to drive up to a landing at 383517; we drove our car up that part very slowly, shallow water bars interrupt the road. Hike the south-west slopes to a saddle below the rock face, 389522. Traverse and contour on the east side, towards the ascent gully which is followed to the summit ridge, 389528. The connecting ridge has a few minor dips to break up the steady climb to the top.
from the highway

Castle's summit on the left and the top of the ascent gully right of the rock face.

from the car


We aimed between the rock face and the mound.
Scramble: RT 5.0; 3.25 up. We planned this trip hoping the dogs would be able to carry on to the upper gully and stay with Fab while I continued to the top. It turned out to be a great outing close to home. The hike into the ascent gully was short and the gully itself was straightforward. Once at the crest, Fab decided to go back down a little because of the steep drop on the east side; he set up a nice, safe area for the dogs. I proceeded easily to the summit, pulling out my snowshoes on the connecting ridge. The final stretch was quite enjoyable with awesome views. At the top, I was granted a look into the Beaverfoot Valley and its numerous surrounding peaks. Heading down was quick and eventful; while taking a break lower, we started picking off ticks in the hounds' fur. The itch soon followed as we checked each other's back of the neck, feeling our scalp repeatedly... I recall Fab picking off at least 12 of the little buggers! Click on tick to see a picture.
a little deadfall

Hiking in burnt trees with no undergrowth (yet) was nice.

rupert and link


Rupert and Lincoln; Daisy is out and about, she never rests!


traverse in the gully


Entering the ascent gully with just a little height loss.


in the gully


Nice hiking up this easy gully.


upper gully


The upper gully.


along the way


Looking south-west.


summit ridge ahead


At the crest of the gully, the top is not that far.


leaving fab


Fab and the hounds are heading down a little to wait for me.


getting closer


Good travelling on snowshoes.


nice view from this summit


Looking south-east along the Beaverfoot Range.


looking back


South ascent ridge.


cairn


North-east view towards the Beaverfoot with Mount Mollison and Striped Mountain (right margin) among many.


last glance


This summit plod was quite enjoyable.


almost at the gully


Last bit before reaching the crest of the gully.


backside of ascent gully


The steepish backside of the gully; not a good spot for the dogs.


upper gully


Crest of the ascent gully, Fab is just below.


fab and the hounds


All focused, anxiously waiting to go again.


down the gully


Down the gully to the saddle below.
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