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North Conundrum Peak
Elevation: 14,060 feet
Climbed: Jun 26, 2010
Mountain Range: Elk Range
Colorado Rank:
Class Rating: 2
Latitude: 39.015682
Longitude: -106.862749

Trip Report

Jun 26, 2010
What a perfect day to climb Conundrum Couloir!! The snow was firm and continuous all the way from the base to the cornice at the top.

This was the first couloir snow climb I had attempted and the first snow climb rated "steep." I had done a few snow climbs that are rated "moderate", including the east slope of Snowmass and Cristo Couloir, on the south side of Quandary. I said this was my first couloir climb, because Cristo Couloir seemed more like a narrow snow slope than a deeply-inset couloir.

The climbing was pretty straightforward, with the steepest climbing about half way up, where the granite walls of the couloir squeezed in from both sides. It was not a place you wanted to fall, but it never seemed particularly dangerous.

The biggest objective danger was probably the huge cornice at the top of the couloir. The cornice was one of the largest I've climbed near, and definitely the largest I've climbed under.

I exited the couloir on the right side, bypassing the monster cornice and proceeding to the summit of North Conundrum Peak.

I then descended to the top of the couloir and traversed to Conundrum Peak, the slightly-lower peak marked on most topographical maps.

After touching Conundrum Peak, it was off to Castle Peak via the connecting saddle. You can read about that portion of my climb at the Castle Peak Trip Report.

I met a couple of other guys climbing the Conundrum Couloir. Their trip report, along with some photos that include yours truly, can be seen at this 14ers.com Trip Report.


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