Overview:

The Intro to Mountaineering Castle Peak weekend course will teach you the skills needed to climb a peak along with how to camp in a alpine setting. Day one will be spent traveling up to Montezuma Basin and setting up a camp at 12,000 feet. The second half of the day is focused on skills in this high alpine basin. The skills we teach are traveling as a roped team, walking in crampons, using a mountaineering axe properly, and self arresting a fall.  We’ll be working on belaying, basic movement, short-roping. On day two, we’ll utilize the skills we learned on day one and climb Castle Peak 14265′ from our high camp in Montezuma Basin. This trip is a great opportunity to learn new skills or brush up on your mountaineering skills with the added bonus of summiting a classic Colorado 14er.

*in collaboration with Aspen Alpine Guides, under special use permit, US Forest Service, White River National Forest

Castle Peak Colorado Mountaineering Guides

Meeting location:

Aspen, Colorado

Notes:

All of our courses can be run as custom outings.  If you’re interested in a course, but it doesn’t fit into your schedule, please check out our custom guiding options.

All Upcoming Dates and Locations:

    • Learn to use an ice axe and crampons
    • See how snow anchors and mountaineering technical systems work
    • Try mountaineering with minimal time commitment
    • Learn to move efficiently on snow and rock
    • Experience a technical climb with a climb of Castle Peak 14265′

    Prerequisites:

    No experience required

    Time:

    8:00am - 4pm

    Duration:

    2 days (1 overnight)

    Maximum Ratio:

    3:1

    Minimum Age:

    Please call to register participants under 18

    Includes:

    • Trained and/or certified guide
    • Group climbing gear
      • Technical hardware – climbing protection, carabiners,etc
      • Ropes
      • Technical softgoods – slings, cordellette, etc
    • Personal climbing gear
      • Harness
      • Helmet
      • Boots
      • Rock shoes
      • Crampons
      • Ice Ax
      • Avalanche transceiver, shovel, probe (if needed)
    • Group Camping Equipment
      • Tent
      • Stove
      • Cookware
      • Hot water
      • Equipment Sled for expedition prep (if needed)

    Excludes:

    • Food
    • Transportation
    • Lodging
    • Clothing, backpack and non-technical personal items
    • Sleeping Bag and sleeping pad
    • Cooked or prepared meals
    • Park Entrance Fees (where applicable)
    • Rescue Insurance
    • Trip Insurance
    • Gratuity
    • Expenses due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of Colorado Mountain School
    Item Description Quantity Example Purchase At Rent At Equipment Type
    Approach Shoes

    These are “hiking” shoes specifically made for approaching and descending from a climbing venue where scrambling is necessary, or even for climbing an entire route. They have sticky climbing rubber on the bottom and a formed fit to influence better climbing abilities while scrambling. Consider high-tops for additional ankles support if needed. Regular hiking boots or athletic shoes may be acceptable for many climbs.

    1

    Men: La Sportiva TX3 Men
    Women: La Sportiva TX3 Wmn

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Backpack: 35-50 liter

    Packs smaller than this tend not to be able to carry the necessary amount of equipment and clothing. Large backpacking packs are acceptable, depending on the climb.

    1

    CAMP M4 40L

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Beanie or Fleece Hat

    Should cover the ears and fit under a helmet. Hats with fluff balls on top do not fit under helmets.

    1

    Rab Logo Beanie

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Belay and Rappel Device

    Plaquette style devices with auto-block mode are ideal.

    1

    CAMP Piu 2

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Bowl, mug, fork, and spoon

    Personal utensils

    1

    Sea to Summit Delta Camp Set

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Climbing Harness

    UIAA or CE approved; With belay loop and gear loops. The waist belt should fit over multiple layers of clothing.

    1

    CAMP Laser CR

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Colorado Mountain School

    Equipment
    Compass

    Used for navigation and orientation. A compass with adjustable declination is preferrable.

    1

    Silva Ranger CLQ

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Optional
    Ear Plugs

    Sometimes fellow campers snore. Ear plugs may help you get quality rest.

    1

    Foam ear plugs

    Optional
    First Aid Kit

    Your guide will have an emergency First Aid Kit. You should bring a small kit including blister prevention and care products such as a role of athletic tape and Moleskin. Your kit should also contain a few Band-aids, some Tylenol and Ibuprofen.

    1

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Optional
    Food

    Proper lunches that are prepared ahead of time are recommended (sandwich, burrito, leftover pizza, etc), along with an assortment of snack bars, gels, or trail mixes. Feeze-dried meals are acceptable on overnight trips, but not day trips.

    1

    Made in Nature, Thrive Tribe

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Gaiters

    These are instrumental when wearing crampons. They protect your softshell pants from getting ripped and keep snow out of your boots.

    1

    RAB Latok Extreme Gaiter GTX

    RAb Store

    Clothing
    Headlamp

    Load with fresh batteries. Critical for hiking before sunrise and great to have in the pack in case you are caught out after dark.

    1

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Hot Drinks

    Coffee, tea, hot cocoa are great for warming up when it's cold outside.

    1

    Cusa Tea; Alpine Start Coffee

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Optional
    Lightweight Baselayer Top

    Synthetic or Merino Wool; Worn against the skin and is considered a "wicking" layer that facilitates the movement of moisture away from the skin and through the layers. Hooded base layers add extra versatility.

    2

    Men: Rab Forge LS Tee
    Women: Rab Force LS Tee

    Rab Store

    Clothing
    Lightweight Gloves

    Synthetic; Thin gloves used when hiking the early morning approach. Belay gloves can suffice if full-fingered.

    1

    RAB Power Stretch Pro

    Rab Store

    Clothing
    Lip ScreenSPF 15 or higher.

    Non-SPF rated lip balms can actually increase your chances of getting burned.

    1

    Rocky Mountain Sunscreen Lip Balm

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Optional
    Long and Short Sleeve T-shirt

    Cotton or Synthetic and Merino Wool; Bring a variety of short-sleeve or tank tops, and a few long-sleeve. Long sleeve cotton t-shirts can be nice for the crack climbing days. Synthetic shirts are not required for rock climbing, but some may prefer the feel and quick-dry performance.

    1

    Rab Stance Tee

    Rab Store

    Clothing
    Midweight Baselayer Top

    Synthetic or Merino Wool; Adds extra warmth and protection from the cold and wind without creating a moisture barrier as a jacket would. Having at least one base layer that is hooded adds versatility, protecting the neck and ears from cold winds.

    1

    Men: Rab Nucleus Hoody
    Women: Rab Nucleus Hoody

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Midweight Softshell Glove

    This is the workhorse glove and is most often worn on warmer days when mountaineering. Softshell gloves are water-resistant and durable. They often have leather palms and fingers.

    1

    RAB Guide2 GTX Glove

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Mountaineering Axe

    Utilized in ascending or descending snow slopes. Ideal length is variable based on terrain and height of person.

    1

    CAMP Alpina

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Mountaineering Boots

    Waterproof, insulated, leather or synthetic boots. Two levels of boots can be appropriate depending on the season, conditions, and personal needs. These boots have rigid and semi-rigid soles so they climb rock well and are compatible with crampons. 1. Lightweight (May - October): This is a single-layer, semi-insulated, waterproof boot, such as the La Sportiva Trango Cube. 2. Mid-weight (October - June): This is a single-layer, insulated boot, such as the La Sportiva Nepal.

    1

    Men: La Sportiva Nepal EVO GTX 0r G5
    Women: La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX Women's or G5

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Mountaineering Crampons

    Steel crampons with horizontal front points are ideal. Must be semi-rigid and compatible with your boots.

    1

    CAMP Alpinist Universal

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Neck Gaiter

    "Buffs" are quite versatile in their uses. They can be used as light beanies, neck warmers, and can offer face protection from the cold wind or sun.

    1

    CMS Neck Gaiter

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Non-locking Carabiners

    Most climbers prefer wire-gated carabiners due to their light weight and low bulk, among other useful characteristics.

    2-3

    CAMP Nano 22

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Personal Care Items

    Medications, glasses or contacts, feminine products, etc.

    1 Optional
    Personal Toilet Kit

    At minimum, bring a small Ziploc with toilet paper. Consider bringing a travel sized package of hand-wipes. Idealy, purchase, or for free from the RMNP Backcountry office, bring a "Rest Stop." The Rest Stop, known as "Blue Bags" in the Pacific Northwest, or the "Wag Bag" in other areas, are poop-in-a-bag systems that include toilet paper and a sanitizing hand wipe.

    1

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Optional
    Rock Climbing Helmet

    UIAA/CE approved; Should be large enough to fit over a beanie. Plastic helmets are more durable, but heavier. Foam helmets are lighter, but more easily damaged when carried in a pack.

    1

    CAMP Titan

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Colorado Mountain School

    Equipment
    Sleeping Bag (10° to 35°)

    Down or synthetic sleeping bag is acceptible.

    1

    Rab Neutrino 400

    Rab Store

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Sleeping pad

    Insulated air mattresses or foam are ideal. Uninsulated air mattresses are not recommended.

    1

    Sea to Summit Comfort Light Insulated

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Smart Phone App

    There are a plethora of apps that assist in navigation. These apps use your phone's GPS functions and can work in the mountains offline.

    1

    Avanet; Gaia Maps; Topo Maps

    Optional
    Smartphone

    Great for taking photos and videos. Smartphone batteries tend to shut down in freezing temps - keep your phone in a warm inner layer. A tether is ideal in the mountains to protet against dropping your phone.

    1 Optional
    Softshell and Fleece Jacket

    Water-resistant, windproof, yet it "breaths," which means it allows moisture to move through. Hoods are ideal. There are multiple thicknesses of Softshell jackets. A lightweight or medium-weight jacket is preferred. Fleece jackets are acceptable.

    1

    Men: Rab Salvo Jacket
    Women: Rab Salvo Jacket

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Softshell Pants

    Softshell material is stretchy, wind-proof, water-resistant, and resists abrasion. Mid-weight is recommended and light-weight pants can work for warm days. Typical thin, nylon "hiking pants" are generally not tough enough.

    1

    Men: Rab Vapour Rise
    Women: Rab Upslope

    Rab Store

    Clothing
    Sports Bra

    Provides support and allows for full range of motion

    1

    North Face Beyond the Wall

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Sun Hat

    A billed hat to keep the sun at bay during the approach and descent.

    1

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Sunglasses

    "Wrap-Around" style sunglasses with 100% UV Protection.

    1

    Julbo Shield

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    SunscreenSPF 30 or higher.

    Travel size.

    1

    Rocky Mountain Sunscreen SPF 50

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Synthetic or Down Puffy Jacket

    Fits over all other layers and is worn at breaks and on really cold days. Synthetic puffies are more durable, are easily laundered, and dry out quickly if wet. Down puffies are lighter weight, pack smaller, and provide exceptional warmth, but once wet, they stay wet.

    1

    Men: Rab Electron Jacket
    Women: Rab Electron Jacket

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Synthetic or Merino Wool Socks

    Wool and synthetic blends are great for long days on the trail. "Ski" and "Snowboard" socks are especially useful when warmth is desired.

    2

    Point 6 Hiking Light Crew

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Toe Warmers and Hand Heaters

    Help keep you warm on particularly cold days.

    1

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Optional
    Toiletries

    Bring enough for the trip. Toothpaste & brush, floss, deoderant, lotion, eye drops, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, etc.

    1 Optional
    Trash Bag

    Lining the inside of your pack with a heavy duty trash bag will keep the contents of your pack dry on rainy days.

    1 Optional
    Trekking Poles

    Adjustable and without powder basket.

    1-2

    CAMP Backcountry

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Colorado Mountain School

    Optional
    Water Bottles

    1 liter bottles are the standard. Bladders such as Camelbacks and Platypus are acceptable for above freezing temps, but only in conjunction with another bottle. Bladders are not acceptable during sub freezing temps. Sports drinks are also acceptable.

    2

    Nalgene, Hydro Flask

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Water Purification Tablets

    Iodine or Chlorine-based treatments; To keep packs light in the summer during early morning approaches, your guide may suggest only carrying a liter or two of water, with the plan to refill during the day at a stream.

    6 tabs/day

    Aquamira, Potable Aqua

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Optional
    Waterproof Shell Jacket

    Non-insulated, Gore-Tex, Dermizax, Event, or other waterproofing system is required. Mostly, this jacket sits in the bottom of your pack and comes out when the weather gets nasty with precipitation. This jacket should fit over all other layers.

    1

    Men: RAB Ladakh GTX Jacket
    Women: RAB Women's Kangri GRX Jacket

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing

    Reviews

    1. Eric

      Every step in and on the trails from that week provided new opportunities and exposure to a different world that I am not typically used too. Taking the mountaineering course and gaining new experiences and skills, learning on how to continue in that environment stretched my comfort zone.

      Both of you made it an awesome, rewarding learning experience and meeting, working with you both is an experience I would never take back.

      I am looking forward to meeting you on the trail again someday!

      Thank you so much for the candid advice and words of encouragement.

    Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.

    You may also like…