Brewer Buttress, Castle Mountain 2006
Alpine II, 5.6+, 12 p
September 1, 2006

Hiked up to the Castle Mountain bivy hut on thursday night. It took us under 2 hours to reach the hut as opposed to the "3-5 hours" it is supposed to take which is a bit misleading. We had fresh snow everywhere from a storm that moved through in the past few days. It was cloudy and cold but good, clear weather was supposed to move in overnight. A small note on the hut: it is tiny and I've no clue how 6 people would sleep in it. 4 would be tight. We had it to ourselves and it was nice and cozy. The snow was welcome for melting water.

Sure enough we woke up to blue skies and after a bit of confusion found the start of the route, it was past 9am by that point and still quite chilly, but it turned out we climbed in the sun for the majority of the time, thus it was warm. We topped out and there was past knee deep snow at the summit plateau. Both of us wore approach shoes (I climbed the route in my 5.10 guides) and regretted it multiple times. Finding the descent gully was a bit exciting too, but eventually we found it and rapped without too much difficulty, glad to be back at the hut. The correct gully is the second one west from the bivy hut, which is about 20-30 minutes west from the top of the route.

  hiking up to the bivy hut the approach, with some 3rd/4th class climbing  

  nearing the hut, looking back snow!! the hut - it really is as small as it looks!  

  looking east toward our route and Eisenhower Tower (very right) the upper walls of Castle Mountain  

  why am i wearing these shoes!? Dow in the hut, showing how tiny it is Dow melting snow  

  view from the cliff The hut's door Climbing  

  Looking down at the start of the route Great sunny day! The buttress we ascend - looks harder than it is!  

  Dow coming up pitches 3 & 4 that we combined  




  the final pitch, direct alternative  

  Assiniboine in the distance, snowy too The summit plateau  

  Helena Ridge (right) and many other peaks rappelling the ugly descent gully  

  have to rappel in the waterfall.. view of the chockstone with Dow underneath it  

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