Monday, September 28, 2015

Castle Crag and Sheafman points

Leah on the upper ramparts of Castle Crag.
Leah and I were finally able to link up Sheafman points and Castle Crag, a loop that I have been meaning to do for a very long time. On the heels of an excellent out and back run to Sky Pilot the previous day, we set out a leisurely pace, working our way up the drainage and enjoying early signs of fall. We left the trail just before the second creek crossing and climbed into and up the main gully seperating East and West Sheafman points.  A quick jaunt put us on top of East Sheafman, and another quick traverse put us on West Sheafman.  There is quite a bit of boulder hopping and mild bushwacking on the way to the West Sheafman/Castle pass, and we passed the time by discussing Leah's new work with the Global Landscapes Initiative.
Aspen are rare in the Bitterroot, so it was especially exciting
to catch a few trees displaying their full fall colors.
Our ascent route to the Sheafman points.
Someone needs to go ski this thing and invite me along. 
Leah boulder hopping between the Sheafman points.
Back in familiar terrain, we made the easy choice to continue to the summit of Castle crag via the normal southeast ridge route.  It was a big push, but we did it, and were soon oggling at what is one of my favorite views in the range.  The descent to Knaack lakes and subsequent jog out were quick and enjoyable.  Aside from being a bit scrappy between West Sheafman an Castle crag, this little link up was everything I had hoped for, and it was wonderful to spend a perfect fall weekend out in the mountains with Leah.  At a casual pace, we did the circuit in under 10 hours hours car to car.
Looking to Castle Crag from West Sheafman.
Leah powerhiking up granite slabs below Castle Crag. 
Psyched for another Castle crag summit

The route.  The first few miles of the Sheafman trail are not shown.

1 comment:

  1. Nice! that loop has been on my list for a long time as well