Castle Dome Peak

1976

By: Henry Hensinkveld

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One hesitates to write a climbing guide, for fear of not being 100% correct, so reader is advised to use discretion in following these notes. There seem to be two favored routes to climb Castle Dome, one from the northwest end the other from the southwest. Here described is the Southwest Route to C.D. Drive 50 miles south of Quartzite (or 30 miles north of Yuma) on U.S. Hwy 95. On the east side of the highway pick up a blacktop road prominently marked "Castle Dome Road". Follow this for about 8 miles north-easterly to a fork. Take the left fork, as the right one only goes to some mining clutter. Continue on for a couple miles to black mounds on both sides of the road. At this point the road forks. Take the right fork which enters a broad valley, but the valley constricts as one continues. Also, the road gets progressively worse. Continue until the road gets too bad, then park.

The hike begins eastward up canyon, but then the canyon bends to the north. There are bits and pieces of an old trail on the right side of the canyon, but mostly are too eroded away to bother with. Avoid left-hand side canyons, but stick to the main canyon, right. The canyon ends in a box canyon. Scramble up 5O ft to the box canyon saddle. At this point the trail is prominent, and continues over about four minor ridges. At the last of these ridges one overlooks a broad gentle valley draining to the S-E. Drop into this valley (bc rt), and hike up canyon, northwesterly. The peak is seen very prominently, resting on a massive cliffy sub-structure.

As the valley peters out against the cliffs, turn abruptly to the right, climbing up a 45 cruddy slope. When half-way up this slope, note a ship's prow across on the cliff side. Traverse over to this, and climb the chute between the ship's prow and the wall. This gains you the east-west ridge that leads directly to the base of C.D. Hike close to the vertical face of C.D. going clear around to the north side, also going around a 50 ft high "thumb" Climb up the chute behind the thumb, getting up to a lip. The route from here is very well ducked, and is only 2nd class.

Barbara Lilley, Bill Odell and I made this climb on Nov 27, 1976 after departing the Roy Ward-led trip of Kino and Cerro Pinacate.


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