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 Peak:  Maroon Peak (14er)
 Route:  Bell Cord Couloir
 Range:  Elk
 Posted By:  Cool Hand Luke
 Date of Information:  06/26/2011
 Date Posted:  06/27/2011
 Report

The Bell Cord was in good condition for a climb as of 6/26, wouldn't recommend it for a ski descent though. Snowshoes are not needed to get to the base; there are some areas where the trail is covered by Crater Lake, but the route using camp site trails is straight forward.

From the base the couloir to the left has continuous snow, the narrow middle couloir ends with a waterfall. We followed the large runnel up after about 11,800 ft; use caution as all debris funnels into this runnel. At about 12,600 ft we exited the runnel to the left and proceeded to the top of the Cord.

After the topping out on the Cord the route is almost completely snow free minus a few small sections. An early start is necessary; we left our camp at Crater Lake at 4:00 AM and started descending the Bell Cord around 10:00. A group that climbed it on Friday recommended using two axes; we were comfortable only using one tool but it all comes down to preference. Have fun!



  • Comments or Questions (7)
rickinco123


runnel     2011-06-27 19:46:23
As you stated, that runnel is a channel for falling ice and large rocks, we saw plenty fall off the north wall of the couloir. I would recommend folks stay out of the runnel.

We found 2 axes gave us more variability for such a long ascent. We used them dagger style and plunged the shafts, even doing some traversing we were able to avoid switching hands. While not necessary, 2 axes will make it more enjoyable.

How did you descend?


Cool Hand Luke


re: runnel     2011-06-27 20:28:50
We descended by the Bell Cord, almost the same way we ascended.

I agree two axes would be more versatile for such a long ascent.

How did you descend?


rickinco123


descent     2011-06-27 21:02:49
We went up to Maroon, then crossed the traverse and went down the North East Ridge from N. Maroon...... it was friggin crazy.


Cool Hand Luke


descent     2011-06-27 21:09:19
Congrats on the traverse, heard from a group in parking lot that the N. Maroon descent was crazy. Looking forward to trying it in August.


rickinco123


descent     2011-06-28 09:44:33
We got back on the night of the 24th, I had an orange jacket on, you may have been talking to me.


Cool Hand Luke


descent     2011-06-28 19:07:07
Yeah, you guys just got back as we were heading up to camp for Pyramid; I was the taller guy in our group. Thanks for the quick tips and beta!


rickinco123


descent     2011-06-28 21:34:14
Very cool! Looks like you guys got a lot done! Pyramid looks like a serious undertaking. I bet you were a lot faster up the Bell Cord Couloir than we were, I'm a little out of shape. It took us 5 hours from bivy near Crater Lake to the top of the Couloir. Good to meet you!



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