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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-03-22||Route: East Face
Info: Climbed and skied the east face of Maroon on sunday. the road getting up to the lake is in rough shape, so if you are taking snowmobile beware. melting out very fast. won‘t be long until they plow the whole thing. good corn skiing for most of the way. little pow up top in the shaded areas. north maroon looking real good too.
Info: Conditions subject to change but the area had a nice weather window all day yesterday woth storms just about everywhere else. Th to buckskin pass: dry, good condition Buckskin pass to 13039: class 4 (might be easier with light, bypass right?), somewhat loose. Dry. 13039 to sleeping sexton: some wet and icy spots. Can be kept at 3rd class with optional spice. The big forehead headwall easier than it looks following ledges. The key ledge to sexton dry. Sexton to n maroon: dry, class 5.easy. either expect a dozen rappels off sketchy anchors and bring a couple hundred ft of cord with nut backups, or get pretty creative choosing your ledges and figuring out how to get to them. We init used left ledges off the summit then right ledges past initial raps. The big drops without great ledges (or requiring large drops) were downclimbed near the saddles at 5.easy with tricky route finding. Gunsight to n maroon can be kept class 3 using right side ledges staying near or on the ridge. N maroon to maroon: some negligible snow near n maroon summit. Some icy stuff near maroon summit that can be mostly avoided. Rest of the 5.0 traverse dry. Not sure about rap stations. Maroon to Belleview: dry except for damp mud near belleview. Class 4 super choss after leaving maroon std route where it drops down the suck. Mostly left ledges with right side ledges at the super choss sketchy section. The belleview saddle is significantly easier than it looks - towera offset from ridge and no game changing notches. Ascent up to belle from saddle can be kept at third with optional spice with steep left side bypasses. Class 1/2 route to w maroon pass dry. Back to th dry besides stream crossings. Yelled at a slightly bold bear to get out of the way near crater. Non aggressive but bold in his food search. Roughly 19 mi, 7-8k. 17 hrs with group of 4 (boggy, kylie, abe) and significant wait time for one at a time through loose climbs
|2014-09-25||Route: Bells Traverse
Info: The Bell Traverse, Maroon‘s South Ridge, and North Maroon‘s NE ridge are all in GREAT shape right now. Climbed them today (9/25/14) No snow on the south ridge of Maroon Peak a hand full of small patches of snow on the traverse (all easily avoided, nothing on the hard portions of the traverse) and one spot of black ice on the initial decent from Maroon Peak (also avoidable) a few spots of snow and one spot of black ice on the NE Ridge of N. Maroon (also avoidable easily) go get it before the snow comes! The aspen are in prime colors right now too!
|2014-09-24||Route: Bells Traverse
Info: Standard route up South Maroon is snow free and in great shape. Descending South Maroon to the Bell Cord saddle there is a little bit of snow and verglass, but 95% clear on route. Traverse to North is completely snow free too. Rockfall removed a few cairns on the N. Maroon descent in the second gulley, if you traverse make sure you know the correct exit gulley. I found the last two crux moves unnerving unroped. Would suggest if you have any hesitation about going unroped to bring a rope and pro just in case. Fall colors are pretty much peak near the lake, this weekend should be awesome for photography.
|Cool Hand Luke||2014-09-25||3||1|
|2014-09-11||Route: South Ridge
Info: I climbed Pyramid yesterday and posted its conditions. A couple of people have asked about the conditions of the Bells. I‘m attaching a picture of the south faces of the Bells from the summit of Pyramid. I‘m also attaching a picture of the north face of Pyramid showing the snow, which could look like the north faces of the Bells. Hope that helps. Another warm, sunny day in Aspen today so conditions could be different this weekend.
|2014-09-01||Route: Bells Traverse
Info: On 9/1, there was still some tricky snow on the north face of Maroon Peak. It was wet snow with hard ice hidden underneath -- light crampons would have been nice. I‘m guessing it will melt out in a day or two. The traverse from the Bell Cord to N. Maroon was 99% clear as was N. Maroon‘s descent route. All in all, pretty good shape.
|2014-08-03||Route: South Ridge
Info: Hiked Maroon Peak and did the traverse today. There was no snow anywhere near the route for either peak. For now at least, full summer conditions for the peaks. Following the actual trail as described by 14ers.com up the 2800 ft proved to be not too smart. The parties that followed some cairns further left (SW) than the trail and crested the ridge at a lower point had a much easier time of it and also reported almost no loose stuff, whereas the trail itself is full of steep scree.
|2014-07-25||Route: South Ridge
Info: The 2,800 feet of suck still sucks, but the views are rewarding (Image #1). Any snow remaining on Maroon can be avoided (Image #2). The "first gully" is snow free, but the "second gully" has a snowfield blocking its entrance (Image #2). A party ahead of us attempted to climb under and around the snowfield to get to the "second gully" (Image #3), but after encountering difficulties chose to return to the "first gully." This would be my recommendation until after the snow fully melts. The "first gully" is a bit steeper, but if you climb along the rock rib on the right side it is fairly solid. Just keep in mind that this is the Elks, so you can‘t ever fully avoid the loose stuff! Many of the large cairns that I recall being at the entrances of ledges when I climbed Maroon last year appear to have been washed away, so finding the right ledges between gullies was a bit trickier. The viable ledges tend to be fairly wide and obvious though. It is pretty easy to keep things at Class 3, especially if you are willing to retreat a bit if you encounter things getting more technical. However, if you are lazy like me, you can usually get back to a Class 3 route by doing an easy Class 4 move occasionally. If not for the 2,800 feet of suck, this would probably be my favorite 14er. Have fun!
|2014-07-20||Route: South Ridge Descending Bell Cord
Info: Ice axe and helmet. At least two liters of water leaving the upper valley at 10,400. Snow was little option as a scenic route on the ascent. Descending the Bell Cord was "cliff after cliff", "I think see the bottom", "Looks pretty sketch but should be okay after this", "snow is gettin soft watch your feet" 19 hour hike.
|2014-07-12||Route: South Ridge
Info: There were a few snow fields low on the route that can easily be avoided. The upper route if clear of snow and many cairns have been placed such that route finding is pretty straight forward.
|2014-07-02||Route: Bells Traverse
Info: Trail leading to Maroon was great, river crossing isn’t the worst I’ve done so far (Lindsey) this year and is easily done without getting wet if you’re coordinated and the rocks aren’t frozen over. Route itself is mostly snow free but there are snowfields before the ridge, all of which avoidable if you’re keen on climbing rock (class 3). Once on the ridge had to make a few small maneuvers to avoid snow including a large drift (4 feet+) blocking the trail, actually had to climb over it but was solid at 10am. There was one other drift at the top of a gully that needed to be maneuvered by sliding down it 3 feet into rocks, not a big deal. Traverse is pretty much in summer form and was the easiest part of the day for me. Descent of N Maroon should not be taken lightly in any season, but right now it’s just miserable. Crossed a few snowfields using my axe and climbed down ice/melt on the crux (video on flickr later, PM me if you want the link). Finding cairns wasn’t easy, but once I found my way to about 13,600’ it was pretty clear and isn’t bad at all if you know where you’re going. Seems like it’s melting out quickly, but if I were doing anything on N Maroon this weekend I would still want at least an axe. https://www.flickr.com/photos/98188324@N08/sets/72157645441582886/
|2014-06-13||Route: Bell Cord Couloir
Info: Great conditions. Snow line crosses the W maroon trail and continues to the col. Be aware that crater lake has consumed a significant portion of the trail on its west side. Also, the streams are running at full tilt. I got an unexpected baptism on my way in.
|2014-06-12||Route: Bell Cord Couloir
Info: The Bell Cord couloir is in good condition IF you get there early enough. The runnel (s) are fairly deep at 5‘ - 7‘ deep. The cornice the top is significant, so keep that in mind on your way up. Late day sun and rain can make the afternoons deadly - don‘t be there then.
|2014-05-28||Route: Bell Cord Couloir
Info: Did the Bell Cord on Wednesday and found lots of snow. I‘ve never before seen a continuous line of snow from the Maroons‘ saddle to the valley floor after Memorial day. Nor have I seen so much snow on the trail below Crater lake. Unfortunately, the snow is dirty (Photo 1). It‘s also poorly consolidated. Much of the snow warmed in the sun to become gloppy mush, especially above 13,000 feet. There‘s avalanche debris everywhere (Photos 2, 3, and 4). So I wasn‘t surprised when on my descent of the snow field below the Bell Cord, an avalanche swept down the middle third of the field (I was off on the north edge). Finally, the summit has a cornice overhanging the east face. So stay to the west, a bit down from the apparent highest point, where you know that there are rocks supporting your weight.
|2014-03-05||Route: Bell Cord Couloir
Info: Maroon Bells and Pyramid from the summit of Highland Peak. The Bell Cord looked like it has not had a slide since the last storm cycle. Based on the conditions of the Highlands Bowl (12,162 ft) this would put around 16" of new snow that did not seem to bond well to the existing pack. The storm deposited large wind slabs on east-facing aspects. Skiing in bounds at Highlands we set off a small sluff slide even after extensive avalanche bombing. Highlands Ski Patrol spent several hours bombing the bowl area that specific day. Note the natural slide in the foreground.
|Cool Hand Luke||2014-03-06||1||4||2|
|2013-12-30||Route: Bell Cord Couloir
Info: Winter TH at T lazy ranch all the way (~7 miles) to maroon lake is groomed road. Made for very smooth sailing. First 2/3 of Cord was pretty good snow. We (MadMike & SummitLounger) traversed closer to the cliff faces as we made our way around the garbage chute to avoid large open faces (after digging a pit that revealed some sketch). Top 1/3 of Cord is waist deep sugar. Felt good underneath us but very grueling work.
|2013-08-04||Route: South Ridge
Info: Route Update: While other trail work may be ongoing, it appears CFI has completed a new access point for the east slope on the standard South Ridge Route on Maroon Peak. 3.25 miles from the trailhead, which is .25 miles BEFORE reaching the bent tree, turn right at the location shown in the photos. There is a large cairn next to a bush, and just past the cairn, you will see some large rocks anchoring a gradual trail across the small rock glacier. This trail bypasses the first steep section described in the standard route description; at both the old access, as well as when the new trail and old trail merge above, the old trail is marked as closed for revegetation. Big thanks to CFI and all of the folks who have worked on this.
|2013-07-04||Route: South Ridge
Info: Climb to the ridge is brutal ... crisscrossing steep trails. Do it early when the ground is moist. On the down-climb expect small rocks in baby powder. Ugh. Hardly any snow along the route, except for one fairly large snow field about 300 feet from the summit just beyond the LARGE GULLY. This appears to be dead center in the middle of the trail, but one Class 4 move to climbers right of the snow field gets you over the snow, then there is a clear route across the top of the snow field, no sweat. Vort.
|2013-06-30||Route: South Ridge
Info: Summer conditions. No need for traction or ice axe. Besides an easily passable and rocky ~10‘ snow crossing near the bottom of the SE slope the entire route is dry and good to go. You can easily bypass the snow if beyond your comfort level but considering the choss you‘re about to encounter it shouldn‘t be a problem.
|2013-06-01||Route: Bell Cord Couloir
Info: Climbed Bell Cord to summit and descended south and onto/into the SE Face/couloir. Departed TH at 2am and summitted at 10am via the heavily runnelled Cord. Unfortunately left me skies here, since the route was so beat up. Variable snow throughout with pockets, ice, good cramponing - a bit of everything. From saddle to summit, minimal snow & ice on the ledges, up to a heavily corniced ridge that extended all the way down the southern route. 11am on the snow was very wet and lots of rock, ice, and roller balls were flying around. Careful to not repeat my timeline and get down well after Noon.