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 Peak(s):  North Maroon Peak  -  14,014 feet
 Post Date:  09/11/2011 Modified: 09/13/2011
 Date Climbed:   09/02/2011
 Posted By:  tundraking
 Additional Members:   unclegar, sstratta, mtgirl, johnson, denvermikey

 North Maroon - NE Ridge -Fun Finisher   

It's been a long but very satisfying and enriching journey to get to the point where I was about to climb my last 14er. I saved this beautiful peak for my last climb for a variety of reasons, and it was a great peak to finish with.
I was fortunate to have a fantastic group of climbing companions, a couple of whom I had l climbed with before, and some who I had not yet met. It was an incredible day on an exhilarating and beautiful peak!
Group members were DenverMikey (Mike), Unclegar (Gary), Johnson (Barry), MtGirl(Vicki), Kerry, sstrattan (Sarah), and myself.

On Thursday we arrived at various times during the evening. Vicki and Kerry managed to snag the last available campsite at Silver Bells CG which several of us crowded into while the remaining climbers stayed in the overnight lot. We met up at 4 am in the Day Use parking lot and were underway by 4:15 am as planned. We arrived at Crater Lake at 4:50, then proceeded up to the N. Maroon trail junction at 10,750 ft. on the BuckSkin trail, arriving there around 5:15.
We took a quick break, then crossed the creek, proceeding up the N Maroon trail with Gary in the lead. The nature of this hike soon becomes apparent. It is relentlessly steep. The first part of this trail winds through willows and trees while steadily climbing upward.

We soon got a glimpse of Maroon Lake in the distance shimmering in the pre-dawn light.
Image
Maroon Lake early morning


A short while after we got our first look at the sunrise close to Pyramid Peak.
Image
Sunrise


Our group crossing the boulder field:
Image
Boulder Field


I thought the alpenglow to the west was pretty
Image
Alpenglow


Up the first gully:
Image
1st Gully


Do we take the time to look back often enough?
Image
Looking back at the lakes below


This goat followed us up the first gully, then waited for us at the entrance to the 2nd gully, as if he were guardian of the gullies or was showing us the way.
Image
Goat Guardian


A dramatic view of Maroon Peak opens up
Image
Maroon Peak (South)


Working through the upper gully
Image
high up in 2nd gully


Here is Mike at the top of the upper gully. Lots of loose slabs here.
Image
Mike at top of second gully.


Sarah and Barry also at top of upper gully. More loose rock.
Image
Sarah and Barry


A tricky section
Image
Tricky section


We ended up missing the chimney. We went up the class 3 section to the climber's right when ascending because most of the rock was wet, seemingly from the rain during the night. Gary found the Class 4 chimney on the way back down and it was dry.

On top of precipice – Now close to summit – Fun climbing!
Image
on top of preciplice


There's the summit! A short but loose climb remains to get there.
Image
short climb to summit


On summit at 9:45
Front row from left – Vicki, Kerry, Sarah
In back, from left- Chris (me, kneeling), Gary, Mike, Barry
We stayed on the summit for 45 minutes, eating, lounging, taking summit pics, talking and generally enjoying the view.
Image
on summit at 9:45


A summit shot with most of us (Chris, Sarah, Mike, Gary, Barry)
Image
summit shot with most of us


The others (Kerry and Vicki), plus a fantastic backdrop!
Image
Kerry and Vicki with great background


A great view of Maroon Peak
Image
Maroon Peak


Here we had just finished descending the minor summit difficulties.
Image
Finished descending summit difficulties


Here's Gary looking back at the summit. I think he wants to go back up!
Image
Gary look back up at summit


Barry's feeling strong now
Image

The precipice is such a dramatic feature
Image
great shot of precipice


Here is Vicki negotiating a short downclimb section with Kerry and Sarah right behind.
Image
downclimb


A good look back at the upper gully after descending it
Image
a good look at the upper gully


Our goat friends watching our crossing to the lower gully
Image
Goats watching our descent


Descending a short slab
Image
descending slab


A shot back at what we had climbed
Image
Look back at N Maroon Peak


Group back at Maroon Lake at 3:00
Froms left: Chris, Gary, Sarah, Mike, Barry, Kerry, Vicki
Image
Group back at Maroon Lake


I think its finally time to retire the 14er pants.
Image
time to retire the 14er pants




I have learned a lot over the years through all of these hikes and climbs and have gotten to see incredibly beautiful places and meet fantastic people.

Great climb, guys! Thanks for making this a great and unforgettable experience!

Note--Credits to photos go to Vicki, Gary, and Barry. I used some of my own photos, but they had a lot of really choice shots.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
Headwall5


Great report!     2011-09-11 23:03:58
Congratulations on completing the 14ers! Can't imagine a more beautiful mountain to finish on. Great pictures. And once again congratulations.


Presto


Retire the 14ers pants?!?!??!?!?     2011-09-12 10:21:26
No! Say it isn't so! Nice trip report ... really enjoy seeing mtgirl in some photos. 8) You know, upon reflection, this has got to be my second favorite 14er .. reading this report makes me want to climb it again. Nice photos. Congrats on a worthy finisher! Thanks for posting. Happy trails!


BobbyFinn


Congrats!     2011-09-12 15:03:55
Congrats on your finisher! I have a few pairs of pants that look like that - or worse. I was beginning to think I was climbing incorrectly...


Artvandalay


Gratz!     2011-09-12 16:43:29
Must be an awesome feeling to be ”done.” Now you can start all over again!


mtgirl


A great day !     2011-09-12 17:27:42
Thanks for letting me be a part of your big day, Chris. Such a great group of people to climb with. Confident climbers with ZERO ego.....just the way I like it ! Great conversation and many, many laughs. I really like how you used a few pictures from everyone in your trip report. Hope our paths cross again.


Johnson


Thanks!     2011-09-12 18:13:26
For letting my join your group Chris. Congratulations again. Too bad the BBQ joint wasn't open... but the Mexican was good. Thanks too for posting the dorky picture of me! See you out there! I just wish that when we meet again you'll wear those pants again!


unclegar


Congrats Again!     2011-09-12 20:30:53
Had a great time with you on your finisher. Good job capturing the climb.


DanielL


Way to go!     2011-09-12 21:09:53
Congrats on finishing, you took some incredible shots! I can't wait to climb this one.


tundraking


Photos     2011-09-13 07:32:53
Thanks all! Gotta comment on the photos as it was a combined effort. I took a few and used some of them in the report, but Vicki, Gary, and Barry took a lot of great photos which I had to include because they were so good.


Kitten


Congrats!     2011-09-14 21:39:09
Nice job on finishing all the 14ers and good report!
I tell you, that goat is the guardian... check this out from last year:
http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=9164&parmuser=Kitten&cpgm=tripuser

Pic 7, I think it is the same goat!



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