Peak(s):  North Maroon Peak  -  14,014 feet
Maroon Peak  -  14,156 feet
Pyramid Peak  -  14,018 feet
Post Date:  07/03/2012
Date Climbed:   07/01/2012
Posted By:  Headwall5

 Solo In the Elks  

Pyramid Peak

After leaving Silverthorne at 4:00AM I arrived at the Crater Lake trail at around 6:30AM. My plan: to climb Pyramid and the Bells and live out of my car for 2 days.
I went up Crater Lake trail and turned of on the Pyramid trail and hiked up the trail towards the amphitheater.
I got up into the amphitheater and due to a little confusion, headed towards the right side of Pyramid rather than the left.
I'm glad I read Gerry Roach's 14er book over so many times because it helped with route finding up the right side.
I got up to Pyramid's summit at 9:52AM, and got to share the summit with somebody who had just climbed Colorado's 14ers with the addition of Pyramid.
I went back down Pyramid's standard route, which I thought was more difficult than the route I took.
I got to the infamous cliff traverse, which has a consequence of about a 10 foot fall. Theres way more exposed parts of the route.
I got back to my car at 12:20ish and headed over to "The Grotto" on Independence Pass to chill for a couple hours.
I slept in my car and set my alarm for 4:00AM.

The Bells

My phone died while I was asleep so I woke up later than expected. I ended up getting to the trailhead at 6:47AM. I thought that the east slopes of South Maroon were very physically exhausting.
After getting up the east slopes of South Maroon I got to the upper difficulties.
I thought that South Maroon had the more rotten rock than anything else I did over these two days.
I summited South Maroon at 11:29AM. I chilled on the summit for a little and talked to some other people on top.
After checking that I had plenty of food and water I headed off to the traverse which was my first of the four great 14er traverses. I down climbed from South Maroon and got to the first of the 3 major difficulties.
I climbed up the 1st difficulty and walked on the walkway for a bit.
I got to the second difficulty which was defiantly the most exposed part of this route.
The third difficulty quickly followed the second.
The traverse was my favorite part of climbing the 14ers so far.
I summited North Maroon at 1:16AM and had to take a self timed picture because I had the summit to myself.
I started down North Maroon, which was very well cairned.
I started down the 2nd gully and encountered some very aggressive mountain goats that even tried to kick some rocks down on me!
I continued down the second gully after escaping the mountain goats wrath.
I went over to the 1st gully.
I got out of the 1st gully and got into some route finding issues in the talus field.
I had a huge bushwhack through a forest due to missing the trail and ended the day by falling in a creek. Still an amazing trip though!
Forest that I had to bushwhack through.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

Mtn Goat attack
07/04/2012 00:38
Are you serious? Do you really think those goats were trying to knock stuff down on you? I'm starting to wonder about these animals.

Nice work BTW!


you're on a tear!
07/04/2012 01:01
Man, you're really banging them out lately. We met on Little Bear (I'm the guy who turned back--my buddy made the summit). Congrats on the traverse (and traversing Pyramid, actually). You're right--that hike to the ridge on Maroon is a SLOG. Anyway, well done.


07/04/2012 01:53
rickinco123: Yeah those goats were crazy, I took a harder route down the second gully to avoid them and they still kicked rocks down on me.
screeman57: Yeah I remember you two, we talked at camp, at Lake Como for awhile too. I'm having too much fun with these 14ers to take a break!


Nice, man
07/04/2012 16:51
Time for some San Juan road trips, no? Have fun.


San Juans
07/04/2012 18:22
yeah I'm planning on going down there soon and getting a bunch.


Fantastic report
07/05/2012 03:25
this is a great report. Love the summit pictures, your gear you have on looks like you jumped into a pick-up game at the park. All of your photos are terrific.
I have been doing contract work in Aspen at the local telephone central office, after work I camp up the road at a campground just as you get off the pass. (a reasonable way to work in Aspen and afford to stay nearby) You have inspired me to bag an elk, or goat.
My trip report will most defiantly be titled ”fear and loathing in Aspen.”
Gart Williams.


My Gear
07/05/2012 04:00
I always get a lot of great comments about my clothing, whether I'm in my PJ's or wearing long socks, it always seems to draw attention. Thanks, and good luck on your Elk trip, I like the title for your TR!


Planning the same trip...
06/18/2013 17:52
Nicely done man. I will be living out of my truck for the long 4th of july weekend in a few weeks here and have it in mind to complete the same feat, weather willing. Solo south-to-north traverse. Any further beta you could give me would rule.

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