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 Peak(s):  North Maroon Peak  -  14,014 feet
 Post Date:  08/01/2006
 Date Climbed:   07/30/2006
 Posted By:  areedhay

 North Maroon- NE Ridge   

We started out at Maroon lake the day before we summitted and camped at Crater Lake Image.

After a night filled with some close lightning strikes, we decided to start climbing at about 4:30 a.m. The steep trail was not too hard to find in the trees, and the crossing of Minnehaha Creek was uneventful. We finally came to the rock glacier just as the sun started to come up. With helmets on we rounded the corner into the first large gully on the trail Image

The climbing was steep but the trail was easy to find. We wound our way west up the gully until we finally traversed south and west to another corner (just below a large cliff band) Image

From what I could tell, Roach says to ascend this cliff band by using a "cleft" in the rock. Seeing this and actually decending this route, I could see that this is totally incorrect. The trail you want traverses out of the first large gully into a small and more steep one to the south (left). The trail is easy to find. Once in the next gully, steeply climb up to gain the ridge and casual cairns on its east side Image

Once on the ridge and through some more scrambling, a large headwall (and the summit) come into view. Being our first time on the mountain, we opted to follow some cairns to the right side of the mountain. We trudged our way to gain the ridge again. Finally we made a quick jolt to the summit...which was a good one with S. Maroon right next to us. Image

It was about just before 8am. After taking in the view and the perfect weather, we decended a different way...which I believe is standard. We came down a chimney that I had read about before. this would have been a lot more quick to ascend, and it was easy to descend seeing that it was the most solid rock on the mountain. We came down a bit more and met a party of four ascending the ridge. we took our time guessing that there might be more people below us. We did not meet another group until the first large gully. They were coming up with a couple of dogs, which I would have been impressed if they made it. The couple looked a little under prepared...but then again, I have been a little under prepared on some mountains. I just hope they were smart and didn‘t press anything. Anyway, we finally hiked down and out to our camp. An uneventful and "just like we planned it" hike. A great climb with some exciting moves. I thought it was a bit harder than Pyramid, but just as hard as Capitol.



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