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Peak(s):  Maroon Peak  -  14,156 feet
Post Date:  09/12/2006
Modified:  08/05/2009
Date Climbed:   08/27/2006
Posted By:  benners


 South Maroon South Ridge   

Date Climbed: August 27, 2006
Group: Scott, Terry, Rick and Myself
Goal: Summit South Maroon Peak via the South Ridge


I came into Aspen from Lake City the night of the 26th and decided to climb South Maroon as a consolation for being rained off of Uncompahgre the day before. The plan was for my Dad (whom I met in Aspen) to hike up to Maroon Lake with me and then I would continue from the lake while he turned back to play golf. We arrived at the TH around 6:30am and began the hike. The area was completely clouded in the entire morning until we reached the lake around 7:30am and then the Bells showed themselves.

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The Bells coming out of the clouds
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It was one of the coolest sights either of us had seen. My Dad and I split off and I headed up the trail to the south ridge, accidentally passing it and hiking up two extra miles to Maroon pass. I communicated this over a radio to two other guys I was supposed to meet at the base of the ridge and they were able to find it before I could hike back to the correct turnoff. Long story short I ended up meeting them at about 10,000ft. as well as a guy named Scott who would be with us for the rest of the climb. The south slope is very steep Class II with some Class III, it is a grueling hike. The four of us hiked up the 2,500ft. south slope and reached the ridge around 11:00am.

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Nearing the top of the south slope around 12,500ft.


We gained the ridge and took a look at the snow covered route.

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South Maroon is still a long ways away, this is where the fun starts

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A look at the frostline on Pyramid


We decided to continue although the snow did make me a little nervous. The weather seemed to be fine also.

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Negotiating snow covered ledges


We came to a chimney about twelve feet tall which was the most difficult part of the climb.

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Scott below the apparent crux of the climb


The route from the top of the ridge to the summit of South Maroon requires cutting across ledges and then climbing up chimneys and couloirs and then cutting across ledges again. The route is relatively well carined and there is not much exposure. The time saddle to summit time for us was about two hours.

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North Maroon momentarily poking out of the clouds


The downclimb from the summit was pretty precarious, we arrived back at the ridge around 4:30pm.

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Maroon Lake from around 13,200ft.


Scott and I arrived at the TH around 6:30pm, making the trip around 12 hours.

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A last look at the Bells



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


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