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 Peak(s):  Maroon Peak  -  14,156 feet
North Maroon Peak  -  14,014 feet
 Post Date:  08/14/2007
 Date Climbed:   08/11/2007
 Posted By:  summitridge

 Ringing the Bells--Finally   

Old Ickabod and I once again ventured to the Maroon Bells after work on Friday August 10th to attempt Maroon Peak. We had been thwarted twice earlier in the season on the same route (Southeast Couloir) within 300 feet of the summit. We came back to attempt the summer standard route for Maroon Peak, the traverse, and North Maroon Peak.

We were joined on this trip by two former colleagues of Old Icakbod. Both were real troopers despite having very little climbing experience on the 14ers.

We started very early from the overnight parking lot and slogged our way up to the south ridge of Maroon. It was quite a slog thanks to our loss of the trail in the first 1500 feet.


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On the Southeast Ridge of Maroon Peak


Once on the ridge, with the sun rising, we were easily able to follow the path on Maroon. The climbing is quite fun and the route finding not too difficult. The cairns accurately marked the trail and combined with a watchful eye we couldn’t go wrong.

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Summitridge climbing up one of the small gulleys on the West Face of Maroon.


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Rob Routh making his way along the west side of the Southeast Ridge.


We stopped at the saddle between Maroon and Point 13,753 to reminisce about our two previous stops at this saddle when it was covered with snow. We then moved on and completed the route to the summit of Maroon. The last section of walking along the summit ridge was exciting.

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Old Ickabod climbs around for fun to relive our two previous attempts.


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Old Ickabod and Rob cresting onto the final section of the summit ridge of Maroon Peak.




After a short break on the summit, the descent into the traverse began. This section was really loose (even for the Elks) and our progress was tediously slow. We stopped briefly to look down the Bell Cord Couloir and then began our ascent up to North Maroon.


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A look at the ascent portion of the traverse to North Maroon. We stayed below the technical climbing directly on the ridge. The route goes around and does a lot of traversing; it does not go up the obvious ridge here.


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A good look at the typical route terrain on the traverse.


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More photos of the traverse terrain.


The route finding on the ascent was a little challenging. Some of the cairns were hard to spot and some were not visible from the one we were standing next to. I have to admit that I did not think we would traverse quite so far north to get under the final approach to North Maroon’s summit. It is a bit frustrating to keep walking and gaining no elevation or sometimes even losing it for so long. Thanks to a fellow climber, we got on the route at the end and ascended to the final pitch. The last bit of real climbing to the summit ridge of North Maroon was fun and the short walk to the summit uneventful—except for the fact that the summit had more people on it than some small towns have residents. Oh well, what else can be expected on the Maroon Bells on a beautiful August Saturday.


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Brandon Hall nears the summit of North Maroon. Summitridge is climbing the last pitch in the background.


The descent of North Maroon was slow. Of all the 14ers I have climbed, this trail might be the worst I have experienced. Nevertheless, our team made it safely to the trailhead happy and satisfied that we had safely “Rung the Bells.”

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Descending the "dihedral" on North Maroon.


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Two pictures of the grassy, rocky slopes of the North Maroon descent. Note the climbers in the last photo (near the bottom on the ridge) for an understanding of the scale.



On a side note, our climb was a bit somber because we arrived the day search and rescue removed the body of the climber who had died on the west face of Maroon.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (2)
CO Native


Nice Job.     2011-02-04 17:22:13
Good photos and good descriptions. Congrats on a successful day.


moon stalker


Congrats!     2010-11-30 10:28:40
Great photos showing the route. Congrats on a great climb. I've gotta git my butt on that route soon!



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