| Maroon Peak - Skiing the East Face
For over a month we had been planning on climbing the bell cord and doing the traverse on the 21st of June. We changed plans mid week in light of the incredible amount of snow the Elks is holding onto this year and opted for an equally rewarding ski descent of Maroon Peak. Thanks to those who sent pictures and info on this route.
Preferring to climb what we intended to ski, we heading up the bell cord, traversed to the east face, and found a nice line to the summit. The route:
The group consisted of me, Dayna, Brian (lordhelmut on 14ers), and Marc.
The three of us with boards left Crater Lake about 3:30am. The trail was wet. After taking this shot of Brian, I went for a quick dip – luckily I was already in my plastic boots.
Starting up the cord as the sun comes up.
After a few thousand feet of snow climbing, we neared the top of the bell cord. Significantly more snow here than this time last year.
This is where the climb got interesting. Although we could see our route from the parking lot, in planning I hadn't found any accounts of the face being used as an ascent route on Maroon Peak. We eyed a snowy path that headed towards Maroon's face, and started traversing. It was steep.
After a time consuming traverse, we rounded the corner and climbed the face to the summit. I measured the traverse at 57 degrees. I didn't measure the face, but it felt a little steeper.
The summit was calm and the views breathtaking. The rest of the group had been here a couple times, it was my first.
North Maroon Peak
Snowmass Mountain and Capital Peak
The snow was quickly getting soft and I was anxious to ski.
Ultimately Marc decided to go first. Skiing from the summit was sweet.
Skiing from the summit ridge was intimidating. Trying to forget how intense this face looks from Maroon Lake.
Marc riding Maroon's east face:
Following our boot track back towards the bell cord.
We found better snow skiers right of the cord. Marc paying the small entrance fee to get there.
Pausing to enjoy the view.
Brian met up with us in the bell cord and we descended from there together. The heavy rock laden snow with numerous runnels and occasional cracks a few feet wide and up to fifteen feet deep made for some of the worst ski conditions I've experienced.
Marc flirting with aforementioned crevasse like feature:
Apparently they didn't groom anything overnight. We exited skiers left and found more runnels, rocks, and cracks:
Enjoying the final of our almost 4,000 vertical feet of skiing on the first day of summer. Day 75 of the season for me. I think I'm going to cut back for the next few months.
We grudgingly donned the heavy packs, met up with Dayna at camp, and headed back to Maroon Lake. If this is your beaten but obviously loved nalgene strapped to my pack, I hope you had enough water for your climb, I found it full at the bottom of the bell cord. Pick up available in Golden.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):