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 Peak(s):  Pyramid Peak  -  14,018 feet
 Post Date:  04/22/2009
 Date Climbed:   04/22/2008
 Posted By:  Easy Rider

 East Face, Landry Route   

4/22/2008


Pyramid Peak is characterized by bad snow due to the black banded rock, and possibly by the presence of springs; I found several during a fall climb from the north cirque. This was in the 'we'll see when we get there' pile of routes, and stayed there even after Davenport's repeat of the Landry Line in '06. I missed that opportunity. However, in the spring of O8' it was handed to me on a silver platter. I have Sunday Mondays off, and several reports were being posted over the weekend, with the high pressure expected to hold, I heard the call.

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This was my first tour into the East Maroon drainage, for good reason: It is the compression zone for thousands of slide paths. The cooling evening was great skinning through the aspens. There were a couple tracks to follow, but not a highway. The east face was cast in shadow by the moon, but visible by the diffuse reflection off the other side of the valley. The moon would be gone when the time came to climb.

I bivied in a marginally protected patch of old growth, sleep was almost pointless. At three I skinned. It was much darker, but not pitch. Out in the open with the fading stars, I followed the turns, skinning up to a small bench to a set of bivy holes, and got out the claws. There was a bit of a crust, but I found a frozen channel soon enough. the sunhit came immediately with the sunrise. When the crux was visible to the right, I was glad to have already experienced a nasty slot in the 166 cm catagory early this year on the Crestone Needle. The slope ramped up at the top. A snow picket was nice.

There were also several red little birds fluttering around the rocks sending small projectiles. I could hear a group on the ridge above, and tried to speed up a little to get out of there. Thankfully, they stayed put for me as I leveled up and then continued to work through the ledges on the ridge crest.

The Maroon Bells 2008
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The ridge off the summit was exposed on both sides, and working around the cliffbands was taxing.

Photo by Joe aka "doumall", 14ers.com, 2008.

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I met these guys on the way back down, and did my best to stay out of their hair up on the right side. His report is posted here:



Also, be sure to check out the vintage article on Chris Landry's first descent here (funny, for a sports mag, every other page is a cigarette ad):



Landry now resides in Silverton as a snow specialist.
here is a recent article from the Gunnison Country Times featuring his research.









Photo by aka "ivana huckalot", Teton Gravity Research, 2008.
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Photo by aka "ivana huckalot", Teton Gravity Research, 2008.
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Photo by aka "ivana huckalot", Teton Gravity Research, 2008.
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Photo by aka "ivana huckalot", Teton Gravity Research, 2008.
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Back at the crux


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Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
RoanMtnMan


I remember that TGR post...     2009-04-22 20:00:28
I remember reading that TR on TGR and thinking that if I was climbing that line and saw some solo snowboarder descending, I would be sure it was a hallucination caused by hypoxia. My next thought was that there is a rogue snowboarder in CO trying to be the first to ride all the 14ers. Guess I was correct.


doumall


Sweet!     2009-04-23 09:16:54
I was thinking that must have been you. Do you know, was this the first snowboard descent?


Easy Rider


snowboard descent.     2009-04-23 23:21:54
I thought the group that hit it a few days before had a rider in the group. Not sure though. It could be the first solo snowboard descent, but that shouldn‘t matter. Thank you for the perspective on photo 10! I really like that shot.



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