Peak(s):  Pyramid Peak  -  14,018 feet
Post Date:  08/11/2009
Date Climbed:   08/11/2009
Posted By:  doggler

 There is a difference between fear and respect  

Date climbed: Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Climbers: Sean(doggler), Scott(sdizzle)

I've been busy this summer. Climbing 14ers seemed like a great way to supplement my Pikes Peak Ascent training, and I originally planned on doing a good 5-10 of them while on summer break. Turns out my primary goal (rockin' the Ascent like no other) kind of took a backseat to climbing peaks...oops!

Fellow teacher, runner, Ascent participant, and 14er member sdizzle and I decided we wanted to squeeze in one more peak - one day before work resumed and five days before the Ascent. I know Scott well; he's fit, doesn't stink too terribly, and has been up most of the same peaks I've sat atop of.

We set out of COS at 2:00 PM on Monday with hopes of making the "day hiking" parking lot by nightfall. Little did we know, the worlds most delicious tacos awaited us in Glenwood Springs.

This place on the north side of the West Glenwood exit. Although the senorita behind the counter and I had the language barrier thing working against us, I was given exactly what I ordered...

...four amazing, sent-from-the-heavens tacos and a huge glass of horchata.

Scott found it necessary to purchase skull tattoos for our ascent of "the beast".

WHOA THERE FELLA! It's a welcome gate!

Being the lazy folk we are, car camping at the trailhead was our plan. Thinking that pitching a tent in the "day hike" lot might not be the least conspicuous move, we simply reclined in the car and caught a few hours of shut-eye.

Alarm at 5:00, we were uncharacteristically lethargic and didn't hit the trail until 6:00. I had to spend a few minutes coaxing Scott into continuing once he saw this sign, though...

In all seriousness, I had consciously gone out of my way to convince myself this peak was scary, big, bad, and treacherous. Through my first 40 peaks, I had yet to truly feel I was anywhere near out of my league, but I didn't want get caught off guard on this one.

An easy half-hour of hiking brought us to Crater Lake....hey, wait a sec! Yes, we blew right by the Pyramid trail turnoff. On one hand, I think it would be a nice touch to add signage here. Conversely, keeping it on the down low probably keeps yahoos who can't orienteer (like us, I guess) from killing themselves on the upper slopes.


Wow, my hats are off to you trailbuilders out there. The initial climb to Pyramid's ampitheatre could have been miserable save the amazing trail!

Limited hiding spots for one looking to play hide n seek here.

I'm glad there was a snowfield through most of the ampitheatre; it was preferable to the talus infestation surrounding it.

The steep climb to get out of the ampitheatre was vaguely reminiscent of the Lavender Col of Sneffels. Maybe a little more pleasant knowing we would soon be rewarded!

Buckets on!

There's some exposure once you reach Pyramid's SE face, but it isn't all that bad.

We passed the "ledge", with the famous jump-move, and it wasn't till after we had passed that we realized...that was it? Again, it was quite mellow IMO. The climbing had definitely reached a point where concentration was a must, but it was nothing but enjoyable.

Ascending the "green gully". Again - not as bad as I had allowed myself to imagine.

Getting a chance to actually scramble and climb a bit was welcomed!

We summitted somewhere around 9:45 with two other people - practically the only other guys on the mountain this day. No wind, warm temps, joyous scrambling, great company, incredible could everyone in the world not want to climb mountains???

On the summit.

This guy was here to take the register down.

We spent nearly an hour on the summit. It was here where I wrestled with my thoughts before coming to a realization. I don't need to fear the tough mountains. That's not arrogance, brashness, fear and to respect are two different things. I respect the fact that I could twist an ankle, slip, fall, get stuck in treacherous weather, stumble upon a mountain lion or rabid marmot...a LOT of bad things CAN happen up high. I must always respect this fact - whether it be Pyramid or Pikes. I'm sure if I'm looking for fear, I'll find it somewhere though.

"The ledge" on the descent.

Extra credit.

More extra credit.

The snow had softened slightly by noon and we were able to semipseudokindasorta glissade down much of the snowfield.

If not for the sweet trail, THIS is what we'd have to hike through!

Maroon Lake, a little after 1PM.

Pyramid was a great introduction to the Elks. The "bug" has hit me strongly as the summer has progressed...if I had a remaining free week or two, I would knock out as many peaks as possible! Alas, my remaining climbing opportunities this season can be counted on one hand. I'm so excited for LB, Capitol, the Wilsons, etc...just wish I had more time.

Thanks to Scott for a wonderful climb!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

extra credit is great
08/12/2009 05:54
sweet TR bro. looks like your knocking them down!

James Scott

Great pics
08/12/2009 14:51
I had a similar experience on Pyramid- I‘d been hearing forever how hairy it was, and I approached with a lot of apprehension. I kept waiting for it to turn nasty, and I was on the summmit before it ever did. Great scrambling, enough to get your attention, and the views of the Bells! Thanks for taking me back.


Fun extra credit eh?
08/12/2009 16:00
Hope I can have similar weather when I go back to do Pyramid and N Maroon soon!


08/12/2009 17:01
Ha, kinda funny how our perceptions can change. I fully expected Pyramid to be easier than I found it, while it seems that a lot of people are disappointed. I guess it really speaks to personal limits and tolerances, and experiences. You didn‘t have 6 people above you kicking rocks down all day!
Nice job, Sean. I had a feeling you‘d enjoy it.

Maui Built

Going to Egypt this weekend
08/12/2009 20:07
Sean, awesome TR, way to not bore the readers. Nate (n_rosaneer) and I will be completing this climb this weekend, Nate‘s 2nd 14er and my 3rd 14er. Holla!


Nice TR
08/12/2009 21:35
Hey dude. Nice report. Looks like you guys had a great climb. It was also nice meeting you at the colorado springs drink n greet.


Nice CLimb
08/12/2009 22:58
I can‘t wait to hit this one up next year!

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