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 Peak(s):  North Maroon Peak  -  14,014 feet
 Post Date:  08/25/2009
 Date Climbed:   08/23/2009
 Posted By:  bergsteigen

 Get up, come on get down with the steepness   

North Maroon Peak
Climbing demons awoken: Darrin (kansas), Chris (cbauer10), Paul (TaoTeSummit), Marty (akmpolsen)
Route: Standard
Overall Mileage: ~9.5
Elevation Gain: ~3,900

Day 1: Pack in to Crater Lake
Day 2: Pyramid Peak
Day 3: North Maroon Peak

Day 3: Demon pricker plants must die!
Start: ~4am
Summit: 9:43am

No one wanted to wake up this morning. The body was a bit sore (at least mine was). Darrin seemed to have gathered strength over night and turned into a climbing machine, again. (Who would expect, coming from Kansas?) Well, at least until I started off at my fast pace for the first quarter mile ;) Chris and Paul had started off a bit earlier than us to make up some time. Marty met us along the trail, having bush-whacked up from his higher campsite. Our group coalesced at the unsigned trail junction in the route description. We quickly crossed the stream and got up to the rock glacier as the sun was rising.

Sun rising:
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The traverse over to the first gully was enjoyable with the sun.
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Getting a first peak at what was to come:
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Then the fun began, as we got our first look at what was to come. From far away, it looks almost too steep to climb. Up close, it's doable, the trail winding its way up the gullies. The first gulley is looser than the second, but still better than what we saw up to the saddle on Pyramid. All the green plants help hold the loose soil, a bit. With it being so steep, it would be a pretty bad trail without. It was somewhere around here, the Disturbed song gets in my head, and remains for the majority of the climb up and down. It somehow feels rather appropriate.

First Gully:
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Going up....
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Photo Credit: Marty

Traversing over to the second gully:
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Viewing the 2nd gully:
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Side view of Maroon Peak:
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Photo Credit: Chris

Most of the trail is good and well marked. Other areas, lots of loose rock and few options. In one of these areas, a small rock was dislodged. Ok, I yell 'Chris, rock!' (Since he was right below me) Then it hit a bigger rock below Chris, which then hit a much larger rock and careened down the very very steep slope. Crap, how did that happen so fast, from something so small! Glad there was only one group below us to duck from the missile launched from above.

Chris coming up a small Class 3 area:
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High up in the second gully, the fun climbing begins. Some chose to do the harder chimney climbs, while others go for the easier way. This would be the warm-up to the crux chimney up on the ridge.

Extra credit chimney:
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We all make rather short work of the climbing crux, having a guy from another group to point out the holds.

Up climbing the crux:
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Photo Credit: Paul
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Photo Credit: Paul
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Photo Credit: Paul
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Photo Credit: Paul

From there it is a fairly easy jaunt to the summit, where we meet another group. Everyone else we met must be doing the traverse over to south Maroon. It looks so close!

The climbers:
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Maroon Peak, so close, yet so far away:
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This time we spend a much shorter time on the summit, as we all have a long drive home (and some much longer than others).

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Photo Credit: Chris
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Photo Credit: Chris

On the way down, some of the climbing is much easier than on the way up. At the crux chimney, some of us send our packs down first. Mine is pretty heavy from my camera, so I don't want to do the overhanging moves with the weight. It was surprisingly easy to get down most of the chimney, and most in our group do it rather quickly. I decide that I don't want to make the last move unassisted, so I have Darrin spot it (much to the amusement of all).

Down-climbing the crux:
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Photo Credit: Marty
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Photo Credit: Paul
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Photo Credit: Paul

We were greeted by a goat and baby who quickly scamper up the slope past us. So cute!
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Descending the two gullys were nasty steep and lined with mines, ready to attack your hands and legs if not careful. While all the green plants make the slope more stable, it also makes it a study in how to avoid touching them. Every time you want to use your hands to get a nice hold, there's a stupid pricker plant. Not sure how many times I cursed the stupid things. Leave No Trace my arse! These stupid prickers left quite the trace on my fingers! So, not fair!

Darrin deftly avoiding nasty pricker plant near left foot. (Most were in worse locations):
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I was quite happy to get to the traverse around to the rock glacier. The knees and body were feeling the strain from the past two days.

Pyramid:
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Down valley:
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It was too bad that before the stream crossing we separate from our group a bit, and miss the exact trail, as it starts to sprinkle. It seems many others have done the exact same thing. After some meandering, we make it to the other side and cruise down the slope to camp.

Now to just pack everything up and make it out before it rains again. We made it to Maroon Lake before I decide to wear my pack cover. Oh well, we almost made it! We met up with our group and head to Basalt for a quick meal before jetting home.

Thanks to everyone for uploading their photos so quickly... The differing viewpoints are awesome!



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
JA_son27


Nice Title!     2009-08-25 16:22:16
I like the Disturbed reference! Another good TR by the way, it is seriously wetting my appetite for some Elk meat!


cbauer10


Great Trip     2009-08-26 07:46:14
This sure was a great weekend!!! Thanks for writing it up. You did such a great job.



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