Support 14ers.com
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...
 Peak(s):  North Maroon Peak  -  14,014 feet
 Post Date:  07/11/2010 Modified: 07/12/2010
 Date Climbed:   07/10/2010
 Posted By:  JA_son27

 N. Maroon Peak   

I left Broomfield around 5:30p for the infamous Maroon Bells, and wasn't too sure what was going to happen. The weather report from NOAA stated a 50% chance of rain, and rain possible the night before as well. I had made plans to meet 14er.com member Doggler at the summit of S. Maroon and continue on to the traverse to N Maroon, but I wasn't sure if I would have the stamina at this point in the climbing season to do it.

I arrived at the TH around 9:30p and promptly fell asleep. My alarm woke me up too early for mortal man to have to deal with, I made breakfast, drank my coffee and was on the trail around 3:15.

Once I neared the turnoff for Pyramid Peak I noticed some headlights approaching, of course it was Sean a.k.a. Doggler and his buddy Patrick, so now I had to figure out what I wanted to do, because he would surely outpace me in no time. I had hoped to start much earlier than him to meet up much higher, oh well! He had mentioned a group of 14er.com members not too far behind me, snapped a few pics and was on his way. After our meeting I had answered at least one of my questions: I wouldn't be doing the traverse today.

Shortly after Doggler left, the other group had made their appearance. Eric(Lostsheep5), Paul(paulperea), Mike(Shogun) and Jim. They were going up N. Maroon today, and I thought it would be cool to tagalong with these guys instead of going up S. Maroon.

Image
Taken shortly after the Maroon/Snowmass trail junction



We quickly made our way through the trees and took our left turn down to the river crossing(I really dislike crossing rivers by headlamp). After the river crossing we were greeted with a nice steep muddy trail. It was very muddy from the previous night's rain and thus very annoying.

Image
Taken after the muddy trail section, the weather was questionable


We weren't quite finished with the muddy trail just yet but we were gaining elevation pretty quickly.

Image
Looking up at N. Maroon in a small boulder field below the first mini class 3 wall


After we hurdled the wall, the trail mellowed out for a little while as it skirted around the base of N Maroon's massif. At this point you are near the large rock glacier below N Maroon's large North face.

Image
Albeit blurry, Pyramid Peak stands out like a sore thumb


After the nice rolling grassy trail, we entered the rock glacier. I knew there would be no more nice easy trail beyond this point, so we all decided to put our headgear on. I felt a sense of unease while crossing underneath this large behemoth's face surrounded by all this rubble. But it's better to be safe than sorry.

Image
Eric, Paul, Jim and Mike all don their helmets for the remainder of this climb.


Image
It actually looked like the weather might hold for us.



Once the sun hit I felt great! It seemed to break up some of the clouds and it lifted my spirit!

Image
Taken right before we crossed into the first gully


Image
Looking at the base of the 1st gully



This part of the climbing was tough for me. I was surprised at how moderate this gully was because when I looked at it from a distance it looked almost vertical.

Image
Looking down on some climbers that were just entering the gulley. I was about halfway up the gulley.


Once we reached the white rock band we veered left and crossed over into the much steeper second gully.

Image
Crossing over to the second gully


Image
once you enter the second gully your goal is to make it to the obvious notch at the gully's terminus.


Both of these gullies are considerably steep! And all that nice greenery you see? A lot of it is composed of prickly weeds that somehow kept finding their way into my hands.

Image
A nice perspective of the how steep the gully is. Notice Mike using his hands to help himself up.


Image
Looking down at the entrance to the 2nd gully, notice the three climbers resting at the entrance.


Image
Nearing the notch


Image
Looking down from very near the notch, the entrance to the gulley is the at the top of the third rock outcropping from the top.


It was around this time that a very large rock (maybe the size of a car tire) was dislodged and went hurling down towards the climbers below us. I have to admit, this was the most terrified I have ever been on a 14er. The gully was instantly permeated with our yells of "ROCK!" The climbers moved out of harm's way and gave us a "Thank you for warning us" wave and continued on. This climb was very loose.

Thankfully we reached the notch a few minutes later without incident. Once we hit the notch, I put on my jacket anticipating heavy wind and we started climbing left towards the summit.

Image
Looking out beyond the notch


Image
Beyond the notch


Image
typical climbing beyond the notch


Image
Paul and Eric lead the way to the chimney


Image
Looking back at the route we ascended. Both Maroon and Crater lakes can be seen. A climber follows close behind




On the whole route up North Maroon, the chimney was technically the most difficult hurdle to subjugate. There were plenty of foot and handholds so if you take your time it shouldn't be an issue.

Image
Eric looks down as Paul makes his move up the chimney


Quickly after the chimney the summit makes its first appearance.

Image
A close look back after coming up the chimney reveals how loose this mountain really is!


Image
The summit is finally visible with Mike in the foreground.


Image
A nice perspective shot, Mike, Jim, Paul and Eric climb their way up the final stretch.


Image
Taken from the same place as the previous photo, this is looking down climbers left over the precipice. It's a long way down!


Image
Looking back at the spot where the previous picture was taken


There still was some climbing left to do once we passed the precipice. We made our way up to the summit block, but we kind of chose our own way. Eric, Jim and Paul went around the back side and up while Mike and I chose to go directly up through a crack to hit the final ridge up to the summit.

Image
Eric(The highest climber) chose to ascend by following the contour below the final wall of rock up and around to the backside which can't be seen.....


Continued from the caption above-from this vantage point. Paul (Red Jacket) and Jim(not pictured) followed suit. A mistake here would not be good.

Mike and I decided -based on the advice of a Maroon Bell veteran- to go directly left of where Eric was shown standing in the above picture. This led us up an easy crack to the final summit ridge. At this point my legs were cramping like mad and I had to practically limp to the summit. Talk about a grand entrance!

Image
Once the last crack was vaulted, there was nothing left but a nice stroll to the summit.


Image
Summit Success! If you look closely you can see Doggler on the traverse ridge, nearly complete!


Doggler ended up catching up with us while we were descending the 2nd gulley! He had summited Maroon Peak, completed the traverse over to N. Maroon and met up with us in the second gully all in the time it took us to summit N. Maroon and start heading back down. Amazing.

Image
Snowmass and Capitol!



This was an amazing trip for me, and it worked out perfectly. I wasn't able to complete the traverse but I had a great time with some good guys on a tough mountain. Eric, Paul, Jim and Mike thank you for letting me tag along I had a blast! Good luck on your next adventures! Sean, it was good spending a few minutes with you on the descent, good luck with your traverses!



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (3)
Perea


Write Up     2014-04-18 13:27:32
Jason thanks for taking the time to write this. I have a couple pics of you that I can email if you want to PM me your email address.


sarahw

Wow!     2010-07-12 11:04:15
What a great TR! My photos never do either the steepness or magnitude of the mountain justice, and yours do both. Congrats on summitting!


JA_son27


Thank you!     2010-07-19 16:54:54
Thanks for the nice comments!



   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here


Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. 14ers.com and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless 14ers.com and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the 14ers.com Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2014 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.