Peak(s):  Maroon Peak  -  14,156 feet
North Maroon Peak  -  14,014 feet
Post Date:  09/19/2010
Date Climbed:   09/17/2010
Posted By:  oldschool

 Bells Traverse   

The Bells are some of the prettiest peaks in Colorado. In the fall, the yellow aspens and Maroon Lake make for some of the most famous, well known photographs.

I was trolling the Forum on 14er's and saw Tom (tommyboy360) was going up and looking for partners. I said I would go. A few more joined before the trip happened. Diane (dmathis), Jeff (Slimshady), and Luke (Chary) were in too.

We met at the trailhead at about 5:15am on Fri. We packed up and headed off for the traverse....going from Maroon to N. Maroon and down the NE Ridge off N. Maroon. Off we went with headlamps, stayed on trail, and got to the bent tree and the up-climb soon enough. Up is an understatement! Image
Up to the saddle
Passed a group of 3 goats on the way up too. Beautiful animals. We kept on and got to the saddle soon enough. Image
At the saddle
This is when things get good!

We started to work our way around.....interesting terrain. Image
Handling the Class 3 and 4 in stride
The cairns were here and there and we tried our best to stay on track. I was surprised as to how much traversing there is on this go around the mountain a lot before going up. Image
Around and up...and around and up
Things got narrow, exposed, but still fun and we were making good time for a party of 5. Image
Along the narrow parts..almost there
Soon enough we made the summit of Maroon. Image
Token summit shot!

Now we had the "traverse"....the hard part from what I knew. We saw some climbers on top of N. Maroon and some people down at the bottom of the downclimb from Maroon. We didn't want to knock any rocks down so we waited for a bit for them to clear. Off we went and again I was surprised as to how far we had to traverse around and route finding was not straight-forward...but we found our way. Image
Nice and airy...Capitol and Snowmass in the background
As usually happens...we made the North Maroon summit! Image
Summit of North Maroon

We chilled for a bit on the summit, ate and drank, then headed off down the NE route back to the lake and the trailhead. The views from up there were awesome....the fall colors kicking butt! Fall in Colorado is a great place. Image
Fall colors

Throughout the climb, I felt the presence of Pyramid Peak. It dominates the Valley and held a strong position during the climb. It is never far away! Image
Pyramid in charge!

All in all this route is tough, route finding can be difficult but if you stick with your gut instinct on where to go, it all makes sense. The rock is good in places and very bad in others. Be careful of knocking rocks off on others, take your time and follow the cairns as best you can, and do your homework. There is solid Class 4 and some Class 5 moves on this prepared. Thanks to Luke, Jeff, Diane, and Tom for a nice day in the mountains.

Colors of Fall
Colors of Fall
All on track......
Jeff doing the pose!
Cap and Snowmass..going back on the 24th to finish the traverse!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

nice to meet you     02/05/2011 00:22
congrats on the traverse, it was good climbing with all of you on the top part of maroon!


Party of Five!     11/30/2010 17:28
Thanks for posting a TR, Mike.

A Great Traverse and a Great Team. 2nd time meeting up with members and it worked perfectly. "OldSchool's" leadership and tales from the LAND OF SCARY GENDARMES, "DMathis" brought the GIRL POWER and inspired big time climbing confidence on this sketchy terrain, "Chary", MR. I've climbed Denali 2X's, and have NOT posted a TR on and the endless entertainment, speedy pace, and style of the "Slimshady."

September weather in the Elks was B.E.A.utiful!

Who's down for a "Party of Five" great traverse reunion next summer on LB/Blanca???

btw: we also crossed a solo hiker making the ”Triple Threat.” I was wondering when Doggler and Crossfitter will get after this route...

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