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South Maroon Conditions?

Colorado 14er peak questions, condition requests and other info. 14er Trip Reports, Condition Reports
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South Maroon Conditions?

Postby weh » Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:40 pm

Looking to climb Saturday, 9/22. Would love to hear from anyone who is up there between now and Thursday. Thanks in advance!

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Re: South Maroon Conditions?

Postby Neil » Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:30 pm

Bump and thank you also for any beta. May be climbing on Sunday.
"On the edge of the porch in the warm evening night
Throwing the bone for the dog I see two passing lights
Well, I wonder where that driver's bound
Is there someone, somewhere, someway out there that I've not found"
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Re: South Maroon Conditions?

Postby geojed » Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:35 pm

Last I heard it's still 2800' of suck. ;)

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Re: South Maroon Conditions?

Postby smoove » Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:38 pm

geojed wrote:Last I heard it's still 2800' of suck. ;)


Haha, I couldn't agree more. Especially on the way down. Don't think I'll ever do the East Slope in the summer again.

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Re: South Maroon Conditions?

Postby MonGoose » Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:02 pm

In my opinion, the hardest part of the entire day was the 2,800' of suck. We had to duck for cover from a rock some guy 500' above us set into motion. Once we got to the "dangerous" Class III section, we felt a lot safer. One thing is for sure, I'm never doing this route again. At least not until CFI puts in 2,800' of trail. Hell, any trail would be an improvement.

Re: South Maroon Conditions?

Postby SnowAlien » Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:37 pm

Good grief! Are we hiking the same mountain? 2,800 feet of *suck*? Give me a break. Ok, it is steep and long - but it is a freaking 14er! It is not Sherman, for sure. It is steep dirt until approx. 13k, and then totally awesome Class 3/optional Class 4 climbing to the summit. The recent climb via standard route did not change standing of S. Maroon as my favorite 14er! It is totally awesome and is not as creepy as North Maroon with it nasty chimney.

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Re: South Maroon Conditions?

Postby SpringsHiker » Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:45 pm

nkan02 wrote:Good grief! Are we hiking the same mountain? 2,800 feet of *suck*? Give me a break. Ok, it is steep and long - but it is a freaking 14er! It is not Sherman, for sure. It is steep dirt until approx. 13k, and then totally awesome Class 3/optional Class 4 climbing to the summit. The climb did not change standing of S. Maroon as my favorite 14er! It is totally awesome and is not as creepy as North Maroon with it nasty chimney.


Okay, you are right Natalie, the upper portion was really fun climbing. I had the best time when I finally said to heck with the cairns and just started picking my own lines. Truly fun! BUT, that freaking ridge was so steep and no fun at all. Since I did the traverse I at least got different scenery going down North Maroon, but that's all it was--change of scenery. Just as steep and just as much no fun.

I thought Pyramid was better because the lower portion is actually an enjoyable trail, I did not mind the rock glacier crossing, and the ridge, while steep, is much shorter. And the climbing on Pyramid was the best fun I have had yet on a 14er. So if I am going to go climb one in that area, it will be Pyramid (perhaps we can hook up for that NW ridge route you want to do) and I will LOOK at the Maroons from that nice vantage point!

Scott
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Re: South Maroon Conditions?

Postby smoove » Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:59 pm

nkan02 wrote:Good grief! Are we hiking the same mountain? 2,800 feet of *suck*? Give me a break. Ok, it is steep and long - but it is a freaking 14er! It is not Sherman, for sure. It is steep dirt until approx. 13k, and then totally awesome Class 3/optional Class 4 climbing to the summit. The recent climb via standard route did not change standing of S. Maroon as my favorite 14er! It is totally awesome and is not as creepy as North Maroon with it nasty chimney.


I agree with you that ridge itself is a lot of fun scrambling, and the rock was actually better than I thought it would be. If you took that alone, it would be one of my favorite 14ers so far (and it kind of is as I try to forget the E. Slope).

It wasn't the climb that made it suck. That is just a good workout most of the way. But as you approach the ridge, it becomes really hard to avoid all the loose, potentially dangerous crap up there. But the descent down that stuff was far worse. Granted, my knees ain't what they used to be. But I felt like my feet were always on the verge of slipping out from under me for a nice little spill down the slope. Not to mention I saw a couple widowmakers come rocketing down that hill not too far away. There weren't any climbers above us so who knows if it was naturally occurring or maybe a goat. Anyway, that was easily the most miserable descent of any hike I've done so far. I wouldn't want anyone to take it lightly.

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Re: South Maroon Conditions?

Postby MonGoose » Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:18 pm

My three favorite peaks to date are Wetterhorn, North Maroon and Capitol. Without a doubt, South Maroon is my least favorite peak. You can have it all to yourself nkan02, because you won't see me back on South Maroon anytime soon.

Re: South Maroon Conditions?

Postby SnowAlien » Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:22 pm

SpringsHiker wrote: the upper portion was really fun climbing. I had the best time when I finally said to heck with the cairns and just started picking my own lines. Truly fun!

hear, hear!

P.S. Scott, I sent you a PM re. Pyramid et al.

Mongoose - no problem. We are not even close on favorite top 3.

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Re: South Maroon Conditions?

Postby Neil » Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:52 pm

MonGoose wrote:My three favorite peaks to date are Wetterhorn, North Maroon and Capitol. Without a doubt, South Maroon is my least favorite peak. You can have it all to yourself nkan02, because you won't see me back on South Maroon anytime soon.


North Maroon WAS one of my three favorites for ten minutes until you and MountainMedic arrived, killed my hat, and ruined my life. :lol: Anyway, agreed...it's a great peak. I'll let you know after this weekend how I feel about S. Maroon, but I have a feeling we'll be on the same page...
"On the edge of the porch in the warm evening night
Throwing the bone for the dog I see two passing lights
Well, I wonder where that driver's bound
Is there someone, somewhere, someway out there that I've not found"
-Driving Song

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Re: South Maroon Conditions?

Postby mtree » Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:19 pm

I agree with the 2800ft of SUCK! The worst part was the falling rock from climbers above or just falling rock because it falls. Bad stuff. Unless you're near a cliff band for cover, whoa! Just keep your eyes looking up and pray. Once on the ridge, it wasn't too bad. Route finding was the hardest part. The loose rock and crappy conditions never seemed life threatening. They just sucked. Gotta be real careful. Snow and ice would turn the climb into pure hell. Bring microspikes and an axe just in case.

At the time I thought "I'll NEVER do this peak again!" Thinking back, I would do it again. Even with the dangerous rock. A pretty exhilarating experience once you're up there!
"Cool Prius!" - nobody

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