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South Maroon Conditions?

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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Re: South Maroon Conditions?

Postby jblyth » Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:06 am

Just a quick note on the 2800’ up the east slope. A group of five of us did South Maroon a few weeks back, starting around 3 am from Maroon Lake. It was still dark when we started ascending the east slope and our group split up into two smaller groups going at different speeds. The person I was with had a GPS track which took us straight up the slope (just like the route description shows), where you hit a series of gullies that have lots of loose rock that could potentially come down on those below you. We knocked down a few that kept going for at least 1000’. The others in our group took a trail which traversed further left (well marked) on the slopes which brought you to the lower ridge. We met at the top of the ridge and discussed our different routes and agreed to take their option when coming back down. After doing both ways, I can tell you they had a much better (and safer) way. It was still steep, but much less loose rock that could potentially come down.

I really enjoyed South Maroon and didn’t think it was as bad as what I’d heard, just my opinion.

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Re: South Maroon Conditions?

Postby CCU_Jim » Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:23 am

jblyth17 wrote:Just a quick note on the 2800’ up the east slope. A group of five of us did South Maroon a few weeks back, starting around 3 am from Maroon Lake. It was still dark when we started ascending the east slope and our group split up into two smaller groups going at different speeds. The person I was with had a GPS track which took us straight up the slope (just like the route description shows), where you hit a series of gullies that have lots of loose rock that could potentially come down on those below you. We knocked down a few that kept going for at least 1000’. The others in our group took a trail which traversed further left (well marked) on the slopes which brought you to the lower ridge. We met at the top of the ridge and discussed our different routes and agreed to take their option when coming back down. After doing both ways, I can tell you they had a much better (and safer) way. It was still steep, but much less loose rock that could potentially come down.

I really enjoyed South Maroon and didn’t think it was as bad as what I’d heard, just my opinion.


I'll second the alternate route. We climbed yesterday and ended up on this left route without realizing it because the trail was so good we never realized we were 'off-route'. Looking at my GPS route, we diverged from Bill's .gpx at about 12,200' and hit the South Ridge about 12,900'. From there, there was a solid cairned trail that led to the notch where you meet back up with the standard route.

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Re: South Maroon Conditions?

Postby nkan02 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:19 am

CCU_Jim wrote:
jblyth17 wrote:Just a quick note on the 2800’ up the east slope. A group of five of us did South Maroon a few weeks back, starting around 3 am from Maroon Lake. It was still dark when we started ascending the east slope and our group split up into two smaller groups going at different speeds. The person I was with had a GPS track which took us straight up the slope (just like the route description shows), where you hit a series of gullies that have lots of loose rock that could potentially come down on those below you. We knocked down a few that kept going for at least 1000’. The others in our group took a trail which traversed further left (well marked) on the slopes which brought you to the lower ridge. We met at the top of the ridge and discussed our different routes and agreed to take their option when coming back down. After doing both ways, I can tell you they had a much better (and safer) way. It was still steep, but much less loose rock that could potentially come down.

I really enjoyed South Maroon and didn’t think it was as bad as what I’d heard, just my opinion.


I'll second the alternate route. We climbed yesterday and ended up on this left route without realizing it because the trail was so good we never realized we were 'off-route'. Looking at my GPS route, we diverged from Bill's .gpx at about 12,200' and hit the South Ridge about 12,900'. From there, there was a solid cairned trail that led to the notch where you meet back up with the standard route.

This makes sense now. It seems like we took this route as well. It was just a well defined dirt path. Almost no rocks at all until you hit the "lower" point on the ridge. We then took the ridge up and only then it got rocky.

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