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Four Pass Loop + Pyramid, Bells and Snowmass

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Re: Four Pass Loop + Pyramid, Bells and Snowmass

Postby fourseasoncyclist » Thu Feb 28, 2013 5:21 pm

MonGoose wrote:In the summer of 2009, I did the four-pass loop in three days plus one day to climb Snowmass. This past summer, I climbed the Bells and Pyramid as three separate trips. To do them all in one trip would be quite a feat. One advantage is that the Bells or Pyramid can be done from Maroon Lake in a day. You might structure the trip by climbing the Bells first, followed by the loop to Snowmass Lake, climb Snowmass and then catch Pyramid on the way out. I think it would that take you 7 days at a minimum but would advise a few more days to rest up. Each of these 14ers is a technical and tiring day by themselves.


I appreciate the advice on direction. I think that is a great idea. If weather or difficulty prevents a summit (which I always plan on) I will probably just move to the next camp site. I did Snowmass last year and it was one intense climb.
Justin Smith
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Re: Four Pass Loop + Pyramid, Bells and Snowmass

Postby Sugar Madison » Thu Feb 28, 2013 5:30 pm

pbakwin was trying to talk me into this a few years ago. It sounds pretty fun.

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Re: Four Pass Loop + Pyramid, Bells and Snowmass

Postby Papillon » Thu Feb 28, 2013 5:37 pm

Protect your food and gear between Maroon Lake and West Maroon Pass. The porcupines were flat-out out last year in that area. I had a long day in which I didn't descend West Maroon Pass until 9 PM (got back to Maroon Lake around midnight) and there were a lot of porkies in the weeds that I encountered. They won't mess with you but will chew your shoes and try to eat your food when you sleep. Hang your packs or they'll go after the hip belts. You should protect your car at the overnight lot as well - chicken wire or mothballs. If you search the forum, you will find threads on this subject.

If you have the time, I'd recommend adding Belleview Mountain from West Maroon Pass and UN 13,039 from Buckskin Pass. These sidetrips are worthwhile and nearly effortless from the passes in distance and vert but they provide very nice views of the surrounding peaks and drainages. Belleview is 2 and 13039 is 3 (there exists an atrocious class 2 scrubbed workaround to climber's right). The finish on 13039 is very nice.

Good luck.
The look in his eyes when it hit - Kid, it was tasty... - William Seward Burroughs

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Re: Four Pass Loop + Pyramid, Bells and Snowmass

Postby fourseasoncyclist » Thu Feb 28, 2013 5:54 pm

Papillon wrote:Protect your food and gear between Maroon Lake and West Maroon Pass. The porcupines were flat-out out last year in that area. I had a long day in which I didn't descend West Maroon Pass until 9 PM (got back to Maroon Lake around midnight) and there were a lot of porkies in the weeds that I encountered. They won't mess with you but will chew your shoes and try to eat your food when you sleep. Hang your packs or they'll go after the hip belts. You should protect your car at the overnight lot as well - chicken wire or mothballs. If you search the forum, you will find threads on this subject.

If you have the time, I'd recommend adding Belleview Mountain from West Maroon Pass and UN 13,039 from Buckskin Pass. These sidetrips are worthwhile and nearly effortless from the passes in distance and vert but they provide very nice views of the surrounding peaks and drainages. Belleview is 2 and 13039 is 3 (there exists an atrocious class 2 scrubbed workaround to climber's right). The finish on 13039 is very nice.

Good luck.

Sweet. Porkies do not sound fun. I'm glad you said some thing or I wouldn't have thought twice.

The additional mountains look attainable... maybe a good excuse to spend a few more nights out there. Nothing wrong with that.
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Re: Four Pass Loop + Pyramid, Bells and Snowmass

Postby Jim Davies » Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:28 pm

Camping is restricted in the area between Maroon Lake, Buckskin Pass, and the turnoff for Maroon Peak (the "bent tree"). The only backcountry sites in that section are the numbered, first-come-first-served sites by Crater Lake. You could climb the Bells and Pyramid from one of those campsites pretty handily. Above the bent tree there are rumored to be some legal sites, but we didn't find them in our six-day trip in 2010, and wound up having to camp in less-than-legal sites (although why they didn't want people reusing the hammered, overused spots I'm not quite sure - why spread the damage around?)
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. -- Steven Wright

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Re: Four Pass Loop + Pyramid, Bells and Snowmass

Postby fourseasoncyclist » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:20 pm

Jim Davies wrote:Camping is restricted in the area between Maroon Lake, Buckskin Pass, and the turnoff for Maroon Peak (the "bent tree"). The only backcountry sites in that section are the numbered, first-come-first-served sites by Crater Lake. You could climb the Bells and Pyramid from one of those campsites pretty handily. Above the bent tree there are rumored to be some legal sites, but we didn't find them in our six-day trip in 2010, and wound up having to camp in less-than-legal sites (although why they didn't want people reusing the hammered, overused spots I'm not quite sure - why spread the damage around?)


Sweet trip report with awesome photos. I can't wait to take some of my own. Thanks for the advice on the camping areas.
Justin Smith
Longmont, CO
fourseasoncyclist@gmail.com

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Re: Four Pass Loop + Pyramid, Bells and Snowmass

Postby Papillon » Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:01 pm

fourseasoncyclist wrote:Sweet. Porkies do not sound fun. I'm glad you said some thing or I wouldn't have thought twice.

The additional mountains look attainable... maybe a good excuse to spend a few more nights out there. Nothing wrong with that.


Just a Plan B if things don't work out and you want to still reach high places (or you're feeling good). If you go clockwise, 13039 would be your last objective before descending into civilization. The 4-Pass is a classic. My girl and I did it back in '04 in late September. We drove out from Michigan and had less than ten backcountry nights to our names (four in Michigan). Still can't believe we made it out in one piece. I'd love to give it a shot as a day trip like Carl did.

Don't hesitate with the questions.
The look in his eyes when it hit - Kid, it was tasty... - William Seward Burroughs

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Re: Four Pass Loop + Pyramid, Bells and Snowmass

Postby TallGrass » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:08 pm

FYI, there's another route for Pyramid (northwest) that is used by some trying to do both Bells and Pyramid in a day, but it is non-standard. These might help:
http://www.summitpost.org/northwest-ridge/331862 Northwest Ridge
http://www.summitpost.org/the-pyramid-traverse/664806 Pyramid traverse
http://www.summitpost.org/four-pass-loop-in-pictures/599623 Four Pass Loop

More FPL reports, some have nice topo overview or bird's eye perspective:
http://www.swarpa.net/~danforth/wj/4pass.html
http://fourpassloop32.blogspot.com/
http://www.summitpost.org/four-pass-loop/327228
http://mycolorado.org/images/trips/4pass/4pass.html
http://www.skycactus.com/Colorado/Colorado%2520Hiking%204%20Passes.html
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-eKpCllE_wOw/TkK8pOKLaJI/AAAAAAAABYA/uCXXJ-yMV2w/s1600/4pl.jpg GREAT overview IMHO (like how it shows P's theater)

Image
Not sure if I'll do more 14ers. The trip reports are too tiring. :wink:

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Re: Four Pass Loop + Pyramid, Bells and Snowmass

Postby tlongpine » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:43 pm

fourseasoncyclist wrote:
tlongpine wrote:I've been planning this very same objective.


SOLO?


Not necessarily.
I am unable to walk away from the mountain without climbing it. An unclimbed mountain tugs at my consciousness with the eternal weight of time itself. Until I've pressed my face into it's alpine winds, hugged it's ancient granite walls, and put it's weathered summit beneath my heal I'm unable to resist it's attraction.Knowing nature gives the mountain more time than she gives us adds urgency to the obsession. As has been said before; the mountain doesn't care.

It can wait forever. I cannot.

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Re: Four Pass Loop + Pyramid, Bells and Snowmass

Postby swdishfishhoarder » Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:26 pm

Fourseasoncyclist, if you decide to do this trip I would be interested in joining you. My Dad is coming up to Colorado the first week of July. Him and I hiked the area around the Bells years ago (2004?). He wants to hike the area again but we won't do anything serious because he had his hip replaced in August. I am planning on doing a lot of hiking this summer so if you want another person to go with you let me know. I'd be willing to help out with logistics in any way I can.

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