Peak:  Pyramid Peak (14er)
 Route:  Northeast Ridge
 Range:  Elk
 Posted By:  kushrocks
 Date of Info:  06/03/2012
 Date Posted:  06/03/2012

Great day on Pyramid.

gregory_fischer and I hit the trail early to attempt Pyramid. It rained around 9:30pm the night before so it was not the night to forget you tent poles . . .whoops. In the early morning as we started up the trail most of the rock had dried but the dirt was still moist and in some places muddy.

Thankfully we brought the GPS because we walked right by the cairn for Pyramid in the dark. Itís in a rocky area before Crater Lake that is somewhat open on your right side as you start to go slightly down hill. The cairn is big and literally right on the left side of the trail. Not sure how we missed it but we did.

From here the trail is pretty easy to follow until around 10,800 feet. Between 10,800 ft until 11,300 feet or just below the start of the amphitheatre there are large annoying snow patched on the trail. We had hoped they would be hard enough to walk on but they werenít and we post holed through every one of them that we tried to walk through. In some spots we post holed to our thighs. We eventually bushwhacked it around several of the snowfield and used the gps to get back on the trail. In the amphitheater there is a large snowfield on the right side that was very firm and easy to walk on. We headed up with no issues other than we were slowly pulling right from the actual trail. Just remember the part you need to head up is slightly towards the back left end of the amphitheatre . The trail from the end of the amphitheater up to the northeast ridge is step but was almost completely free of snow.

Once on top of the ridge we were right at 13k. AVOID the first large snowfield on the trail. I post holed with every step even when crawling and at one point Greg post holed and caught himself with his arms. This snowfield is also incredibly corniced on the far end. On the way down we stayed underneath it then climbed past it and over to the left which made things much easier.

I know the area is famous for loose rocks but with the rain from last night and some of the scree mixed with mud and ice made for some really hairy climbing. About a half a dozen times we both kicked rocks tumbling down the size of suitcases or bigger. We only had to climb up one snow slope 50 feet and traversed left to dryer ground.

We never needed crampons but ice axe and microspikes were really helpful especially for the decent. The views from the summit were stunning. We only saw two other people on Pyramid the whole day. We were able to glissade the snow slop in the Amphitheater, which was a little bumpy but still a nice quick way to descend.

I have a few more pictures if anyone is interested just shoot me a PM.

Photos (click for slideshow):
Image #1Image #2Image #3Image #4

 Comments or Questions

I told you
06/04/2012 01:22
to not pass the cairn! Haha, nice job regardless, glad you guys got it done, and safely at that. Congrats on a tough summit!


nice job.
06/04/2012 06:45
about how long did it take you guys round-trip?


Nice work!
06/04/2012 12:02
Thanks for the Pyramid report. It is on my consideration list for 2012, but not until Aug/Sept when it is dry. Was the loose rock fairly similar to Maroon/N. Maroon, or would you say a bit worse on Pyramid, generally?

I Man

06/20/2012 13:38
Good job, dude. Hope it was fun. Thanks for the info! 8)


06/04/2012 15:00
Pete26 - It took us 9 hours and 10 minutes round trip. This included 30 minutes on top. It could be done faster but we took our time getting up and down the sketchy sections and we are not extremly fast hikers.

Jasonicfederation - In my opinion the rock was a lot looser on Pyramid than on North or South Maroon.

Matt Lemke

06/05/2012 02:34
Doing this Sat

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