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Maroon Peak

Most Recent Condition Updates
Updates  
Route: Bell Cord Couloir
Posted On: 6/16/2024, By: Claire Garner
Info: Snow on the bell cord is already becoming incredibly soft. Left from Maroon Lake TH at 1:30, reached the snow just around 3:15. Clear skies and temps just above freezing made for great visibility and the hope for a harder crust. Around 12000 feet there is a pretty sizable crack where the lower apron has separated from the rest of the snow (photo attached). We turned around here as there wasn't a great way to get around it and figured this would be a huge risk on the descent given the recent avy danger, but a party behind us crossed it using 2 ice tools to jump the gap and catch themselves on the other side. Sun is hitting the couloir proper by 6am, so speed is of the essence right now as the snow is not holding very well even in the dark. The peak itself is looking pretty clear though, so routefinding to the summit should be quite a bit easier. 
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Route: Bell Cord Couloir
Posted On: 6/3/2024, By: ROPjason
Info: I summited via the Cord couloir and only saw one set of foot tracks on the upper mountain and summit. The upper mountain was completely covered in hard snow and crampons were necessary. I descended the couloir which had become slushy and sloughy. 
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Route: Y couloir
Posted On: 5/28/2024, By: One Sierra Charlie
Info: Wish I could have seen the previous post before I left for Aspen on the 26th. I found the same conditions in the Y Couloir. It was clear overnight, there was a good freeze, and I made a 2:30 AM start, but difficult booting conditions in the Y really limited my progress. Soon after sun hit, the cliffs above the couloir stated to shed junk and around 8:00 a large dump entered the couloir at about 13,200 feet and ran about 800 vertical feet, entraining snow as it went. I was just below13,000 at the time and decided to bail. The good news is that there is a T*O*N of snow on the bells. I would recommend waiting for a few/several more days for the snow to cook down and then use a brutally early start on a cold night to get it done safely. The Y will likely slide more and the apron on the Bell Cord is already chunder city. I expect the E face and upper portions of the Cord will stay clean, however, so could be mixed, but not terrible skiing. Other info - there is currently patchy snow from about 1/4 mile below Crater Lake to the willows at the far end of the inlet. I probably started skinning too soon and needed to carry skis several times and over significant distances. As far as parking goes, a useful tip is that 10 additional slots are made available between 8-8:30 AM three days out. This may help you get in once you choose your weather day. 
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Route: Bell Cord Couloir
Posted On: 5/26/2024, By: Tylerbeck25
Info: Extremely post-holey. I postholed the whole way. I thought the snow would get firmer and better with altitude, but that was an incorrect assumption. Alas, 500 ft vert an hour was the best I could do. There was no broken trail and it doesn't look like anyone has been on the Bell Cord route recently. With the conditions, it is extremely slow going. Knee deep most of the way, sometimes deeper. I got a 3 AM start from Crater Lake, but this was not early enough. You need to get a 1 AM start (or earlier) to summit and get down before the snow starts baking in the sun.... because of the slow going conditions, I turned around below 12k feet. It is still very wintry in the bells. The current conditions are low risk from an avalanche perspective as long as you get done EARLY. Loose wet slides are dangerous given the steepness of this route. For skiers- I didn't ski but the conditions would be primo for the coulair. There are a couple of places with large balls of ice (very noticeable), but everything else has phenomenal snow with a little bit of fresh snow on top. Crampons and ice axe should be considered necessary for this route. 
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Route: Bell Cord Couloir
Posted On: 5/25/2024, By: Evey1134
Info: Seems like the cord is in still, continuous snow about 1.5 from Maroon Lake, Photos from the last 5 days including after the storms. Seems to have added about 4 inches to the pack. 
Route: Bell Cord Couloir
Posted On: 5/25/2024, By: Evey1134
Info: Seems like the cord is in still, continuous snow about 1.5 from Maroon Lake, Photos from the last 5 days including after the storms. Seems to have added about 4 inches to the pack. 
Route: Bells Traverse
Posted On: 10/8/2023, By: Dose
Info: Mixed conditions on the traverse. South Maroon is pretty much summer conditions. Some patchy snow is largely avoidable. Descent of South Maroon is snow covered 4 to 6 inches. From Bell Cord past the 3rd Spire is clear. Past that here are some sections that have patchy snow. Climb to North Maroon snow free. From North Maroon to the entrance to the top of the 2nd gully is snow covered 6-12 inches. 2nd gully is clear of snow. 1st gully to valley floor is mostly clear, with sections of annoying snow. 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 10/5/2023, By: stonebaez
Info: Caught first shuttle, at TH by 7:30 AM. Cruised first 4 miles in 1.5 hours but took 2 more hours to gain the ridge at about 12,700 ft because of snow. Starting at about 11,000 ft there was anywhere from 2-4" to over a foot in places. Very hard to follow any real trail and made footing difficult. There were no tracks to follow, so if anyone goes up after me I apologize if the route wasn't optimal. Mountaineering axe and spikes highly recommended. Turned around before final stretch along ridge because I wouldn't have made 5 PM shuttle back and don't have any beta on that section. Started descent at 11:10 AM and back to trailhead by 2 PM. 
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Route: Bells Traverse
Posted On: 9/29/2023, By: cloudkicker
Info: South to North traverse Thursday for my brothers finisher. -Dry to summit of south -Downclimb off south to top of bell cord had 2 inches of slick snow in places but we were able to make do without spikes. -Traverse was dry -About 200ft of the descent off north had about 2 inches of snow, mainly areas above and below the crux chimney. Microspikes and lots of caution highly recommended on the downclimb from north. -Crux chimney had a bit of snow left on some of the footholds and on the landing about halfway down making it more sketchy than normal. That said, no ice in the chimney. -We were the only people on both mountains the whole day. -Fall colors were the best I have ever seen here. 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 9/25/2023, By: Mike46r
Info: Hiked South Maroon yesterday. Route was snow free. I didn't go out onto the traverse but it looked very snow free from the summit and I saw at least one party out there. Get it while you can. 
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Route: view from Pyramid and lower trail
Posted On: 9/24/2023, By: WillRobnett
Info: view from Pyramid and lower trail 
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Route: Bells Traverse
Posted On: 9/18/2023, By: Jajohnson11
Info: Traction not needed for Maroon peak as the route was snow free. We brought microspikes and appreciated having them for the descent off Maroon towards North Maroon. Snow free from bell cord couloir to NM summit. North Maroon descent we did not use traction but there was lingering snow. It snowed more as we descended the traverse so these conditions could have changed. On a different note, there are two day packs skiers right descending maroon peak that should be obvious. If anyone can retrieve them we'll happily pay $100 per pack. It was too loose of an area for us and we were just scrambling so didn't have a rope. A roped party could easily retrieve on hip belay. jajohnson11@gmail.com 
Route: Bells Traverse
Posted On: 9/16/2023, By: Chipmunk
Info: Ascended S Maroon, traversed to N Maroon, and descended N Maroon. There was a coating of fresh snow and ice from about 13k up which made travel extremely slippery and tedious. The sun made quick work of the snow on east facing slopes, but west and north facing slopes are still coated. Our group found the descent from S Maroon to the top of the Bell Cord couloir to be the most harrowing part of the day. The traverse itself was reasonable - the cruxes and ridgetop were mostly dry, but we moved very slowly and deliberately for safety. The chimney on N Maroon is very icy. A huge thank you to Colton, who elected to not ascend due to the conditions but spotted us descending the chimney. 5 hours to summit S Maroon, 3:15 for the traverse, 3.5 hours from N Maroon summit to car for a 13 hour day. 
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Route: Bells Traverse
Posted On: 9/13/2023, By: hanada
Info: Recent snow is starting to hold on north side of summit where you downclimb to start traverse. We didn't need traction, but took extra time bc it made rock more slick. 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 8/23/2023, By: trailboss88
Info: Fully dry summer conditions. The trail up to the ridge is poorly maintained in spots and is loose. Plenty of cairns on the route up and down the mountain to keep to safe routes. We used gully #1 for up and down. #2 was super loose and we heard another party unleash a rockslide down it so we were glad we avoided it. 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 8/14/2023, By: donovanrice
Info: I found the rock to be more solid and routefinding to be less extreme than anticipated. The trail to first ridge is steep. Summer conditions. Snagged a camping permit for Crater Lake the day before hike. Free parking and bus from Brush Creek & HWY 82 Intercept Lot. Was hiking with some slower buddies. Left Crater Lake at 4:45. Summit at 10. Traversed to North Maroon at noon. Back to Crater Lake at 3:30. Barely made the 5 o'clock bus from Maroon Lake. I would recommend starting earlier. If you cannot snag a parking permit nor camping permit and don't have a chauffeur, a grueling alternative approach would be over West Maroon Pass. But that would be a massive, massive day (18.6 mi, 7300' vert for just Maroon Peak; 23.3, 7700' vert for traverse) 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 7/23/2023, By: HikesInGeologicTime
Info: Snow is now entirely avoidable on the standard route, though you will want to be careful about how you thread between the patches around 11,700 feet referenced in winter_wishers report from last weekend if you are coming up the 2800 Feet of Suck in the dark. You will also need to deal with the added suckfest of looseness that is Gully 1, because the entrance to Gully 2 is still blocked by snow. If you really want to haul up crampons and axes, there are still decent snow patches alongside the uppermost gully as well as just off the summit, but they are not very long and this mountain is excruciating enough without the additional weight training. Of further note: partner discovered that staying more or less ridge direct between the top of the Suck and the top of the chimney/notch marking the first Class 3 on the ridge adds no technical difficulty - there is a short chimney to pass, but it is trivial compared to the one described in the main route. Would personally recommend this variation to avoid some elevation loss and subsequent regain as well as saving a little energy. (Fourth and fifth pictures courtesy of daway8.) 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 7/25/2023, By: skeater912
Info: Nothing interesting to note for the ascent to Maroon. Snow completely avoidable on the way up. Only mistake we made was climbing too high in the "first gully" - I think we could have cut left and met up with the top of the second/lefthand gully, but we downclimbed the ~50ft or so and followed cairns into the second gully before moving higher. We took the traverse to N. Maroon, will comment on our experience in the N. Maroon conditions report. 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 7/17/2023, By: winter_wisher
Info: Snow is now only a minor obstacle as the trail approaches the ridge, with a few brief crossings starting around 11k and a large snowfield at 11.7k. Microspikes and ice axe were sufficient to manage all snow crossings, including the large one. Once on the ridge, snow is easy to avoid with the trail to the summit practically clear. 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 7/9/2023, By: brianfagan
Info: The snow is a huge factor in your quest to summit this mountain. Navigating workarounds added hours to our day. First experience of snow was when we started up the east slope to the south ridge. Numerous snow fields of varying sizes, some we crossed with spikes and trekking poles, others we circumvented. As important the snow blocked the trail which we found difficult to re-gain. After reaching the south ridge we experienced more snow touching the white rock band and in gully 1, which was our last encounter. I suggest you wait 2 weeks before attempting this mountain. Will attempt to add pictures in next few days. 
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