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North Maroon Peak

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Route: Bells Traverse
Posted On: 7/16/2024, By: ergergel
Info: What an incredible day proverbially "ringing the bells!" My three climbing partners and I started at 1:30 am up South Maroon. There were two very short snow crossings that were easily navigable without spikes and otherwise it was snow-free. Route finding was more straightforward than expected but I certainly appreciated all of the studying. The traverse was completely snow-free. As one hears/reads the rock was certainly quite loose. Very glad to be a climber - I truly wouldn't recommend anyone do this unless they have climbing experience. Again, route finding was fairly straightforward due to extensive studying of the available resources online. For the descent off of North Maroon, the only unavoidable snow we encountered was just at the base of the 4th class chimney downclimb. It just makes exiting the chimney slightly more challenging but is quite small. We definitely took time to locate the correct gully and their exits, etc. As people say there are often cairns leading different ways - so take time to choose which to follow. For reference if it's helpful - 1:30 am start, S Maroon summit about 7 am, traverse took two hours, and descent to 11,950 on N Maroon took about two hours. 12 hour day including stops, a visit to Crater lake to see the view, etc. Please reach out if you have any questions - I did so much research before attempting these and am very grateful for all of the available information online! 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 7/13/2024, By: Mzapo
Info: Snow now clear in the boulder field. There is snow right at the base of the chimney that is worth mentioning. It's not a lot but makes the 18ft ascension slightly sketchier with wet boots, especially if you're like me and don't specifically rock climb often. Getting down the chimney is the harder part as there are patches of snow near the top of it as well. There is snow present for about 50ft of ridge line shortly after the chimney ascension you can walk through. No traction needed. I think the steepness of the second gully should not be understated, it's steep loose rock. We experienced some vertical climbing towards the top of it requiring a bit of coordination. Cairns are useful and easier to identify going down then up. Second gully does take extensive time to navigate down safely so just plan accordingly. Helmet recommended. Water is running high at the river crossing, a somewhat skinny juvenile pine is used for crossing. 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 7/9/2024, By: cjmurk2
Info: I went up North Maroon on the 4th. The approach is nice if you can be dropped off really early ( I was dropped off at Maroon Lake at 4am) No snow until the first Boulder field- Footprints were fine to follow but I did strap on my helmet during these traverses on boulder fields. No ice axe or spikes wanted until after both gullies and you can do it without. Someone made footprints in the snow fields north of the 2nd gulley. I missed the Chimney on the way up and ended up doing loose class 4 but the area is dry. On the way down there is a really cool snow cornice that makes a tunnel as you exit the steep last decent gulley. 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 6/29/2024, By: Joey_parm
Info: A few snow crossings / ascents / descents between the talus field and "1ST GULLY", then a few more on the ridge from above the "2ND GULLY" to the summit. Technical climbing sections had a fair amount of wet rock, so just watch your footing. Personally, I was glad to have my axe and spikes for the snow - as a slide down some of those would not be a fun time. Although they were not technical. A few folks coming down from the traverse appeared to have been moving quickly without an axe and possibly without spikes. So look at the pics and make the call for yourself based on your experience and comfort level. 
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Route: Trigger finger couloir up to West face ski
Posted On: 6/8/2024, By: slawrence2011
Info: After my failed attempt Thursday due to soft snow, I started at 1:30 from the TH. It was helpful having tracks to follow all the way up to the base of the col. Still never froze, but fortunately it was clear, so I felt like I could feel warm air radiating out of the snowpack. Felt hot in one layer in the middle of the night! Trigger finger has a bergschrund with a several foot gap between snow, and also very narrow there. My first attempt at stepping high knocked the snow down on the R side, so I had one more try. I stepped as high L as I could, weighted the axe as much as possible, and chimneyed, and it held. That won't go for much longer. Unfortunately, I think that is also the spot where N face traverses to the main face, so that was the biggest reason that seems out to ski, unless willing to do a straight line jump. W face traverse to summit was challenging because snow was very saturated, even though no sun. There was a couple inch crust, and then everything below that was wet. Hadn't expected that with much better conditions on the NE aspect. I almost gave up, but I did very careful trenching about 10 ft away from each rock section, then snow was much better away from rocks. Summited just before 11 to light snow and wind picking up. Downclimbed 100 feet below the ridge just SW of the summit (my route connected to final moves of traverse, probably class 3, a little snow at the bottom of the chimney though). Great ski, only issue was trapdoor conditions down low anytime I got close to rock. Had to descend to 11k to gain what I thought would be buckskin trail, but never found it (see my comment on previous N Maroon cr). From the top of Buckskin, managed to ski to 11k where the N face route connects to that side of buckskin, with linking snowfields. Back to TH at 645. 
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Route: North Face
Posted On: 6/6/2024, By: slawrence2011
Info: Made an attempt on N Maroon today. Made it to 12,4 below the N face, the N face looked discontinuous, so I tried to access the N facing couloir L of gunsight. By the time I was almost there, I was sinking 12 inches, and turned around at 8:30. Started at the TH at 3:30, back at 12:30. Continuous snow starts around 10,8, right before you leave the buckskin pass trail and cross the creek. I have been aware of the avy warnings, so I am going to make another attempt tomorrow starting at 1:30. Snow was decent until the sun hit at 6, but it is so E facing, it was wiped out rapidly. Looking like clear skies tonight. 
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Route: Gunsight Couloir from Snowmass Creek TH
Posted On: 3/12/2024, By: Will_E
Info: Pretty good conditions on N Maroon today, I started around 9:30 Monday night. Normally there's a skin track for a few miles from the TH, not today, I was trenching from the start. Much better snow this year than on last years attempt, I made it to the basin about 2 hours faster (my route was a little better too). Snow in the couloir felt pretty good, no issues getting up or down. Hardest part of the day was getting around Gunsight Tower. Not sure what the norm is for the handful of people that have done this route, I used a steep section of nearly vertical snow, it worked okay, but was a bit unnerving. As I was coming down it looked like it might be possible to go over the top, but I didn't try it. 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 10/9/2023, By: Jonathan Deffenbaugh
Info: Mixed climbing conditions. Definitely bring the full arsenal for this one (i.e. helmet, ice axe, trekking poles, micro spikes and crampons). Had the micro spikes on during the Boulderfield and gully sections. Both gullies were dry except near the top of the second gully by the notch. Followed the route description with exception to the crux chimney section, quite a bit of snow in there. Instead went around to the left and climbed from the south side of the towers facing the sun, then crossed over to the right side at the top of the chimney. To note, once youre on top of the second gully near the notch section at the ridge line, would recommend having your ice and crampons handy for the last 700 ft to the summit, especially at the crossover section on top of the crux chimney, whereas trekking poles are a nice to have for ascending/descending the main two gully sections. 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 9/27/2023, By: EJHannah
Info: Beautifully crisp fall day today! The trail is almost entirely in summer conditions still, with some snow patches from ~13.4k to ~13.8k. The crux chimney is dry, but the ground beneath and leading up to it is snowy and got my boots all slick. Ended up throwing on spikes for the ascent and descent of the chimney to play it safe. Forgot to take photos of the chimney, unfortunately. 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 9/24/2023, By: pmreyn2010
Info: Summer conditions up until you gain the ridge crest above the notch. The chimney had small patches of snow on each rock with very thin layers of ice underneath the snow. Looking off towards the class 3 alternative to the right was covered in icicles. 
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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: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 9/18/2023, By: nmjameswilson
Info: Snow was present on the last 500 feet however we didn't need micro spikes. The chimney was clear except the landing on the bottom. On the way down we had light snow however the Bells were covered in storms when we arrived back at the TH. 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 9/17/2023, By: dreamwarrior
Info: Dry conditions until the Chimney. The chimney was a little icy and slippery in the early morning. We made it up without ropes with no problem. Later when we came down at 11am, it was pretty much dry. Its totally doable, just take your time. After the chimney, there is still snow what you cant really avoid. Highly suggest to bring micro spikes. We had a blast today. 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 9/17/2023, By: Brandon0135
Info: Completely dry up until the chimney, which was icy, snowy, and pretty sketchy. I did it, but I wouldn't recomend it. Several people turned back and the people coming from the traverse hated the chimney downclimb. If they get no more snow this week it might by dry next weekend. If they get any more snow I'd wait till next year. Check the live webcams from the aspen resort to see if there is still snow dusted on the bells. I did not do the traverse, but people coming from the traverse said it was slick and snowy all on the north side and along the traverse. 
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Route: Bells Traverse
Posted On: 8/14/2023, By: donovanrice
Info: Summer conditions. Went S to N. The first difficulty was easiest. Second difficulty was the hardest, for me. Third difficulty (option 2) was straightforward. Don't think N to S would be fun without ropes, though rappelling could be nice. Descent down Northeast ridge was mostly straightforward. Downclimbing chimney was straightforward. Further down I missed a turn and went down a wrong gully, but some class 3 and class 4 moves on loose rock reconnected me. Not recommended. 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 8/9/2023, By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: Dry all the way 
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Route: Bells Traverse
Posted On: 8/6/2023, By: dogsandguitars12
Info: Tiny patches of snow on S Maroon ascent, nothing that needs spikes or axe. No snow on traverse or N Maroon descent. Make sure to find the trail down the second gully if you didnt ascend N Maroon. Traverse is good to go and tons of cairns. Creek crossing is easy and doesnt require taking off shoes. Mosquitos out in full force near the lakes. Saw a pair of cat eyes in the woods in the dark, we made lots of noise after that. Also saw a moose cooling off in Maroon Lake. 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 7/28/2023, By: alpinenut
Info: Conditions improving. We did not carry traction or an ice axe. We had to step into two FLAT footprints in one snowfield with no exposure. I attached a picture looking down at precipice. You basically walk between the snow and cliff then cross it at the narrowest part. There is a little snow at the bottom of the chimney but you can get your feet on the rock without stepping in the snow. Water crossing was easy. That stream is the last place you can filter on the route. 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 7/25/2023, By: EthanBeltramo
Info: Essentially summer conditions. Brought an ice ace and spikes but never used either. All of the snow on the route was avoidable. There is a little bit of ice at the base of the chimney but you can avoid it. I found the crux of the route to be the final Cliffs below the summit rather than the chimney as they are quite exposed. Chimney move is a little tough on the Down climb but it is protected and not exposed. There was a rap anchor someone had set up that looked to be in good condition. 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 7/27/2023, By: kissmyiceaxe
Info: Similar to last report. A few small snow patches to cross, but nothing significant to necessitate axes, etc. There's a patch below the summit that I felt more comfortable with microspikes on, but the rest of my team didn't use them. The snow is avoidable, but we opted for the snow as it seemed more stable than that loose crap rock up there. 
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