|2016-12-22||Route: NW Ridge
Posted On: 2016-12-24, By: Yikes
Info: Very long hike in, but good conditions on the mountain. While the Sawatch apparently has deep sugar, Aspen snow is pretty manageable.
|2016-09-28||Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2016-09-29, By: crazymarmot
Info: "Technical" season has started. Below 13k was plenty of mud which made it for a slippery climb. Above 13k snow/ice started. Snow consistency was sugar with depth anywhere from 3" to mid-calf deep. Due to consistency and depth, crampons are little help since you sink right to the ground, while without them it is very slippery. Ice axes were really nice. Punk rock band crux: Technical - All the holds are covered in ice/snow. Downclimbing is nearly impossible at this time, and due to it's shady location I do not see a possibility of the ice leaving till next spring. Rope is a must for most (unless you can downclimb using tools - not recommended), and highly suggesting to pitch out this section on the way up. I did climb it without a rope with a spotter, I would have been a lot more comfortable pitching this out. New sling is placed on top of this section. Please remember to inspect it for integrity and animal/weather/abrasion damage. BONUS: Downclimbed a good section (about 400-500 vert) of the ridge between the summit and "Gunsight". Snow amount was negligible, easy to avoid. Can not report on the rest of the route, but my gut feeling tells me there probably isn't much snow/ice on this ridge. Not sure on the full beta of the route, make sure you can climb up/down to Gunsight. Good luck!
|2016-09-18||Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2016-09-18, By: mikemalick
Info: Route is mostly dry until just below the chimney. The chimney has some ice and snow on all the ledges, but we were still able to make it up that route. The class 3 bypass has lots of snow on every stinkin' ledge. Just a little snow and ice between the chimney and summit. Most of that can be avoided. I would recommend spikes for the descent. Opted for the bypass on the way down and really wish I had them.
|2016-09-07||Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2016-09-07, By: Andrew
Info: Route is in good condition. There is a little water in several places high up, but it does not cause any problems. The crux is clear. We were the only people on North Maroon that I saw. There were four people on the summit of Maroon Peak, so I'm guessing that route is decent as well.
|2016-07-31||Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2016-08-01, By: goingup
Info: I do not understand what all the whoo haaa over the class 4 chimney in these condition reports is about? My group had myself (100 pound girl), another girl (115 pounds) and two dudes one was (a shorter 170 pounds) the other (a big 6'4 190 pounds) and a DOG and we ALL ascended and descended the class 4 chimney just fine. The bigger guys used the ledge above to pull themselves up while I squeezed up the crack/crevice all the way to the top. If you can make three class 4 moves you should have zero issue with this crux. 2 weeks prior to my successful summit I was stormed off 500 feet from the summit. I had issues locating the chimney (as the cairn shown in photos is no longer at the base and I did not correctly negotiate the ledges from the notch to ridge proper). I tried to find the alternative class 3 route around and it was drenched in slimy wet gross loose exposed rock. In my opinion, climb the class 4 chimney. It is only a little bit tricky but a lot of fun. Be concerned with the REST of the mountain which is a scary loose pile of crap. Rock bombs were flying on summit day and it wasn't the dog who sent one of them (all human triggered).
|2016-07-13||Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2016-07-15, By: oldgrayhair
Info: I can confirm that the conditions are in summertime conditions per the previous reports and the attached picture of the 2nd gulley, and bring plenty of water since the last source is the creek crossing prior to ascending the scree field. When in the second gulley, the trail will lead you up and toward the left side of its top; make sure to head for the notch in Photo 32 of the Northeast Ridge description where you will find the easiest way up the cliff band at the top of the gulley. Also, be aware of mountain goats; I have attached pictures. The goat followed me up the 1st and 2nd gulley, then charged me at the crest of the gulley. After I retreated off the top of the second gulley, I was followed all the way to treeline after the rock glacier.
|2016-07-10||Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2016-07-10, By: tleh
Info: The class 4 chimney has a large boulder on top end of chimney. The top 3 inches (appx) is sheared and broken in one slab. It twisted in the hands of my climbing partner and she let go and slid. Beware of this area.
|2016-07-10||Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2016-07-10, By: duncanmil
Info: Summer conditions. You might want to check out the alternative way around the class 4 move by asking a Forum question. The class 4 move requires both strength and flexibility. One without the other makes it almost undo-able. Also, this is not a mountain for a dog, any dog. The gullies are steep with lots of loose rocks. Bring plenty of water or an extra straw filter just in case.
|2016-07-08||Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2016-07-08, By: herdbull
Info: Descended this route after doing the traverse. The first 750' or so feet down to around 13,500' is manageable but after that the trail turns to a mish mash of about 4 routes. Not much for cairns or a heavily used trail to follow. Definitely DO NOT go left near the rock bands. Tons of water running on them by late morning. Very slick and dangerous conditions. Once below 12,250' the route starts to take shape again. The standard route does cross 2 separate snow fields on the rock glacier. They could be avoided. I went across them as they were soft and you cold kick steps in. Just avoid them and leave traction in the car. Overall one of the crappier routes I've been in a while.
|2016-07-01||Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2016-07-04, By: 14er-climbing
Info: No need for crampons or ice axe, the only snow is fine to walk right over. The ascent was 5 and a half hours, and the descent took the same time. We were going to go for the traverse, but we could barely see 10 feet in front of us, and we had slippery rock. This was the 42nd 14er my dad and I have summited, this time with a hired guide.
|2016-05-30||Route: North Face
Posted On: 2016-06-01, By: jmc5040
Info: Coverage was solid on North Maroon's North Face route. The Punk Rock was the ski crux, but adequate snow existed to side step down. The upper traverse was less consolidated from fresh snow two days prior. Pockets of NW aspect snow required careful travel as it held a one inch thick crust but was very unconsolidated below in the ~8-in new layer. New snow was bonded well to the old surface layer. These conditions are two days old and likely have changed considerably with the sunny warm weather.
|2016-05-22||Route: North Face
Posted On: 2016-05-23, By: yingyangsoup89
Info: Hit this face early as the sun heats it up heavily by 8 am. Bottom portion of couloir left of gunsight (NW couloir) gets very soft in the am. Snow improved gradually as we climbed and stayed nice most of the morning into late afternoon. Very enjoyable climbing and down climbing this face as it provided almost 4k of snow. Tricky mazing through middle but you should be able to find the line that goes. Pretty sustained slope most of the way, probably upper 40s on average. Snow melting fast on most of approach. Standard trail to approach this route is clear up to about 11k and that's when we put slow shoes on. Awesome route with great exposure.
|2016-05-14||Route: North Face
Posted On: 2016-05-15, By: rangercarl
Info: The road opened Friday afternoon to our surprise. Continuous snow from about 20 minutes from maroon lake. Tough booting conditions on the north face, but much of it was consolidated winter like snow that skied very well. The punk rock band was definitely the crux, kind of awkward with the current amount of snow, but we skied off the summit through the face no problem.
|2016-04-25||Route: Maroon Creek Rd
Posted On: 2016-04-26, By: WillRobnett
Info: Road closed approx 6 miles from the Maroon Lake. Freeze/thaw cycles on the road consistent up to the day-use parking. Full snow coverage 1.5 miles from the lake. Coverage is 2 feet deep at Maroon Lake. Alpine start, brought snowshoes and didn't need them. Gaiters were good to have at the lake.
|2015-09-26||Route: Bells traverse
Posted On: 2015-09-28, By: bdloftin77
Info: Maroon Peak is dry going up the standard route. A couple inches of snow in places on the north side of Maroon, but you can find dry places to step on, or rocks to avoid a lot of snow, with care. The traverse is dry. Going up N Maroon on the south side is dry. Going down N Maroon on the north side, there is about 1-3 inches of fairly consistent snow above 13k feet. Take care going up or down.. You can avoid some of the snow by carefully stepping on rocks, but in other places it is more packed down and a bit slick. It CAN be done without traction.. We made it down without microspikes.. We made it okay, but were very slow and careful. I would recommend taking yaktrax or microspikes though. I was thinking about putting them on, but was almost past the snowy area at that time. The chimney is dry in most places, but if your shoes are wet from the snow, it is more tricky.
|2015-09-26||Route: Passing through the area
Posted On: 2015-09-26, By: WillRobnett
Info: Fall colors from the South Elbert Trailhead are peak and some what coming to an end. Independence Pass is holding fall colors better than Elbert. La Plata has good colors at lower elevations. Most of Independence Pass is holding good fall colors. Maroon Bells (Maroon Peak/N. Maroon Peak) and Pyramid are the best fall colors Leadville to Aspen right now. The Bells and Pyramid have a thin layer of snow 13,500 and above. North Maroon looked like it had unavoidable snow above 13,5.
|2015-09-25||Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2015-09-28, By: Sunshineof1985
Info: Hi! This is my 49th fourteener summit this summer! My goal is to do all 54 peaks (minus Culebra). You can read more about this hike and others at Sunshineof1985.com. Enjoy! Time started: 9:15am End time: 5:40pm Time to Summit: 4 hours and 45 minutes Time to Descent: 3 hours Overall Pace: 1.2 miles per hour GEAR (to bring): Microspikes, bear spray, helmet, GPS, extra socks, phone, SPOT Satellite Tracker, Map, Topo Map from 14ers.com, hiking boots with 2 pairs of socks on, long-sleeve, wind-guard/raincoat, light weight puffy coat, warm hat, lightweight gloves, day pack with water sack (100 oz or more), snacks. Road Condition: Black top; You will also have to pay to get into the park (even if you come in before they open, they check later in the day at the parking lot to see if you self-paid. Trail Condition: There is snow at from 13,300 feet on. It‘s not deep, or that treacherous, but bring your microspikes just in case. Otherwise, from the start, it‘s a beautiful walk through the forest. At the point where you would turn left to Crater Lake, you‘ll turn right to head towards North Maroon. There is a junction at 10,800 marked by a cairn that will lead you down to the creek. From there, the real hiking begins. Hike up a series of boulder steps that turns into talus rock. Once around 11,500 feet, cross the boulder field to the upper break in the cliff side. The gullies are not typical gullies that I‘ve been in. There isn‘t much scree or loose rock, and there‘s a fairly good trail leading the whole way in both "gullies". Once at the notch at 13,200 feet, you‘ll need to use more body strength to pull yourself up higher and higher, for the rest of the way. When you get to the chimney, you can go further to the left and climb up some other rocks to avoid the chimney. You‘ll cross over two tall square shaped rocks. This whole area is kind of a blur honestly. It was exhausting. You will go through some snow, so have your microspikes.
|2015-09-21||Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2015-09-22, By: dereferenced
Info: Climbed up south maroon, traversed, down north. North facing slopes above 13k are holding snow, all other aspects are dry. Traverse was okay since the harder moves are all south facing. Getting down from south to the saddle was slow, traction would be helpful. The snow was mostly not a problem for descending north maroon (I used microspikes but no axe), except that the class 4 chimney was icy in spots. Downclimbing that was probably the technical crux of the day. Conditions will probably all change after the next storm so... not sure how useful any of this is. Maybe conditions will be similar after the next melt?
|2015-09-19||Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2015-09-20, By: appleseeds
Info: The standard route is completely dry until you reach the ridge around 13200. From there on, there is a consistent snow cover that ranges from 1-6 inches. We expected it to be mainly a dusting but took microspikes and an axe just in case, and it‘s good we did. The snow was surprisingly crusty and the spikes were very helpful (though not required; other people were climbing without them). It‘s not very solid though, and it often cracks when you step on it. Given the snow, we were not certain about doing the class 3 bypass around the chimney, though the chimney turned out to be doable but rather difficult. Many of the holds were covered in snow/ice, including the good handhold that many people use to pull up on the final ledge. We were unable to find that hold in the ice and had to wedge ourselves between the rocks and shimmy further up until we could step onto the ledge. We did try to clear off the snow from the ledge so maybe it will melt out over the next few days.
|2015-08-01||Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2015-08-02, By: JenGa
Info: We hiked up the N. Maroon cutoff trail and found camping a few hundred yards below the second cutoff. No bears up there Started: 6am Sumit: 10:30 Back to campsite: 2:30 pm No snow, great hike. This hike was great! Compared to S Maroon and Pyramid I would have to say that this was the most exhausting of the three. Although it is not overly difficult in terms of scrambling, it is steep and long, and the uphill is relentless, unlike S. Maroon that is also difficlut but without significant elevation gain on the ridge until the final gully. I felt exposed the entire hike on N. Maroon. Pyramid is the most fun of the three, the class 4 green wall is just more exposed scrambling. The class 4 move on N. Maroon right near the top and I was so tired by the time we got there. Route-finding is easiest on S. Maroon. I love the Elk‘s - any hike there is going to be beautiful and challenging.