Peak(s):  Maroon Peak  -  14,156 feet
Date Posted:  04/11/2012
Modified:  02/21/2014
Date Climbed:   04/08/2012
Author:  George James
Additional Members:   telejb
 Skister Weekend   

Roses are Red.
Maroon Peak is also Red.
Poems are Hard.
Maroon Peak.

A Skister Story

Swinging the pack on for the first time of the trip…the first of several stream crossings soon to follow.

Although the snow started promptly after stream one, the beginning of the trek was not without some short sections of dry tooling.

A mellow climb to start was pleasant enough...

…and the views were quite nice, as the Green Hornet would attest to.

Heading down before heading up. Snowmass stage left.

Stream hop number two. My formative years as a country club waiter pay off.

Over the river and through the woods, our objective comes into view for the first time. It’s not Grandma’s house. Not this Skister.

Twelve four ninety admires my Gladpad (patent pending) as we shuffle by. I never got Steve to sign it, alas.

Looking back from whence we had come from

Approaches grow longer, shadows grow taller

Close enough. Backcountry gear bombs explode in concert. Ka-Boom!


Sunset. Nightfall. Moonlight. Dreams...


Skister Sunday. The approach resumes.

ATjb (the skier formerly known as telejb) concocts a clever, contouring course.

Whence again

The high reaches of the basin granted us the opportunity to feel small…

...very small…

...teeny tiny even! (read with Snagglepuss panache)


We then strapped pointy things to our hands and feet and climbed and stuff:

My partners are fast…

…and I am slow…

…but they let me catch up when things get steeper, which is nice

Almost there...


And what’s this? A surprise gift of Mini Eggs! Happy Skister Michelle!

Pyramid Beta

Snow Cap Beta

Traverse Beta

This next part is my favorite…


A true Skister celebration!

ATjb. He lives to ski.

Stoke break

On the apron and below conditions were rather fraverable, and the silky slide back to camp was much enjoyed. However, if the any of the preceding photos have somehow led you to believe that the skiing was good up higher, then I have hoodwinked and bamboozled you. On the contrary, the snow conditions above 12,500 feet were quite poor, for skiing. If you decide to ski this right now, don’t say I didn’t tell you so.


Back thru camp and on our way

Whence more

aggressive skier + tired legs + willows =

This last part is my least favorite: The Unending Road of Unending.

Back across the stream before dark, at least. Now, let the agony begin...

My tiny light attempts in vain to keep up with the machines that I call friends. Each and every one of my strides was a small Skister miracle at this point.

Still Skister Sunday, but barely. I don’t think this photo could have come out much more appropriately.


Twas a fine trip, all things considered. Skiing in the couloir seems better than it actually was with each passing hour...and as brutal as that road was, it’s absolutely amazing to me how a day or two removed from the suffering can make it allllll better.


The End. Happy Skister!

 Comments or Questions

damn nice work
04/11/2012 18:58
tight turns!


04/11/2012 19:01
Great line! Congrats to everyone!


Sweet report
04/11/2012 19:21
Congrats, George and crew! Was the normal winter closure on Maroon Creek Road in effect or have they opened it up further past the ranch?


Way to Go!
04/11/2012 19:44
Great to see a ski report come out of that region. Congrats on getting a big one! That line is very high on my short list, and this TR reminded me why .


Nice skis Michelle
04/11/2012 19:45
Looks like quite the long approach from the WSW. Type II fun!

Good job getting after it on a tough year!


04/11/2012 19:50
Well done George and Team


Great report.
04/11/2012 20:01
Sharp pictures, sharp prose. Need to get back to the Elks...


Nice work
04/11/2012 20:07
Now that's quite the approach. Not your everyday 14er TR. Thanks for sharing.


Freaking sweet
04/11/2012 20:45
Great trip report and pics. How many miles was that round trip?


Well done!
04/11/2012 21:43
I like your style!


Excellent report
04/11/2012 21:53
GJ, you're making me want to head back to CO ASAP. Nice work!


How the Heck...
04/12/2012 00:39
Did you find a line down Maroon Peak this season?!? I'm in awe...


04/12/2012 02:19
Great report! Thanks for sharing!


Nice going!
04/12/2012 02:27
Looks like a lot of work tho'...

Brian C

04/12/2012 12:17
Nice work George! Can't wait to hear about it over some beer!


04/12/2012 12:43
a poet and dint even realize it!

Fun report George. Interesting to see this approach into the Bells...honestly, I don't know how often it is utilized but I liked it. Nice work to you and your crew!


Great report
04/12/2012 15:16
Thanks for the laughs on some of those captions! Quite the trip, and a nice write-up.

Would it be possible to include a route map? Thx!

George James

04/13/2012 15:42
It was at least twenty miles round trip. I have no idea about the status of the closure on Maroon Creek Road.

A route map? Go past Arkansas, thru Lead King, around satans stonemound, past twelve four ninety, turn right, turn left, turn around. Hope that's good enough.

Brian - I knew I forgot something!
Great jacket, rrreally happy with it, but yea they are pretty slim fit, and I sure am a skinny son of a gun. I upgraded to a smaller transceiver expressly because of this jacket, so I could fit more beer gut under there.

Thanks very much for all of your comments. They are appreciated.


Where is the Deviant Dales?
04/12/2012 18:00
You guys deserve a 4er of this after that monumental effort.

George - I was wondering who the hell would fit into those Mtn Hardwear shells. I tried that guy on at Bentgate couple months ago, sucked all the way in and still couldn't zipper up in a Large. I thought they were designated for belemic Europeans only.

Anyways, hell of a way to do SW Couloir, way to get creative.


Rock and roll!
04/12/2012 21:15
I'm amazed this was doable in a year like this. Way to go to everyone in the group.


Nice Job!
04/12/2012 23:27
Good work! Thanks for the great report. Tough year everywhere trying to find good lines....


04/14/2012 04:47
Beautiful pics and extraordinary effort. Thanks for sharing.


Well consider me
04/14/2012 13:30
hoodwinked and bamboozled then. You guys make the skiing look great. Very fun TR. Congrats on getting another classic in a not so classic season.


04/17/2012 19:41
Just playing catch up on the trip reports and was excited to come across this gem. Well done.

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