Peak(s):  North Maroon Peak  -  14,014 feet
Maroon Peak  -  14,156 feet
Date Posted:  06/27/2012
Modified:  08/29/2012
Date Climbed:   06/23/2012
Author:  MonGoose
Additional Members:   MountainMedic, bmcconahey, CRAIGO, Neil
 North Maroon Peak - Standard Route Only  

When i was in college, I had a poster of the Maroon Bells hanging on my wall. I wanted to go there someday and a few years ago I got to do the 4 pass loop. Now I'm climbing the Bells.

I got halfway around the lake when I happened upon a wedding party. I chatted with the bride for a few minutes when she mentioned she had just gotten married. I commented, "If we had met a few hours ago, things could have been different". She smiled and laughed, but the groom, he didn't seem very amused. Then came the bridesmaids wearing their beautiful flowing velvet red dresses. They looked at me curiously. "Wow, that's some dress", I remarked to one of the bridesmaids. She replied in a bitchy snarl, "I have dirt in my shoe". Yeah, definitely not my type - Oh well, there's bigger peaks to bag.

Just when you get your confidence up to do a tough peak you see something like this.

I spent the evening at the Crater Lake campground, the one with the multiple bear attacks last year. I did not see any signs of bears but it seemed like I dreamed of a bear attack every hour. There are 11 secluded sites spread out along Crater Lake. Sites 1 & 2 and closest to the North Maroon Peak route and site 10 & 11 are closest to the Maroon Peak route. I awoke early the next morning and started on the trail around 5:15am. I met MountainMedic for the first time at Crater Lake where he was camping. He seemed disoriented and confused but said he wanted to climb North Maroon Peak. I told him that I could take him there.

A view of the standard route from the checkout line of your local grocery store:

The standard route consists of four key components:
1) The Rock Glacier - not technical but tedious and takes a lot longer than you would expect

2) The First Gully - Steep with a good trail

3) The Second Gully - Steep with loose, unstable rock; not much of a trail

4) Class III/IV section - Route finding to the summit
Here's a view of MountainMedic trying to walk through a Class III section:

The views along the route are amazing.

Photo by MountainMedic

Here's the Class IV crux. It's about 15' tall and the exposure is minimal. You have to do one move but really it's not bad. I also found a Class III route to the left (on the up) that was easier but had severe exposure. I took the Class IV route up and down.

MountainMedic finishing the Class IV crux. From this point on there isn't a trail, it's just route finding to try to keep it Class III.

I've decided that bringing a camera along greatly increases the exposure of the hike. I would never stand this close to the edge of a cliff if there wasn't a photo involved.

Photo by MountainMedic

When we reached the summit, we met Neil who was kind enough to take our picture. Just as he was snapping the photo, a ferocious gust of wind blew his hat off his head and it went flying about 100' out and 1,000' down. You can see the reaction on our faces. A few minutes later a young lady arrived on the summit and began taking off her pants. I thought to myself, "This is it, I've finally met one of the nude peak baggers!" But as it turns out, she was just adding a thermal layer. Oh well, maybe someday. We also met up with Craig0 and bmcconahey on the summit. Good Times!

MountainMedic hanging out on the precipice on the way down.

My beard is awesome.

Photo by MountainMedic

After getting him safely down the mountain, MountainMedic shows his appreciation and then eats his shorts.

One final tidbit, apparently porcupines don't like foxes. I tried spraying Fox piss on my tires which seemed a lot easier than spreading chicken wire. It seemed to work but honestly, who knows?

I had an amazing day on North Maroon Peak. Be smart out there and I wish safe travels to everyone.


Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Missed Opportunity
06/27/2012 13:24
Man, I forgot about that shot with the bride...awesome! I think you had a real chance. She was looking for a way out. Anyway, great report. It really captures the spirit of the mountain (hard and steep) and the summit (hilarity). Great pics too. Good meeting you and let's continue our search for canyongoddess, I mean climb a mountin together sometime.

James Scott

great pix
06/27/2012 13:27
What kind of technology did you use to illustate the route on your King Soopers card? Must be some new, cutting edge app I haven't heard of yet. Loved the many pictures of you on the top, especially #15- that looks crazy! Thanks for the info- I'm returning to North Maroon in July.


I know the restaurants in Aspen aren't great,
06/27/2012 13:31
...apparently Tyler couldn't wait.


Nice work
06/27/2012 14:00
Congrats on a sweet climb you guys. Tough about the bride, but you're right, there are bigger peaks to go for. So who is the one who has to collect the fox piss?


Nude peak bagging
06/27/2012 14:18
I knew mongoose was disappointed he didn't get to meet any nude summiteers, so I thought I'd try and make up for it. Little did I know he was taking photos behind me! That's the last time I moon mongoose.


Oh, and...
06/27/2012 14:21
You might wanna make that smiley face a little bigger to cover the rest of my pale ass.


06/27/2012 14:40
Yeah MountainMedic, I was thinking the same thing. I would not have argued with a larger smiley face. No offense.


Timing is everything
06/27/2012 15:02
Sure glad we were a bit behind you arriving back at Minnehaha Gulch on the way least digitally you can ADD a smiley face!
Nice TR.


Great hike and great pictures!
06/27/2012 15:19
Minus image 16! Fun hiking with you all.


06/27/2012 16:04
That was an awesome report. That bride looks awful excited to be in your picture! Love the King Super card, really the only beta you need in my opinion.


Nice Report
06/27/2012 21:25
Neat Pictures. There's also a 3rd class alternative to the right (on the way up) of the crux chimney.


For the record
09/24/2012 15:44
I prefer canyongoddess photos

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