Peak(s):  Pyramid Peak  -  14,018 feet
Date Posted:  09/09/2012
Date Climbed:   09/08/2012
Author:  gonzalj

 Pyramid Peak - NE Ridge  

Pyramid Peak and the Maroon Bells have been peaks that have had a special place in my heart for a long time due to their extreme beauty & ruggedness and I've known for a long time that if I could ever climb them, that they would rank very high on my most wanted peaks. I've also learned to develop a huge respect for these peaks do the nature of the tough climb, exposure, loose rock and all the other reputations that are associated with them. I told myself at the beginning of this summer that I would really love to do pyramid, but wanted to go up with someone experienced (due to the fact that I only have minimal class 3 experience) and I would try to time it to give myself the best chance for a great weather day (September was my thought process as sometimes the monsoon weather from July & August can clear out and you can see the great blue sky, sunny day forecast). Add to my motivations, the recent tragic losses of Rob Jansen and Chris Gray, that just added fuel to the fire for my motivation to do this climb for them (RIP...).

So off I go set for a climb date of September 8th with the most perfect forecast I could have ever asked for. My partner and I started off at 5 am and right around sunrise we were reaching the ampitheatre. After tedious, but not that bad talus hopping to the base of the slope that goes up to the ridge, I'm thinking (OMG this looks absolutely terrible). Fortunately for me, there was a trail all the way up and it wasn't nearly as bad as it looked (I did take small steps to try & conserve energy going up) and in about an hour reached the top of the saddle at 13K at 9 am and not a cloud in the sky. After a short refuel break, we make our way up the technical climbing part. There was definitely serious exposure and the going was slow, but the climbing was fun and we we're able to find ways that avoided the horrible loose rock the elks are known for and I was pleasantly surprised that there were a good number of solid hand & foot holds as we made our way up towards the green gully and when we were in the gully. The one thing though that we we're always on the lookout for is the goats up on the peak. Boy are they curious and seem to always like hanging around humans and they definitely set off plenty of rocks, so we always made sure we were not in direct line of them. It took a while as the climbing definitely worked the lungs, but 2 & a half hours after leaving the saddle, we reached the summit at 11:45 with hardly any clouds in the sky and an amazingly beautiful day and some of the most amazing elk range views hands down.

After about half an hour on the summit, we started the descent and once again it was slow (took about 2 & a half hours to reach the saddle), but the downclimbing was fun and the weather was great. At that point I start thinking of the downclimb of the hill down to the ampitheatre and start thinking how much of a pain it's going to be. While it wasn't what I would call fun, I kept my steps small and it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be and 45 minutes later I was back at the ampitheatre. By this point my legs and ankles were getting tired and making my way across the ampitheatre has absolute hell. In my opinion this was the worse part of the day and eventually was really glad to make my way out. After that once we were on the trail I was tired and my feet hurt so it wasn't all that fun the rest of the way down (even though comparatively speaking it was nothing nearly as bad as the ampitheatre), but all in all it was a great day and I am so glad I was able to get this great peak as a tribute to some great guys.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Cards of 14ers?
09/09/2012 17:52
Where did you get them? Anyways, nice pic of the bells!


Great job!
09/09/2012 18:23
Sounds like quite the hike! I like your pic of the Bells. Congrats on summiting what looks like a very beautiful and memorable peak, Jorge!

Milan, I have a deck of 14er playing cards that I bought at the gas station in Buena Vista on the way out of town on Hwy 285. They are $6.99 a pack.


09/09/2012 20:30
I got the 14er cards at a store in cherry creek right around 3rd & Detroit that sells souvenirs and stuff like that. I forget the name of the store, but they were somewhere right around $6 or $7 for them.


09/10/2012 01:58
Jorge, Congrats on this summit! Nice work.


Hey Barry
09/10/2012 02:34
Thanks and way to go on getting chicago basin.

I Man

09/10/2012 03:35
Very cool. Pyramid is a fun mountain and the weather in the park this weekend was incredible.

Thanks again for the calendar, it is awesome!

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