Peak(s):  Maroon Peak  -  14,156 feet
North Maroon Peak  -  14,014 feet
Date Posted:  09/17/2012
Modified:  07/30/2013
Date Climbed:   09/09/2012
Author:  djkest
Additional Members:   Jerousek, Chaos Penumbra
 Knowing Fear on the Bells (S > N)  

Note: I wrote this intro on 9/12 before I heard about the unfortunate tragedy of Derek Kelley's passing. RIP Derek. I edited my blog post to better respect and honor the passing of two fine young men this year on North Maroon Peak.

The Blog Post is HERE

Standing atop Maroon Peak, only 3 hours after we had started, we gazed over at the traverse with apprehension and unease. Matt spoke first, in a quiet voice- "You know guys, we really don't have to do this today. We can do North Maroon some other time. You sure you still want to do this traverse?". Mentally, I think I'd already committed to the traverse several weeks ago, but seeing it in person was a sobering experience. I'd be lying if I said it was easy. Devoid of consequences, knowing the final outcome, it wasn't that hard. But the risk factor of this trip was a little unnerving, venturing forth into the unknown. I knew that from the top of "the slope of victory" on S. Maroon, to the rock glacier on North Maroon, there was no time to relax and put it on cruise control.

The rock is loose, the peaks are dangerously steep and exposed. Wonderful individuals with plenty of experience have lost their lives on these mountains. A sign near maroon lake warns that the "Deadly Bells" are a place "where climbers fear to tread", hoping to discourage novice hikers from attempting them.

This year has been a challenge for me. As "the list" of 14ers remaining gets shorter, the inevitable exposure to risk increases. What complicates things is the arrival of my son, Alexander. I want to be there for my son, to take care of him, teach him, and take him into the mountains. Weighing the risks of climbing mountains is something I think about a lot lately.

And so I question myself, as I had been doing in the past, as I will do in the future- have I gone too far? Why am I doing this? Perhaps having a wife and kid at home is restrictive- but if that's the case, it's a welcome burden. I wouldn't trade my home life for anything. With these thoughts and others in my brain, we set off for one of the 4 "great traverses" with our 3-man group. The same group that a month ago had completed the Crestone Peak to Needle traverse. This gave me hope that our group dynamic would help us through it safely.

The Blog Post is HERE

Unlike some previous TRs, this one will only exist on the blog.

 Comments or Questions

Me no see linky!
09/17/2012 20:27
Where's the link?


09/18/2012 20:23
My palms are sweating just from the pictures of all that exposure. Nice report and some fantastic pics.


Great report!
09/19/2012 00:07
Congratulations and thanks for posting, really useful pics and comments on the key difficulties of the traverse. You guys did a good job!


Great job fellas!
09/19/2012 01:08
Awesome pictures and way to tackle a great and tricky route!

James Scott

09/20/2012 21:26
great pictures- I did this route the other way and was grateful to have an expert route finder so all I had to do was attach myself to him and follow. your pictures make me want to go back and do it again, and also stay far away both at the same time.
well done!


nice work
09/22/2012 13:58
you been killing it lately bro...your trip reports are among my favorite ones to read...the photography and narration are top notch.


Great trip!
09/25/2012 01:42
Did this from North to South on the sad day of Derek's accident. Very nice to see your kind words and great trip report. Thanks for sharing.

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