Peak(s):  Pyramid Peak  -  14,018 feet
Date Posted:  07/16/2006
Date Climbed:   07/14/2006
Author:  TalusMonkey

 Pyramid Peak - Northeast Ridge  

Date: Friday, July 14, 2006
Team: Solo
TH: Maroon Lake

After last weekend‘s wet weather hiatus, I planned to hike Pyramid and Snowmass this weekend. I left Denver at 1420 on Thursday and spent Friday night in Snowmass Village at the Wildwood Inn. That evening I met up with Troy@smv (from the Culebra group trip - June 25th) for dinner and a beer.

I woke a few minutes before 0300 and drove to the Maroon Lake TH in time to get on trail right at 0400. The hike up toward Crater Lake was easy and the morning was warm. The turnoff to Pyramid Peak is marked with a large cairn, but it is easy to miss in the dark. Be sure to start looking for the cairn and a small upward trail on the left once you come out of the trees into an open area.

After crossing over the flat moraine-like plateau I began the climb up the new CFI trail to the Pyramid amphitheater. This trail is in very good shape most of the way. However, the trail is still under construction in some of the upper areas. As I was climbing, I heard voices behind me and looked down to see headlamps on the moraine below. I stopped just below the amphitheater for a breakfast snack and a group of three hikers passed me.

I continued the climb up toward the amphitheater and found a long snowfield up the right side of the large moraine (to left of my right elbow in photo). The snow was well consolidated but of suitable grade to climb without crampons. It was certainly an easier way to cover several hundred yards than walking on the moraine.

A view from below the amphitheater with Pyramid in the upper left:


At the top of the moraine I crossed over the moraine, as described in Bill‘s route description here. I saw the group that had passed me moving up the west side of the amphitheater – obviously taking the NW route. I was ecstatic that no one would be above me on the NE Ridge route.

There is very little snow in the gully and it is easy to get from the moraine to the gully avoiding snow. The gully has lots of loose scree and rock, but it was an easy climb without climbers above or below me. From the 13,000 saddle it was easy to stay on the NE Ridge route described on this site. Ascend from the saddle and cross to the south side of the ridge immediately above the cornice. Then follow cairns to find the cliff traverse and then the pale green rock. The green rock was easy to climb and the exit 2/3 of the way up was well cairned. Then just follow cairns in the red rock to the summit.

The cliff traverse:


I arrived on the summit only a few minutes after the group that had taken the NW Ridge (Keyhole) route. It was 0815. After celebratory malt liquor and some photos I hurried down to return to the truck at 1100. Now I had all afternoon to kill before meeting Wyo_MtnMan and Greg in Marble for Snowmass tomorrow…

Billy Dee Williams was right – Colt 45 – it works EVERY time! Maroon Bells in background:


A view of Maroon Lake and the Maroon Bells from near the TH:


Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

08/04/2007 08:04
wow TM is pretty buff..

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