Peak(s):  North Maroon Peak  -  14,014 feet
Date Posted:  07/23/2006
Modified:  07/26/2006
Date Climbed:   07/22/2006
Author:  rockymtnhigh69
 North Maroon Peak (Northeast Ridge)  

I packed in and camped at Crater Lake on Friday and started my climb Saturday morning just a few hundred yards from Buckskin Trail that takes you to the cairn down to cross Minnehaha creek. Image

If youre starting in the dark finding this cairn can be tricky.. Fording the creek can be tricky at night as well... We found that theyre are two different trails on the other side of Minnehaha.. One is well cairned but takes you the wrong way to the right up a talus field.. You have to keep looking to the left for the right trail that takes you up to the meadow and the start of the huge boulder field.. The climb over that boulderfield is tricky in the early morning dark as well..Take caution. Trail is well defined to what many call "the wall"..
Climbing the wall is not extremely difficult but route finding can be a challenge in spots as cairns become less obvious. Nothing exceeds class three up the wall but there is exposure and as everyone knows, as beautiful of a mountain this is, it is a loose, rotten piece of doody! Image
We had 3 mountain goats kicking down rocks and they didnt even yell "rock". What nerve! Just below the chimney there are a couple of class 4 moves and I would say that the chimney requires at least some webbing.. Experienced climbers can do it, but coming down and getting in to the chimney with no webbing can be pretty scary.. A fall on that would not be a good propostion.. We had two experienced climbers help us and let us use their webbing in there.. It was very much appreciated.. I asked them about climber's right which I have heard a lot of people talk about to avoid the difficulties of the chimney.. They both have been up North Maroon several times and said the exposure is much greater to climber's right.. So think twice about trying to avoid the chimney.. Past the chimney the rock was very slick in spots and was kinda sketch in spots where scrambling needed to be done.. The weather was great and we summited at 11:00. It was a slow climb, but I feel on this mountian you need to be cautious.. Based on the loose rock and some of the exposure, you can see why it is called the "Deadly Bells" Don't trust any handhold or footing.. It was a glorious day and summit was spectacular..
Going down was another adventure as well.. Very Loose, so take caution.. All in all a great challenging day!

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