Peak(s):  Pyramid Peak  -  14,018 feet
Date Posted:  08/02/2009
Date Climbed:   07/31/2009
Author:  Gueza

 Scaling The Pyramid  

Pyramid Peak
Standard Route
Class 4
8 miles RT 4,500ft vertical
9 hours total
Team:Shredthgnar(Amy), Castricone7(Pete), Realhillboarding(Adam), Lostsheep5

After carpooling with Amy and Pete for hours, we arrived at the Silver Queen camp ground at 11pm. We all set up our tents and hit the sack. I woke up at 3:15am and started to get dressed, then 5 minutes later it started to pour rain. We agreed to wait the rain out until it stopped which it finally did at 3:40ish. We then packed up our tents and drove to the TH. We met Adam there and we were off at around 4:30ish. We were all a little worried about the rock being wet when we got there.

The trek to the amphitheater. Pyramid is center.





The only weakness to Pyramids NE ridge.

After on the saddle of the NE ridge, we ate a snack and were greeted by a showy Mountain Goat who jumped a big gap like it was nothing. Adam got a sick picture of the goat in mid air jumping the gap.


We shortly began our traverse. Looking back at the saddle on the NE ridge.

Then the fun began.
An action shot of Adam doing the "Leap of faith"
The jump isn't bad at all. Its defiantly a jump and I don't know anybody who could step across it but I wouldn't call that exposed. You could down climb about 50ft and re climb if you really didn't want to do the jump or the ledge.

Pete on the infamous "Death ledge" which was like the easiest part of the whole climb. There are bomber holds along the ledge and you should never feel that you have nothing to hang on to.

This picture does a better justice. Amy on the ledge.

After your past the ledge, you follow cairns and do a walking traverse on some key ledges to the base of the green wall.

The green wall is the routes technical crux. And most of the rock is solid, however, do it one at a time or side by side while the others wait from a safe spot, for there is a lot of loose junk on top of the solid stuff. We didn't do either of these on the way up but on the way down we certainly did. There are hand holds everywhere in the green wall, you just need to search for them. I never felt like I was going to fall. About half way up I heard ROCK!!! ROCK!!!! and sure enough, a rock the size of a cantaloupe is rocketing towards my head! I miss the rock by a second or so by ducking to the side. I spoke a little bit of what was on my mind and told him to be more careful. We then took turns on the steeper stuff while others would watch from a place safe from rock fall.
Here is an idea of how steep the green wall gets.

Once eventually on the green wall, you angle right above a cliff band then turn left and see this cairn.

You then pretty much go up until you can't anymore, turn a sharp left or right until you can and find a spot where you can go up. It's basically a matter of choice which route you take and our up and down routes were not the same. Here's a "Hero Shot" of Pete doing the most exposed move on the whole mountain. The picture doesn't do the justice but its gotta be at least 1000 ft of air beneath him. Adam is in the background.

You keep on climbing then eventually you find your self on summit ridge.

Then you just have this happy feeling of accomplishment. We slapped high fives and ate snacks as the Maroon Bells kept us entertained

Here is my summit shot on the famous diving board with the bells in the background.

We didn't stay long on the summit because of an approaching storm.

I took us a little shorter time on the way down then on the way up. And we all agreed that this would suck to have to down climb when wet. We eventually made it back to the saddle and were relieved.
We made our way down the scree gully then it started to graupel. A few minutes later, flash-BOOM!!!!!!!I have never seen so many people start to move so quickly all at the same time. Then there was another one Flash-CRACK BOOM!!!!!!!!The graupel would turn into slush on the ground and made the scree part super muddy.Only the last part is scree. 80 percent of this part is on a dirt slope. I slipped and slid about 15ft and grabbed onto a rock. We could hear thunder echoing in the valley below. We were all glad that we were not on Pyramid at the time. I was a little worried for the CMC group that was still up there.
Once we made it back into the amphitheater, we felt a lot safer. W made our way down and Adam and I got a few glissades in. We took a break before treeline and the CMC group caught up to us and had made it down safely.
The trail was muddy and someone would occasionally slip. One last look at Pyramid.

And the sign.

The famous Maroon Bells shot.

Once back to the car I was possessed by the thought of food. I started to think Qdoba and everyone said that would work. MMmmmmMMM Qdoba.

Overall Pyramid was a great climb and my favorite 14er thus far. The views were spectacular and the climb was fun. I highly recommend this peak.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions
Alan Arnette

Nice Goat!
08/02/2009 18:55
Thanks for the TR. I am going next week and appreciate all the info. The picture of the goat was fun! well done


Gnarly, epic, and killer!
06/02/2011 14:57
Very nice report. The pic of the ledge makes me feel better as I am aiming to do this at the end of August. Terrific picture of the goat. Thanks for sharing. Happy you all got off the mountain before the weather got serious. Great job.


nicely done!
08/03/2009 05:23
Wish I coulda been there. Do you think it would be insane to do Pyramid and Maroon over Labor Day weekend? I‘m a bit worried about crowds kicking rocks down on me (or me kicking rocks on others). But that‘s probably the next good opportunity I‘ll have.


Very cool
08/03/2009 08:15
Great TR! I‘m really looking forward to getting back up there to do Pyramid!


Good job ERIC
08/03/2009 16:21
Are you going to show your Mom the diving board shot
Congrats on another peak, it was great climbing and backpacking with you last week.


Well Done
08/03/2009 16:51
I was in the second group on Pyramid that caught up to you guys on the descent. Actually, only the two older gentlemen are in CMC. Your trip report was excellent, you took much better pictures than we did. The lightning was definitely one of the scariest moments in my life. Thanks for providing this report.

Steve Climber

Goat shot...
05/09/2014 12:26
That goat pic is SICK!!! Nice climb and TR


great report, lightning
08/03/2009 23:14
That was an amazing day. I was with the group that caught up with you in the ampitheater on the weay down. When the first lighting stike hit we were about 13400. I was hugging the mountain and could feel the electricity between my hands. When the second one hit I was about 13100 and could feel it coming and just ducked, and could see the electricty arcing above my helmet. I‘ve never moved so fast in my life. You have accomplished alot in your young age. Great job Eric and of course to all the others.

Jon Krecker

Nicely Done
08/03/2009 23:49
Great Trip report Eric, great pictures especially the goat shot.
I climbed Wilson Peak with you. You‘re an amazing young man.-Jon Krecker

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