Peak(s):  Pyramid Peak  -  14,018 feet
Date Posted:  07/17/2010
Date Climbed:   07/14/2010
Author:  djrunner
 Pyramid - Goats Galore  

We left from the trailhead at 4:30 AM. Although it is reported to be 8 miles, we knew we would slow down at the amphitheatre.

Shortly after the sun rose we saw a mama and baby goat walk off behind the rocks. As soon as I pulled out my camera, they dissapeared behind the rocks. I figured we would see them on the other side, so I did not worry about it. We did not see them on the other side of the rocks, but I didn't really care. Suddenly Joe says, "Hey guys." He was talking to the goats. They were literally 5-10 feet behind us, on the trail, following us. We took some pictures.

There is still a snow field which we opted to walk through instead of the rocks. We did not need crampons. It wasn't steep enough. Instead we just walked up it.

The most difficult part up and down was climbing the 1000' climb from the amphitheatre to the saddle on the northeast ridge. It was steep and was long. It seemed to take forever and was very taxing. However, the views got better as we climbed. Capital and Snowmass came into view

Once to the top we turned and the goats were laughing inside at how difficult it seemed to us. It was another day in the park for them. It was creepy how close they followed. They were stalking us. Crazy goats.

A little while later we made it to the ledges. Now this has been hyped up. We were not impressed by the ledge. It was not as intimidating as all the photos make it seem. However, we still took some pics.

The rest of the way included careful route following. Look carefully for cairns. They exist, but they are not as easy to spot on the way up. Just like most mountain trails it is always easier to spot the trail on the way down. We also had the goats showing us the way. It was cool to turn and see the goats leading the way.

We summitted around 9:30 AM. It took us 5 hours to get up. We took our summit shot and the shot of the bells.

As previously stated, route finding was a lot easier going down.

When we returned to the ledges we were met by mama and baby goat. They were on the ledge. We could not cross until they were off the ledge. They just stared at us and spoke with their minds.
"What ledge? Oh this ledge? You wanna cross this ledge? Just go around. Humans are so cute. Are you going to pee so we can lick it up? Well, we can come closer to you if you are going to just stand and stare at us."
Finally they were off the ledge and we were able to cross.

A little while later we were at the saddle and decided to take a break since we knew this would be a long descent. Joe had to pee and walked off. As he was peeing, he looked up and the goats were just staring. I don't know if they are perverted or just watching their version of the discovery channel. Either way, they saw his wee wee.

Then the the goat decided he would pee as well. He walked about 10 feet away from us and squatted in the snow.

We descended the same way we ascended so there is no need for detailed dscription. Instead I wil share some photos.
Rhombus rock.


It was a great mountain. Beautiful views and it was great to be accompanied by our goat friends.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

07/18/2010 15:56
That‘s really funny about the goats, it sounds like they were enthralled by you guys. I saw some on the Maroon Bells last August, but they pretty much ignored our group.


Route Questions
07/18/2010 18:14
Ok, I am considering this peak next weekend. I have done Longs Peak Loft Route and so have some exposure to Class 3 but am a little concerned with the reputation of this mountain.

1) Did you encounter much falling rock, hear it, see it or have to avoid it?
2) Did you have to do much re-tracing of steps to stay on route?
3) Was the rock loose near the summit where the class 4 sections are?
4) Did you find coming down more difficult in terms of exposed Class 4 sections? I hate the prospect of facing in when descending. Just not comfortable with it and wondering if you felt the need to do that when descending?

Edit: Enjoyed your trip report very much. I always love reading about mountain goats and their interactions with climbers.


07/18/2010 17:55
Thanks for posting DJ. Your pictures turned out great, much better than mine did. I was regretting not bringing the DSLR and lenses when I got home and downloaded my pics. My 6mp camera did not do the place justice.


I can answer some of those questions
07/18/2010 20:06
1) Making our way across the amphitheatre, we stopped to listen to the thunderous sound of rocks tumbling down the headwall. We were far enough away not to be in any danger. We did push a few rocks onto each other at times, but luckily only handfuls at a time. Nothing seemed to want to bury us though.

2) It was advantageous to have 3 sets of eyes for the route finding. When unsure, we were able to spread out to gain better vantage points to locate cairns. Careful scouting in this way kept us on route. I would not want to stray from this route at all due to rockfall danger. The standard route has seen enough traffic that the danger of rockfall has been minimized. Helmets are still a must and all hand/foot holds should be thoroughly checked before applying weight to them.

3) The rock is loose everywhere, but least so in the extremely few and short class 4 sections. We had no trouble moving up these sections. I felt (the others may disagree) that the class 2 and 3 sections were much looser due to the slope being able to hold onto more crumbly scree and choss.

4) There was one move on a class 4 section a few hundred feet under the summit that made me a little uneasy on the inward facing downclimb. A fall would have been nasty, but it was only a three step move to get down it. Some of the downclimbing can be done facing outward, but not nearly all.

I must reiterate that this route is well marked. Attention to detail in sticking to the route is crucial to stay safe on the final push from the saddle to the summit. Slow and steady wins this one.


I conquer
07/19/2010 00:19
I agree with everything stated by Haba.


Ode de Goat
07/19/2010 16:05
Those goats were nuts! Great report DJ. I will send out at link to my pictures soon.


I wonder if...
07/19/2010 18:31
the goats are posting a pic of Joe taking a piss on . Nice writeup. Goofy animals are awesome.


07/19/2010 23:18
Kim, right? I was with my dad climbing Pyramid and we met before you guys started and again when we were near the summit and you guys had started the descent. Nice pics and we had the same experience with that goat family--crazy!!! That was my second time on Pyramid and I completely agree that the really loose stuff is before the ridge. I didn't mind going up the slope to the ridge, but I did NOT like coming down it. I ended up with blisters and pretty sore feet. It was great to meet you!


Hey Back
07/21/2010 03:08
Yes Kim is Ksegasser. I am DJ. It was a great hike. I am glad the weather held out for you. Happy trails!


Super Report -- Gives me Confidence
05/19/2011 17:51
I am doing some research for my attempt on Pyramid. Your report helps a lot. Biggest problem I have encountered with goats was on Eolus ... they get above you and kick rocks down. Ouch! Vort.

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