Peak(s):  Maroon Peak  -  14,156 feet
North Maroon Peak  -  14,014 feet
Date Posted:  07/23/2010
Modified:  07/25/2010
Date Climbed:   07/19/2010
Author:  clemsonmtneer

 Bells Traverse  

On Monday, Jon (seekanddestroy99), Chris (manning01), Matt and I completed the Maroon Bells Traverse, from south to north.

Check out the full trip report on my website


It ended up being a 14 hour day, we left the Maroon Lake parking lot at 4 a.m. and summited South Maroon around 9:30... from there, the traverse proved to be quite the challenge and took us about 2 hrs 45 minutes to complete... we arrived on North Maroon's summit around 12:30 and didn't get back to the trailhead until 6.

The standard route up South Maroon I didn't think was as difficult as people make it out to be. The "2800 feet of suck" was by far the most difficult part, but the scrambling from the ridge to the summit was a lot of fun (except for that one loose gully, noted in the route description, which kind of sucked but was over with quickly).

The traverse, on the other hand, was a beast! I'm glad we did it and it was exhilarating, but there were some tough sections (i.e. unroped Class 5 pitches), and admittedly, a couple of sections scared me a little bit. Reaching the summit of North Maroon was very rewarding, though. The Bells are some amazing mountains.

We did get caught in a storm at about 13,000 feet on the way down North Maroon. Just a reminder that this time-consuming traverse is best done early in the day! (especially now that monsoon season seems to be upon us). Here are a few pictures, but check out the rest of the pictures and full write-up on my website.

Maroon Bells

Climbing the first Class 3 chimney on South Maroon

Looking at North Maroon from the summit of South Maroon

Class 5 section on the route's "second difficulty"

East-side bypass of the "third difficulty"

North Maroon summit

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Nice Going, Guys
07/24/2010 03:36
I was hiking between West Maroon and Frigid Air passes when that first thunderbolt that you speak of hammered the skies on Monday. I think I had a similar reaction to yours, but there is a big difference between being at 13,000' and in the middle of the storm and being at 11,500' to the south of most of the action. Glad you made your summits and descents safely.


07/24/2010 18:08
Allen - cmanning01 is my username.... great trip report and pics! Hope to do it again wit you sometime soon


07/26/2010 01:15
Chris, great climbing with you... we'll definitely have to get out there again.

LoneStar, thanks for the comment. Getting stormed on at 13k wasn't ideal, but I was glad to at least have been finished with the traverse and off the summit by the time it started lightning!

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