Theresa, Robin, Rich, Bill and I started the hike at 4:20am.
Once we turned west and started the steep 2,800' climb up to Maroon Peak's south ridge we did an ascending traverse to the south to gain the slight ridge and avoid the super loose, steep stuff on the more traditional route.
On the easterly ridge that heads up to the south ridge of Maroon Peak.
To the ridge and on the ridge we found a surprisingly nice, civilized trail. I'll never go straight up to the south ridge again!
Gaining the less-standard easterly ridge of the south ridge at 7:53am put us on the south ridge less than a quarter mile south of where one would normally reach the ridge on the “straight up” option.
First fourth class of the day! Cold chimney on the south ridge's west side.
Bill's brethren! Baaaaahhhh!
Following the well-defined, well-cairned (there was even orange flagging on some of the cairns--lame!) on the west side of the south ridge.
Scrambling up one of major gullies before exiting left on a great ledge.
On said great ledge at 8:44am. Note the particularly awesome weather!
Theresa rounding the corner.
Self portrait, Maroon Peak, 9:44am, 8/11/2007.
Gorgeous view to Snowmass and Capitol.
Looking at the connecting ridge to North Maroon Peak. We started the traverse at 10:15am.
Descending tedious and loose blocks and rock down to the saddle between The Bells.
Climbing up a gully just after descending to the saddle between the two peaks.
Robin making some low-fifth-class moves on a short up-climbing section.
Some fourth-classish stuff. Big steps were the name of the game. (At 5'5“ tall, this was tough on Theresa!)
This outing was Theresa and Robin's first alpine fourth & fifth class route. (They'll really appreciate quality fourth class terrain on better mountains!)
Near the end of the traverse we sat and waited for a couple of parties ahead of us to minimize our exposure to potential rockfall.
Rounding the final ridge on the traverse before heading up a good gully to the summit.
One last bit of fourth class just below the summit of North Maroon.
Anxious to get the last bit of loose fourth class scrambling done on the traverse! It took us just about three hours to do the traverse.
Self portrait, North Maroon Peak, 1:06pm, 8/11/2007
Looking at the ridge we traversed between Pyramid Peak and Thunder Pyramid Peak the day before. Yahoo! https://picasaweb.google.com/106695978412049282443/PyramidPeakToThunderPyramidToLightningPyramidTraverse2007810
A close-up of the crux section on the traverse between Pyramid and Thunder Pyramid. Getting into the notch was the worst part of the traverse.
Looking down the descent route of North Maroon's northeast ridge. Crater Lake and Maroon Lake can be seen in the valley.
This is the descent's crux. A borderline fifth class section of about 20 feet. A fixed nut and one of my small cams made for a good anchor at the top to setup a handline/belay line for members of our group that wanted it.
Further down on the descent. The more standard route goes down the broad gully to the right but we opted to go over the ridgeline just right of center and descend a more direct route I had descended before. This would keep us from being in the same descent gully with 8+ other people where rockfall can be a real problem.
Back on the standard descent trail. Whew! What a relief to be back on class two terrain.
Fritos and beer back at the car after a 13.5 hour day. Dig it!
Standard shot of Maroon Bells reflecting in Maroon Lake.