Peak:  Maroon Peak (14er)
 Route:  Bells Traverse
 Range:  Elk
 Posted By:  tmathews
 Date of Information:  06/16/2012
 Date Posted:  06/16/2012

There is no snow that you must cross on the way up Maroon Peak. The traverse is almost competely dry with the exception of a few spots that didn‘t hinder us. I believe we climbed the three cruxes mentioned in Benners‘ route description (or pretty close to them) with no ropes and no protection. DO NOT take this as me saying the traverse is easy. According to two members of the group, two of the crux pitches we took ranked as Class 5.3 and one as 5.4. The last bit of snow you do have to cross is at a saddle right before you start up to North Maroon. There was still snow and ice at the bottom of the 4th class chimney which one of our party members slipped and fell on while descending, but he was uninjured, thankfully. To avoid the chimney, the rest of us found a short downclimb to the right of the chimney (as you‘re looking at it while going down). It‘s kind of a large step, but there is a solid ledge beneath a small overhang that you can place your right toe onto and then step down with your left foot.

First photo is of gregory_fischer climbing a dihedral on Maroon Peak. Second photo (credit rjansen77) is of me at the top of the third crux pitch on the traverse.

Photos (click for slideshow):
Image #1Image #2

  • Comments or Questions

06/17/2012 18:20
How do you decipher between 5.3 and 5.4?! ;)

Which way did you go...S to N, or N to S?
Your 2nd time on this route, Terry?


RE: rank
06/17/2012 18:26
To be honest, Darin, I don't know. I'm not a rock climber (yet, but I hope to be at some point); I'm just going on what Greg and Rob said. This was my third time on this traverse. We went south to north.


Terry You're a Rock Climber
06/17/2012 18:44
If you're soloing 5th class terrain, you're a rock climber, you just don't know it! Hook up with some local climbers and you'll see how fast you will advance. Soloing easy 5th class in boots will seem harder than climbing 5.7 in rock shoes.
How easy is it to stay on the route? I'm looking to solo from N to S in a couple weeks.



RE: Terry You're a Rock Climber
06/17/2012 19:23
Thank you, Pat. I appreciate the encouragement, but in respect of the true rock climbers who are members of this site who would probably find my experience a joke, I respectfully reserve my self-judgment. Also -- I did not solo the traverse as I had three other members in my party.

Also -- if you go North to South, it will require at least three rappels. We found one rap station on the second crux that wasn't a part of our route.


@ caverdude
06/17/2012 19:28
When I did N to S in '05, I down-climbed 2 of the 3 rappel stations. Staying on (a) route wasn't bad from what I remember of it.

Terry, get some rock shoes and do as the CDude says.


RE: @ caverdude
06/17/2012 19:42
Darin -- I'm not the Matts. I will always under-sell what I'm capable of. I sincerely appreciate the advice, though! I was looking at getting some rock shoes recently.


06/17/2012 19:53
By ”soloing”, I'm referring to climbers lingo as in freesoloing, aka climbing without ropes. You freesoloed the traverse and didn't die, so you definitely have climbing skills. Thanks for the beta. I'm planning to bring a 60ft static rope for the one rappel that Roach talks about. I'm also bringing some webbing in case the current webbing is turning to choss. I'm from a climbing/caving background, but more of a mountaineer these days so I think the route finding should be pretty straight forward, especially with the beta I've gotten here. Thanks!


06/17/2012 20:46
TR will soon be coming to a website near you...


04/02/2015 19:45
I did N. Maroon today. Would have loved to snatch a traverse too Yeah, that 4th class chimney...was fun...I went up it and around it on the way down

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