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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-08-15||Route: South Ridge
Info: This is my 25th fourteener I have climbed this summer. I am attempting to climb them all. You can read more about this hike and others at sunshineof1985.com! Enjoy! Time started: 5:15am End time: 5:00pm Time to Summit: 5 hours and 45 minutes Time to Descent: 6 hours *GEAR (to bring): GPS, extra socks, phone, SPOT Satellite Tracker, Map, Topo Map from 14ers.com, hiking boots with 2 pairs of socks on, long-sleeve, wind-guard/raincoat, light weight puffy coat (didn‘t need), lightweight gloves (didn‘t need), day pack with water sack, snacks. *Road Condition: It‘s perfect! A black top road all the way to the trailhead! You‘ll know you‘re going the right way when you pass the beautiful garden on the side of the road! *Trail Condition: Easy to follow until you get to the first junction needed to go up to the Maroon Bells. Look for a very large cairn in the talus rocks by the stream. Head right! The trail is very steep and you‘ll gain a lot of elevation quickly. I didn‘t have too many problems with slipping on scree either. Once you‘re up on the ridge, the trail is well marked by cairns, but make sure you take mental notes of the area for when you‘re coming back. The gullies aren‘t nearly as scary as what it looks online. We went up the first gully, stay to the left. The easiest way up the second gully is staying all the way to the right. Past that you‘ll get to use your arms to pull you up and it gets fun, but know your limits. I never felt too exposed, or in danger for my life.
|2015-08-07||Route: South Ridge
Info: At about 11,600-11,800ft on the south ridge the well-defined trail encounters a rock out-cropping. There is a largish cairn on the left side of trail before the outcropping and the trail pivots left at the cairn. Now, critical twist, immediately after the cairn if you continue 20 feet there is a large rock in the middle of the "trail." Someone obviously placed it there to block that route. If you look right the "trail" skirts the rock outcropping. The real trail only goes a few meters right along the outcropping and then steps onto and over it. In less than perfect light you will have to be careful not to miss it. Our group went too far right along the outcropping before going over it and we never found the main trail again. We scrambled 1300 feet straight up the south ridge in very loose rock. EXHAUSTING. Watch this section carefully. The main trail has little to no scrambling.
|2015-08-01||Route: South Ridge
Info: would recommend checking the forest service site before heading out. We were told when we got there at 4:15 that the 14er site is incorrect now. They do have restriction on overnight campers not being able to enter until 5 pm. You have to use the bus from 8 to 5, luckily he let us in since it was so close. Also, you do have to have a bear canister and they heavily police that. A group we ran into from Chicago said that when he talked with them on the phone they strongly discouraged him from camping because of the bear activity and that they might have to close the area to camping for awhile. I am not sure how true that is, but might be worth a call before heading out. There is a mother and cub that are causing all the problems. We never saw the bears and had no problems with camping. Saw lots of porcupines early in the morning and there was no damage to our tent or area while we were gone.
|2015-07-25||Route: South Ridge
Info: Trail is completely clear of snow. Water in the first gully makes the second gully a better choice. The second gully seemed like it would be a better choice in any case. Reports from other climbers indicated that there was ice on the traverse, but we saw some folks complete it. The long climb onto the shoulder has a couple of routes. There may have been a reroute since the GPX file was posted. Also, on the way down, resist the temptation to go down at the earlier saddle, use the correct saddle. The earlier one looks good at the top and degrades to nasty as you go down. FYI: Last week 3 campsites had bear incidents. We stayed in a hotel and drove in.
|2015-07-20||Route: South Ridge
Info: Snow free, traverse looks snow free as well. There are patches of snow around but you‘d only travel on them by choice. Had two out of town friends along for the ride and they did great on what was only their second 14er. Met two other friendly groups on the mountain. Pyramid looked snow free, unbelievable 360 views from the summit. On a different note, there was significant evidence of poor camping etiquette and inappropriate solid human waste disposal at crater lake camp sites. A previous party left solid human waste on the ground less than 10 feet away from a tent site at crater lake #2 with no apparent attempt to move, bury, or pack it out. We cleaned this up for you. Heard many reports of nuisance bears but had no contact, and forest service is requiring bear canisters. If we don‘t take care of our resources they will be closed for camping and everyone will be impacted.
|a day in the life||2015-07-24||0|
|2015-07-18||Route: South Ridge
Info: Snow free except one last little section towards the summit, but it was easily avoidable by climbing up the rocks a different way.
|2015-07-18||Route: Bells Traverse
Info: Awesome route. Snow free. No ice on the rocks. Good to go.
|2015-07-18||Route: Bell Cord Couloir
Info: Climbed this and found the snow to be a slushy top layer and frozen lower layer. It made traction very difficult for our crampons. I‘m lucky I had two ice axes because that is what let me climb it. I would not suggest climbing this until next season as it is on its last leg. The snow is rotten.
|2015-07-18||Route: South Ridge
Info: Essentially summer conditions. Some snow on the route above 13,300‘ that is easily avoidable.
|2015-07-17||Route: Bell Cord Couloir
Info: Bell Cord is still IN and was choice today! Snow was rock solid and awesome for cramponing. One section the snow bridge is very narrow (like a foot) and a little mixed climbing was required to get around it. Otherwise coverage is great. Big runnel in the middle of the upper narrow section, chose to stay out of it when we could but was not always possible. Go Go Go when you are in the narrow upper portion! Evidence of rockfall litters the couloir and some small boulders came down at around 5:30AM, luckily we were out of the way and not in the upper section yet. We left the parking area at 2:30, wasted some time in the dark trying to find the route from the trail to the couloir, on by 5, off by 7. It gets first sunlight and the top was beginning to soften and get slippery, definitely would not want to be on it any later than that. Get it while its good
|2015-07-03||Route: Bell Cord & Traverse
Info: The Bell Chord is still very in right now. We started early and had a great climb up it on Friday with 0 post holing. If you want to get after it before its gone now is the time. Even with lows of only about 40 the chord was in great shape and perfect for crampons. From the top of the Chord we traversed left to summit South Maroon then came back across the traverse and descended North Maroon. Both the traverse and the descent off North Maroon were 99% dry. GO GET IT!!
|2015-06-21||Route: Bell Cord Couloir
Info: Attempted the Bell Cord Sunday. We joined up with many other teams (12 members in total). Start time 1:30 am. Snow-free until above the garbage chute and melting quickly. Big runnel in the cord and the snow was fairly firm. Some spots were soft and others were ice. We were halfway up the cord (about 13k) at 6:30 am (not ideal timing) when we decided to turn back. The sun was softening the snow and we didn‘t feel the descent via the cord would be safe. Others made it up the bell cord and down the SE ridge. They‘ve noted that wind picked up in the afternoon, which helped keep the snow firm, even on the SE ridge. Word of advice, start early and go through the waterfall in the garbage chute. Someone attached a fixed rope and that path saves about an hour of time rather than going around the chute. Always keep the descent in mind as well! Will be back next Sunday.
|2015-06-21||Route: Bell Cord Couloir
Info: The cord is in excellent condition. We climbed in the runnel mostly where the snow was quite firm. Topped out around 715 am and it was still in excellent condition. We descended the South Ridge which still has significant snow cover. Despite one in our party having done the route previously, the snow made route finding very difficult. We got cliffed out and badly off route several times, turning the traverse to leave the ridge into a 6 hour 4th class sufferfest. Choose your descent very carefully on this route.
|2015-05-17||Route: Bell Cord Couloir
Info: Road to the lake is 95% free of snow. Road our bikes to the lake without too much trouble. Thanks to partner who had a chariot we were able to tow a bunch of camping gear with us. Overnight at TH was cold and snowy. Still deep snow in the area. Got halfway up bell chord before turning around due to weather and low visibility. superb ski conditions, no concerns about stability. There was around 6" of light and dry snow on top of a pretty solid layer. Went back to camp and skied the south side of Sievers mountain the next morning.
|2015-03-22||Route: East Face
Info: Climbed and skied the east face of Maroon on sunday. the road getting up to the lake is in rough shape, so if you are taking snowmobile beware. melting out very fast. won‘t be long until they plow the whole thing. good corn skiing for most of the way. little pow up top in the shaded areas. north maroon looking real good too.
Info: Conditions subject to change but the area had a nice weather window all day yesterday woth storms just about everywhere else. Th to buckskin pass: dry, good condition Buckskin pass to 13039: class 4 (might be easier with light, bypass right?), somewhat loose. Dry. 13039 to sleeping sexton: some wet and icy spots. Can be kept at 3rd class with optional spice. The big forehead headwall easier than it looks following ledges. The key ledge to sexton dry. Sexton to n maroon: dry, class 5.easy. either expect a dozen rappels off sketchy anchors and bring a couple hundred ft of cord with nut backups, or get pretty creative choosing your ledges and figuring out how to get to them. We init used left ledges off the summit then right ledges past initial raps. The big drops without great ledges (or requiring large drops) were downclimbed near the saddles at 5.easy with tricky route finding. Gunsight to n maroon can be kept class 3 using right side ledges staying near or on the ridge. N maroon to maroon: some negligible snow near n maroon summit. Some icy stuff near maroon summit that can be mostly avoided. Rest of the 5.0 traverse dry. Not sure about rap stations. Maroon to Belleview: dry except for damp mud near belleview. Class 4 super choss after leaving maroon std route where it drops down the suck. Mostly left ledges with right side ledges at the super choss sketchy section. The belleview saddle is significantly easier than it looks - towera offset from ridge and no game changing notches. Ascent up to belle from saddle can be kept at third with optional spice with steep left side bypasses. Class 1/2 route to w maroon pass dry. Back to th dry besides stream crossings. Yelled at a slightly bold bear to get out of the way near crater. Non aggressive but bold in his food search. Roughly 19 mi, 7-8k. 17 hrs with group of 4 (boggy, kylie, abe) and significant wait time for one at a time through loose climbs
|2014-09-25||Route: Bells Traverse
Info: The Bell Traverse, Maroon‘s South Ridge, and North Maroon‘s NE ridge are all in GREAT shape right now. Climbed them today (9/25/14) No snow on the south ridge of Maroon Peak a hand full of small patches of snow on the traverse (all easily avoided, nothing on the hard portions of the traverse) and one spot of black ice on the initial decent from Maroon Peak (also avoidable) a few spots of snow and one spot of black ice on the NE Ridge of N. Maroon (also avoidable easily) go get it before the snow comes! The aspen are in prime colors right now too!
|2014-09-24||Route: Bells Traverse
Info: Standard route up South Maroon is snow free and in great shape. Descending South Maroon to the Bell Cord saddle there is a little bit of snow and verglass, but 95% clear on route. Traverse to North is completely snow free too. Rockfall removed a few cairns on the N. Maroon descent in the second gulley, if you traverse make sure you know the correct exit gulley. I found the last two crux moves unnerving unroped. Would suggest if you have any hesitation about going unroped to bring a rope and pro just in case. Fall colors are pretty much peak near the lake, this weekend should be awesome for photography.
|Cool Hand Luke||2014-09-25||3||1|
|2014-09-11||Route: South Ridge
Info: I climbed Pyramid yesterday and posted its conditions. A couple of people have asked about the conditions of the Bells. I‘m attaching a picture of the south faces of the Bells from the summit of Pyramid. I‘m also attaching a picture of the north face of Pyramid showing the snow, which could look like the north faces of the Bells. Hope that helps. Another warm, sunny day in Aspen today so conditions could be different this weekend.
|2014-09-01||Route: Bells Traverse
Info: On 9/1, there was still some tricky snow on the north face of Maroon Peak. It was wet snow with hard ice hidden underneath -- light crampons would have been nice. I‘m guessing it will melt out in a day or two. The traverse from the Bell Cord to N. Maroon was 99% clear as was N. Maroon‘s descent route. All in all, pretty good shape.