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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2016-08-21||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Ampitheater snowfield is down to a scraggly shoestring, no more than a couple feet wide in places. In theory, one could put on microspikes and climb it, but at this point it doesn't seem worth it. Note: there is a nice trail a couple hundred feet climber's right of the snowfield that avoids a lot of the talus hopping that would be otherwise required to gain the upper basin. Otherwise, conditions are excellent, with no snow or other traces of recent precipitation. Busy Sunday on Pyramid with a at least a few dozen people on the mountain. Goats were active as usual, so watch out for dropped rocks! Wonderful mountain - go out and get it while weather permits. EDIT: FWIW, I didn't think the slope from the amphitheater to the saddle was as bad as it's made out to be. And this is coming from someone who thinks the descent off the back side of the Daly saddle on Capitol is one of the worst parts of the route. Truthfully, it's a class 2 trail. Yes, a bit steep and tedious in places, but there's really nowhere I could think of where a slip would result in much more than a bump on your backside. The key is to go right at the split near the bottom of the slope, and avoid getting sucked into the steeper, looser terrain in the left-hand gully (we did make this error on the way up, but avoided it on the way down, and the other option was totally fine).
|2016-07-30||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Conditions are great. All snow is avoidable, however it is extremely helpful to ascend the amphitheatre on snowfields. There was no need for an ax. We used trekking poles and microspikes. Go get it!
|2016-07-24||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Summer conditions on this peak. There is snow in the amphitheater but it is completely avoidable if desired. Camped in the snowfield at the top of the amphitheater (in the hail) but the rock on the peak was dry by the morning. Added a few cairns along the way, but overall the route is easy to follow.
|2016-07-13||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Route to the Ampitheater is dry and in summer condition. In the Ampitheater, from just above the entrance until the left turn towards the steep slope to the saddle, there is a strip of snow covering the natural hiking line. With microspikes, this snow made for much faster and more comfortable hiking if you are comfortable on snow. Personally, I would not want to rock hop up this section, so take advantage of the snow while it's there. Especially in the morning, traction is VERY helpful. You would lose much of the snow advantage without it. We descended the snow around 2:30 p.m. after a late start and a long story for another time. No postholing at all and in fact the snow was only moderately mushy and firm in the shade. We found traction to still be very helpful, even mid-afternoon. Perhaps postholing will occur in the coming weeks, but for now, the snow is compact -- go take advantage of it! As you can see, you can bypass the snow on talus if you prefer. The remainder of the Ampitheater route from the left turn to the scree slope is snow free, though there are a few snow patches there, they are completely avoidable and off-route. The route to the summit is snow free. I include photos of the lower Ampitheater, the route from 13,000 feet, and a photo of the Green Gully exit. Use this or take your own photos/mental notes but DO NOT MISS this exit on your descent! It can make for a rough afternoon. 😂
|2016-07-10||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: There is a decent amount of snow in the amphitheater, so microspikes would be really helpful. It's a lot of fun to slide down on the way back, though (just watch out for rocks). The rest of the route is dry. Try to start very early to avoid the bottleneck at the section of green rock. We started at 2:30am and we were able to avoid a traffic jam with 9 other hikers on that part. The rock is definitely very loose in places, but overall this mountain is much more solid than the Bells. There are lots of cairns (thank you, cairn-builders!), so route-finding is not very difficult as long as you're paying attention.
|2016-07-07||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Northeast route is snow free OTHER THAN THE AMPHITHEATER. Amphitheater is wall to wall snow basically all the way up. Micro spikes would be helpful. I managed without but wished I had them on both the ascent and descent. Snow was frozen and solid pre-sunrise but mushy by 10am. Overall the route is in pretty decent shape. I would expect the snow to be there for at least 2-3 weeks as it is still a few feet deep in most places. The 1000' scree slope was in fair condition due to snow run-off.
|2016-06-19||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Bring Crampons. We started at 2:15am. The beginning of the ascent from just before Crater Lake was clear of snow until we neared the entrance to the basin. Some large snowfields covered the trail and some route finding was necessary in the darkness. The basin was almost entirely filled with a stable snowfield. The snow here saved us a lot of time vs. scrambling over talus. As the angle increased near the top of the basin, we put on our crampons and continued to make good time. Things got steep as we began ascending the chute that leads up to the saddle. Crampons and ice axes were a must here. The ice was steep, and so hard in places that it wasn't possible to kick footholds. It is possible to climb the talus off to the side of the snowfields, but there was no way to avoid crossing steep, hard ice slopes, so crampons would still be necessary either way. While the snow was mostly consolidated, we did punch through a hard crust into popcorn snow in a few places. Avalanche danger is still present. I saw one small patch let go on the east side of the ridge as I came back down from the peak. From the saddle to the peak I was able to stay on rock for about 60% of the climb, but it was necessary to constantly put on and take off my crampons to cross steep, exposed, snowfields. The snow was getting softer as we headed back down. We did some post holing, but other places, were still too hard to safely descend even with crampons, so we ended up moving over to the talus fields for most of the descent into the basin. Once in the basin, the snow was solid and not too steep. We were able to glissade most of the basin on the way back down.
|2016-05-23||Route: :Landry Line
Info: Climbed Amphitheater to East Ridge and rode the Landry Line. Conditions have changed much due to skier traffic, and weather. Top 1/6th of line (summit block) is side stepped out. Combine this with breakable melt freeze facet combos, and rotten snow around rocks and riding becomes unpredictable and terrifying. Navigation and riding through cruxes is undesirable in "safer" snow conditions due to above factors. Middle of the line has 2 ft deep runnels. Choke is not skiable. Icy and heavily runneled. Down climb advised. Very doable. Apron holds snow to 10.4K there is no riding to be had as it's an amalgamation of all sorts of avalanche debris and really not enjoyable. If you're adamant about adding this line to your list wait - it was good for me but was far from what I dreamed about. If you need to ride this peak this season, the Amphitheater would be a much more enjoyable and efficient way.
|2016-05-21||Route: Landry Line
Info: Climbed standard route. Skiable from the summit. Snow down to ~10,400'. Exit chute is a bit hairy right now, but doable without taking skis off. Just wide enough for my 172s. A little ice in the runnel running through the choke
|2016-04-25||Route: Maroon Creek Rd
Info: Road closed approx 6 miles from the Maroon Lake. Freeze/thaw cycles on the road consistent up to the day-use parking. Full snow coverage 1.5 miles from the lake. Coverage is 2 feet deep at Maroon Lake. Alpine start, brought snowshoes and didn't need them. Gaiters were good to have at the lake.
|2016-02-13||Route: West Face
Info: Conditions are... acceptable. No notable avy conditions (from what we could tell). Jeff and I did this yesterday in a single day; it was pretty difficult. Road to Maroon Lake is packed by snowmobiles (6 miles each way). We had to break trail from there. It took a lot longer than expected, partly due to rock hard snow in the west couloir which necessitated a lot of front-pointing. The upper basins are holding a bit of snow, but seemed stable on the traverse. I felt the headwall was more class 3 than class 4, so didn‘t rope up. We did use a rope to rap that section, which was probably a good idea since it was dark at the time.
|2015-10-12||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: The Elks are still good to go. Went up Pyramid today and didn‘t run into anybody else all day long. There were a few small patches of snow, but nothing that we felt concerned enough about to strap on traction. Blue skies, moderate temps, gentle breeze. Perfect day for hiking. It is so nice to not have to worry about beating thunderstorms. Snow is predicted for this weekend so now is the time to get up there one last time this year.
|2015-09-27||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Peak conditions: -Route clear of snow completely -Aspen trees are looking prime Parking: -Arrived 8pm Saturday night and found parking in the overnight parking area. Note: the gate at the "welcome station" was coned off, implying the parking was fun, which it probably way at 5PM, but it is worthwhile to check it out for yourself. Things to know: Bear Canisters: Have one. The rangers are pretty serious about it and it would suck to get turned around if you didn‘t have one. THE FIRST ROCK CAIRN (photo 5): which takes you off the main trail to carter lake. It will take you up into the woods, parallel the main trail and return back to the main trail, which is also designated with a large cairn. Along that horseshoe there is a trail that branches off which is not hard to miss (i did). Luckily i went back and found my way. After the Talus field (photos 10 and 11): There‘s a couple routes that look like the one in the picture from a far. When you get closer you can see the foot trail at the bottom taking you up the best way. Best advice for the top (3rd/4th class section): Follow the Cairns!!! If you ever feel like you haven‘t seen one for a while, you‘re probably not taking the easiest path.
|2015-09-26||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Trail is in good condition. A little bit of fresh snow above 13k but it is all avoidable. Fall colors should be great for another week. On a side note, according to another hiker, North Maroon peak has more snow on its route and is slippery in sections.
|2015-09-26||Route: Passing through the area
Info: Fall colors from the South Elbert Trailhead are peak and some what coming to an end. Independence Pass is holding fall colors better than Elbert. La Plata has good colors at lower elevations. Most of Independence Pass is holding good fall colors. Maroon Bells (Maroon Peak/N. Maroon Peak) and Pyramid are the best fall colors Leadville to Aspen right now. The Bells and Pyramid have a thin layer of snow 13,500 and above. North Maroon looked like it had unavoidable snow above 13,5.
|2015-09-23||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Pyramid takes my final count to 48 for the number of fourteeners I‘ve climbed this summer! You can read more about this hike and others by visiting sunshineof1985.com! Enjoy! Time started: 10am End time: 7:40pm Time to Summit: 5 hours and 10 minutes Time to Descent: 4 hours Overall Pace: 1.1 miles per hour GEAR (to bring): Bear spray, helmet, 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, warm hat, lightweight gloves, day pack with water sack (64 oz), snacks. Road Condition: Black top Trail Condition: The trail around Maroon Lake is slick and smooth. The turn off for Pyramid Peak is the first marked trail by a very large cairn. Once on that trail, it is marked on and off with a very rocky trail that could twist your ankle. Once your in the amphitheater, it only gets worse. My ankles were absolutely shot after this hike having to balance so much on jagged, rarely flat rocks. Don‘t pay attention to the cairns, as much as just make your way to the steep gully. YOU CAN GO UP EITHER TO THE LEFT OR RIGHT! The trail is more defined on the left in my opinion. The gully is very steep with lots of dirt to make you slip. Once at the top of the saddle, follow the trail and once you get to 13,150-13,200, go to the LEFT around the backside of the mountain. The trail is more defined, easier, and you‘ll avoid climbing in the dangerous snow (you should be able to avoid it by 99%). Keep your eyes out for the cairns and make sure you‘re wrapping towards the backside of the mountain as you summit. The rock is solid, but there is a lot of free smaller rocks sitting on them that could cause you to slip. Minor detail, but expect to pay for entrance into the park.
|2015-09-20||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Very light dusting of snow on the upper part of the peak past the 13,000‘ saddle. Most melted when the sun came out leaving the trail a little muddy in parts. Anything concerning is totally avoidable and it‘s still safe to climb for now.
|2015-09-19||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Lovely day for Pyramid. There is a ribbon of snow just shy of 14,000. Most of the ledges were damp but not dangerous on the ascent. There were a few avoidable patches of snow. Roped up for the descent given the mud, but never felt in danger. Another few days without precip and it will be bone dry up there. We were the only two on the peak today; we saw two attempting North Maroon, which looked substantially snowier. No word if they made the summit. Perfect time of year to climb.
|2015-08-19||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Excellent conditions, peak was completely dry. Small snowfield in amphitheater could be walked on or bypassed on talus.
|2015-08-02||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Started at 3:20 AM to avoid inclement weather. Route finding across the amphitheater and especially up to the saddle was a bit tricky in the dark. We didn‘t go far enough left before starting the climb out of the amphitheater. If you are scrambling up tallus rather than dirt when hiking up to the saddle, you‘re probably off route. Lots of goats at the saddle. Route finding up to the summit was easier thanks to light and cairns. Summitted at 7:30. Back to the parking lot at 11:30. We found a white Marmot climbing helmet and turned it in to the ranger station by Maroon Lake.