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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2016-05-30||Route: North Face
Info: Coverage was solid on North Maroon's North Face route. The Punk Rock was the ski crux, but adequate snow existed to side step down. The upper traverse was less consolidated from fresh snow two days prior. Pockets of NW aspect snow required careful travel as it held a one inch thick crust but was very unconsolidated below in the ~8-in new layer. New snow was bonded well to the old surface layer. These conditions are two days old and likely have changed considerably with the sunny warm weather.
|2016-05-22||Route: North Face
Info: Hit this face early as the sun heats it up heavily by 8 am. Bottom portion of couloir left of gunsight (NW couloir) gets very soft in the am. Snow improved gradually as we climbed and stayed nice most of the morning into late afternoon. Very enjoyable climbing and down climbing this face as it provided almost 4k of snow. Tricky mazing through middle but you should be able to find the line that goes. Pretty sustained slope most of the way, probably upper 40s on average. Snow melting fast on most of approach. Standard trail to approach this route is clear up to about 11k and that's when we put slow shoes on. Awesome route with great exposure.
|2016-05-14||Route: North Face
Info: The road opened Friday afternoon to our surprise. Continuous snow from about 20 minutes from maroon lake. Tough booting conditions on the north face, but much of it was consolidated winter like snow that skied very well. The punk rock band was definitely the crux, kind of awkward with the current amount of snow, but we skied off the summit through the face no problem.
|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.
|2015-09-26||Route: Bells traverse
Info: Maroon Peak is dry going up the standard route. A couple inches of snow in places on the north side of Maroon, but you can find dry places to step on, or rocks to avoid a lot of snow, with care. The traverse is dry. Going up N Maroon on the south side is dry. Going down N Maroon on the north side, there is about 1-3 inches of fairly consistent snow above 13k feet. Take care going up or down.. You can avoid some of the snow by carefully stepping on rocks, but in other places it is more packed down and a bit slick. It CAN be done without traction.. We made it down without microspikes.. We made it okay, but were very slow and careful. I would recommend taking yaktrax or microspikes though. I was thinking about putting them on, but was almost past the snowy area at that time. The chimney is dry in most places, but if your shoes are wet from the snow, it is more tricky.
|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.
|2015-09-25||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Hi! This is my 49th fourteener summit this summer! My goal is to do all 54 peaks (minus Culebra). You can read more about this hike and others at Sunshineof1985.com. Enjoy! Time started: 9:15am End time: 5:40pm Time to Summit: 4 hours and 45 minutes Time to Descent: 3 hours Overall Pace: 1.2 miles per hour GEAR (to bring): Microspikes, 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 (100 oz or more), snacks. Road Condition: Black top; You will also have to pay to get into the park (even if you come in before they open, they check later in the day at the parking lot to see if you self-paid. Trail Condition: There is snow at from 13,300 feet on. It‘s not deep, or that treacherous, but bring your microspikes just in case. Otherwise, from the start, it‘s a beautiful walk through the forest. At the point where you would turn left to Crater Lake, you‘ll turn right to head towards North Maroon. There is a junction at 10,800 marked by a cairn that will lead you down to the creek. From there, the real hiking begins. Hike up a series of boulder steps that turns into talus rock. Once around 11,500 feet, cross the boulder field to the upper break in the cliff side. The gullies are not typical gullies that I‘ve been in. There isn‘t much scree or loose rock, and there‘s a fairly good trail leading the whole way in both "gullies". Once at the notch at 13,200 feet, you‘ll need to use more body strength to pull yourself up higher and higher, for the rest of the way. When you get to the chimney, you can go further to the left and climb up some other rocks to avoid the chimney. You‘ll cross over two tall square shaped rocks. This whole area is kind of a blur honestly. It was exhausting. You will go through some snow, so have your microspikes.
|2015-09-21||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Climbed up south maroon, traversed, down north. North facing slopes above 13k are holding snow, all other aspects are dry. Traverse was okay since the harder moves are all south facing. Getting down from south to the saddle was slow, traction would be helpful. The snow was mostly not a problem for descending north maroon (I used microspikes but no axe), except that the class 4 chimney was icy in spots. Downclimbing that was probably the technical crux of the day. Conditions will probably all change after the next storm so... not sure how useful any of this is. Maybe conditions will be similar after the next melt?
|2015-09-19||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: The standard route is completely dry until you reach the ridge around 13200. From there on, there is a consistent snow cover that ranges from 1-6 inches. We expected it to be mainly a dusting but took microspikes and an axe just in case, and it‘s good we did. The snow was surprisingly crusty and the spikes were very helpful (though not required; other people were climbing without them). It‘s not very solid though, and it often cracks when you step on it. Given the snow, we were not certain about doing the class 3 bypass around the chimney, though the chimney turned out to be doable but rather difficult. Many of the holds were covered in snow/ice, including the good handhold that many people use to pull up on the final ledge. We were unable to find that hold in the ice and had to wedge ourselves between the rocks and shimmy further up until we could step onto the ledge. We did try to clear off the snow from the ledge so maybe it will melt out over the next few days.
|2015-08-01||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: We hiked up the N. Maroon cutoff trail and found camping a few hundred yards below the second cutoff. No bears up there Started: 6am Sumit: 10:30 Back to campsite: 2:30 pm No snow, great hike. This hike was great! Compared to S Maroon and Pyramid I would have to say that this was the most exhausting of the three. Although it is not overly difficult in terms of scrambling, it is steep and long, and the uphill is relentless, unlike S. Maroon that is also difficlut but without significant elevation gain on the ridge until the final gully. I felt exposed the entire hike on N. Maroon. Pyramid is the most fun of the three, the class 4 green wall is just more exposed scrambling. The class 4 move on N. Maroon right near the top and I was so tired by the time we got there. Route-finding is easiest on S. Maroon. I love the Elk‘s - any hike there is going to be beautiful and challenging.
|2015-07-26||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: The route is snow free and beautiful. The chimney was dry. It would be a tricky down climb the chimney as the bottom is an overhang. If you go about 300‘ to the west you may find the easy class 3 down climb we found. It is like walking down big stairs. It is marked with a purple paracord, but you won‘t see that until you get close. Say hi to the 3 legged goat while you are up there. FYI: There were 3 campsite bear incidents last week. We saw a mom and cub on the way down. You may want to do your overnight in a hotel.
|2015-07-18||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Snow-free and good to go. Be careful when it rains because the rocks become very slick.
|2015-06-27||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Climbed Bells Traverse South to North; South is clear to the summit minus one small snow field but we were early enough was still hard, could kickstep into though. Traverse north side still has some snow but it is avoidable. North Maroon above 13,600‘ we needed spikes and mt axes. Nothing holding snow that wasn‘t avoidable or made the climb more difficult than normal. Temps were up so the snow was soft on North by noon. Some post holing in spots.
|2015-06-25||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Perfect below 13,600‘, some snow above for class 4 sections. No different than 2014 at this time.
|2015-06-13||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Did not climb anything, unfortunately, so no updates up high. Just wanted to provide a quick idea of the current conditions
|Cool Hand Luke||2015-06-13||2||2|
|2014-09-19||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Summited North Maroon peak on 9/18. Thanks to the recent warm weather, most of the climb is snow free. The class 4 chimney hand and foot holds are snow free. There is a small amount of snow at the top of the chimney, but it was pretty easy to side step. The pitch above the chimney had a little bit of snow, but it was either avoidable or not too bad to step on. The rocks in the section above the chimney are pretty loose, and the ice/snow definitely had potential to complicated things. It‘s definitely doable, just take your time and choose your steps carefully. As an added bonus, the aspen leaves are definitely starting to turn! Happy Climbing!
|2014-09-14||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Traction definitely needed on the north face of North Maroon (microspikes would be perfect). The class 4 chimney has ice and the class 3 alternative scramble is pretty packed down and slippery. We climbed to the left of the chimney which involved a low class 5 move - it was dry and a fun alternative.
|2014-07-07||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Got a few shots of the Bells today, but did not climb. Hope the shots help. Ran up Buckskin Pass and Pt. 13,039 yesterday. Few snow crossings on Buckskin, but were completely manageable in worn out trail runners. Overall a really nice run, but 4 pass as a run is still a few weeks away.
|Cool Hand Luke||2014-07-07||1|
|2014-05-20||Route: North Face direct
Info: North Maroon is in very good condition right now (see picture 1). The Mother‘s day snow has settled fairly well and the dust layer is buried more than 2 feet deep. The new snow is still rather soft, which makes for fantastic and safe skiing. Booting is a bit of work (see picture 2), but should be much easier now that we set a track (you can thank us later). The ski moves required to clear the Punk Rock Band seem fairly tame compared to pictures I have seen from other years. There is sufficient snow to cover most of the rock so you only need to side step into it, ski backwards away from the East Face once in and then start turns on the relatively low angle slope underneath the rock band. The rest of the descent is fairly straightforward given the soft snow and good coverage (see picture 3). We only needed to sidestep through one tight choke in the central gully. There is virtually no ice or shark fins. Surprisingly, our biggest difficulty was the low approach and exit. A good-sized avalanche has covered much of the Buckskin trail close to the junction with the West Maroon trail. There is a confusing maze of tracks in this area as skiers have attempted to get through the mess. We lost the trail and ended up following tracks up the slide path. This takes you way too high and north of the Minnehaha drainage. Don‘t follow our tracks! If you have a gps, use t from Crater Lake until you are definitely on the trail past the avalanche debris. If you don‘t have a gps, it might be wise to contour parallel to the lake shore until past the debris field and then head up. You should then intersect the trail where it is easy to follow. Use an altimeter to make sure you do not cross the trail and climb too high. Note that the trail takes a low-angle traverse in this area. Going too high in this area is a real bad idea due to lack of snow, thick timber, and loose scree. If you have been considering doing this route, now is the time! Conditions may change greatly after the next thaw and wet slide cycle.
|One Sierra Charlie||2014-05-21||3|
|2013-09-07||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Yeah it rained a little... even some hail... but not until we got down to the Rock Glacier - So it worked out! Some wet spots up higher but most were avoidable. Went up the Rock Band & down the Alternative Rock (pun intended). Glad I saw both shows *Edit added photo caption* (Cleve on the precipice)