Peak:  Maroon Peak (14er)
 Route:  Bell Cord Couloir
 Range:  Elk
 Posted By:  slawrence2011
 Date of Info:  06/21/2020
 Date Posted:  06/22/2020

Agree with Jakomait's report, wanted to add a few notes and pictures. I had a good ascent up the bell cord, which was decent for climbing, but many exposed rocks and deep 8 ft+ runnels. It is an easy ascent to the right of the garbage chute cliffs, and just have to go through about 100ft of loose scree slope to connect that right ascent and the main couloir. I heard of someone climbing the waterfall, but I'm not that brave.

The traverse to S Maroon was 99.9% snow free, one easy optional snow move.

I attempted to ski down the couloir, and was only able to do a few jump turns near the top and the bottom, as it was less than 1-2 ft width of skiable snow for close to 1,000 ft near the choke due to rock and runnels. Bill Middlebrook would probably be able to ski it!

Also, I could not get a parking permit, so was fairly easy to park at Tiehack lift free parking, cross the pedestrian bridge to Maroon Creek Rd, and hitch a ride up. Plenty of campsites available at Crater lake, even for a weekend.

Photos (click for slideshow):

 Comments or Questions
06/23/2020 09:27
Thanks for the report. Any pictures of the waterfall? Do you know what grade it is? (WI3 or WI4?)

06/23/2020 09:54
Sorry, I did not get a pic. You can kind of see the spot where it is at the bottom of my last picture. I do remember looking at it, and it didn't necessarily look snowy, just a fair amount of water, but potentially doable. On the grade that would be for frozen waterfalls, right? I'm pretty sure these were not frozen, as the water was running down. It has been pretty warm, and this is probably down below 12K. Sorry I don't have more info.

Bell Chord
06/24/2020 11:06
Thanks for the report! Do you happen to have an idea of the approx. angle of the couloir and if there's a pretty good bootpack already set? Assuming my full crampons are in order?

Bell Cord
06/24/2020 13:09
14ers says it averages at 42 and maxes at 45. It definitely felt a little steeper in parts due to the runnels, but that is probably about right. I had to kick in my bootpack both up and down. I went down without crampons, so I probably kicked in a little harder there. There were a couple others climbing Sunday too. It is hard to find a bootpack even if its there though, because the snow has gotten really brown and dirty, and a lot of rocks, so it is mainly a matter of picking your way through where there is still snow, especially in the steepest, narrowest part in the middle. In the morning, crampons definitely were in order. Even at the bottom, I wasn't sinking much at all. By noon downclimbing, I got away with just boots. But it sounds like the main S route down is doable, so that's probably a lot easier. Hope that helps!

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