|Peak:||North Maroon Peak (Unranked 14er)|
|Date of Info:||08/28/2020|
No crowds, no smoke and no snow (yet). Aspen leaves still 99% green, but some alpine grasses and willows turning golden. Pikas busy harvesting.
At 4:30am, only 8 cars in day use lot due to parking reservation system. I was alone climbing North Maroon. I passed three photographers at Maroon Lake, saw one headlamp ascending Pyramid and later met eleven climbers traversing from Maroon Peak.
CFI trail from Minnehaha gulch to rock glacier was almost a paved stairway. This would have been easy to navigate by headlamp if I had left an hour earlier.
Chimney was a good challenge made easier with approach shoes and helpful trip reports (thanks Daway8). Route finding above chimney was made easy with 14ers.com.photos.
Didn't see any goats until descent where goat family quietly watched climbers from cliff above crossing from Second Gully to First Gully. Reached bottom of "First Gully" just as first downpour started. Rain stopped enough to make a double rainbow below rock glacier, then resumed to make a sloppy trail back to Maroon Lake where the final crux move was avoiding the moose.
Photos (click for slideshow):