Maroon Peak  
Condition Updates  
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2012-06-04, By: Matt Lemke
Info: Climbed Maroon Peak on the fabulous June 3rd and the trail from Maroon Lake to the junction with the Maroon Peak boot trail was snow free as was about 99% of the boot path all the way up to the 13,300 foot ridge on that long steep east slope. No traction needed. The south ridge was about 99% snow free with three small snow patches to cross/go around. Not much snow left on this mountain and a couple met us at the summit after doing the Bell cord and said "it sucked!!!" All the hype about this peak being a "loose pile of crap" is way overdone. I was surprised at how solid the ridge traverse and the east slope really was. No rock fall problems at all. Day was so nice we lounged at the summit almost 45 minutes. Traverse to N maroon looked mostly snow free...one party did it this day. PM me in you want more info. 
 
Route: Bell Cord Couloir
Posted On: 2012-05-21, By: SnowAlien
Info: Couloir is in good shape. With the snowfall the day before (on Saturday), there were a few localized areas of apparently new snow that haven't solidified yet, but the rest of the ~2'000 ft couloir was in good shape for crampons. To our surprise, we encountered very little rockfall (I believe just one small rock that came down around 7.30am), but saw a few localized wet slides on the ridge just above the left side of the couloir. The western (shaded) side of Maroon peak was sketchy. With the recent snowfall, the ledges were covered in unconsolidated snow with ice underneath and the route (save for a few cairns here and there) was not obvious. The large cornice was "protecting" the final stretch of the route on the left side. Downclimbing back to the couloir from S. Maroon was ok for the most part with a few sketchy spots, and since we brought ropes for the traverse (which was ruled out once we saw the conditions), we elected to rappel down to the top of BellCord, bypassing the most sketchy downclimb area. We downclimbed BellCord facing in for the first 1,000+ feet, as it provided for 3 points of contact at all times for safety and the optimal body weight distribution in softening snow conditions. Each of us had either 2 ice axes or ice ax + ice tool. The lower portion of the couloir (~25 degree and below) was plunge stepped and/or glissaded down. Two separate group of skiers skied both Bell Cord and SE couloir. On another subject, the porcupines did not touch the cars which were fortified with chicken fence, mothballs and a splash of ammonia around the perimeter. Told rangers at the gate about last week's porcupine incident (they were not aware of it), and they said they will set up a trap - probably would make sense to follow up with them. Did not see a bear, but heard him and coyotes. Animals were definitely checking out our camp at the Crater lake, so hide/protect your food well. Will post pictures later. 
2
 
Route: Bells Traverse
Posted On: 2011-07-31, By: tmathews
Info: South ridge still has a little bit of snow on it on the ascent from the West Maroon trail. In the dark, it can be difficult to see a way around it. You can skirt it to the hiker‘s right (above the snow). The rest of the ascent to the summit of Maroon Peak is mostly free of snow (some large snow areas can be avoided by staying close to solid rock to the right of the snow. The traverse is snow-free whether you take the ridge proper or skirt the first two cruxes to the west (left) of the ridge. There are a couple of areas of wet rocks on the descent of North Maroon, but not a lot to be worried about. 
5
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2011-07-26, By: Joey
Info: There is only one necessary snow crossing of about 15 feet on the lower half of the East Slope below the South Ridge, but it is melting fast. There is no other snow obstructing any part of the trail. First gully is completely clean and the second gully only has snow on the far side (not part of the cairned route). No snow gear necessary at all. Small snow pile on the summit, but easily avoidable. 
1
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2011-07-20, By: msujedi
Info: Primary South Ridge route is somewhat obstructed by snow. But, you can summit without snow gear. Crampons will allow hikers to follow the route exactly. Without any snow equipment, snow fields on the East face can be passed by scrambling higher, crossing on rock, then meeting up with prescribed route. After achieving the South ridge, the second gulley is obstructed by snow. Taking the first gulley, all snow can be avoided for the remainder of the route. Half of the summit has snow, but the cairns marking the peak are on exposed rock. 
 
Route: Bell Cord Couloir
Posted On: 2011-06-27, By: Cool Hand Luke
Info: The Bell Cord was in good condition for a climb as of 6/26, wouldn‘t recommend it for a ski descent though. Snowshoes are not needed to get to the base; there are some areas where the trail is covered by Crater Lake, but the route using camp site trails is straight forward. From the base the couloir to the left has continuous snow, the narrow middle couloir ends with a waterfall. We followed the large runnel up after about 11,800 ft; use caution as all debris funnels into this runnel. At about 12,600 ft we exited the runnel to the left and proceeded to the top of the Cord. After the topping out on the Cord the route is almost completely snow free minus a few small sections. An early start is necessary; we left our camp at Crater Lake at 4:00 AM and started descending the Bell Cord around 10:00. A group that climbed it on Friday recommended using two axes; we were comfortable only using one tool but it all comes down to preference. Have fun! 
7
 
Route: Bell Cord, Maroon, Traverse, NE Ridge Decent
Posted On: 2011-06-25, By: rickinco123
Info: My climbing partner and I had a mini epic of 18.5 hours on Friday 6/24. We knew there would be a lot of snow but we were caught off guard by how much. We did the Bell Cord Couloir, Maroon, the traverse with a decent off of North Maroon. There was snow on all phases of our climbs, especially the decent on the North East ridge. The trail was almost totally snow bound, 3 to 4 feet deep in some places. The ascent of Maroon required scrambling with crampons and we even did a little dry tooling. Many of the class 4 portions of the traverse were snow bound forcing roped/belayed travel or extra 5th class. Plan for all of these climbs to take longer. 
 
Route: Bell Cord Couloir
Posted On: 2011-06-06, By: Edge
Info: We climbed the Bell Cord and skied the Southwest Face on Saturday. Bell cord was heavily runnelled and somewhat of a chuting gallery (snowmelt freeing up loose rock). Best to get up it by 8:00 AM. The southwest face couloir was smooth, but still frozen when we skied it at 9 AM or so. Some debris at the bottom, but overall in great condition. For the full trip report, go to http://www.backcountryaccess.com/blog . 

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