Maroon Peak  
Condition Updates  
 
Route: View from Pyramis
Posted On: 2020-06-15, By: HikerBox
Info: View of the bells from Pyramid 
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Route: Bell Cord Couloir
Posted On: 2020-06-13, By: Stee
Info: The Bell Cord was in decent shape. I had to scramble on some scree near the garbage chute but it was all snow after that. I started at 1245 am from the parking lot and was at the top of the Bell Cord at 530 am. Snow was hard all the way up. It took about 30 minutes to get to South Maroon from there and was all rock. The trip down the couloir was pretty quick but not fun. The snow was softening up fast and I had to dodge a few small rocks. Lots of down climbing facing in. Thankful to have two tools! For access, I camped the night before at Silver Bell Campground. They have about 10 sites that are open for walk ins. Sounds like Monday to Thursday are easy to get a site if you show up around noon. I was there at 1 pm and had several to choose from. If you get a site you can park near the trailhead whenever you want. So $15 to camp and $10 for parking. 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-05-29, By: Coloradokid_
Info: The road opens up on June 8th, for now it's closed 5.5 miles from the TH. TH to crater lake is completely dry, from there to the turn off it's about 65% snow free. After the turnoff, the east slope has a lot of scattered snowfields, I tried to avoid the snow as much as possible (wet slides everywhere). I brought mountaineering boots and crampons but surprisingly was able to stay in my trail runners and shorts all day, Ice axe was helpful, used microspikes for a very short amount of time. Both gulleys were pretty dry, you can avoid 90% of the snow. The standard route has you traversing left from the second gulley, I decided to head directly to the ridge just below Pt. 13,753' and stuck to the ridge proper all the way to the summit, I was able to avoid almost all snow until the very top. Snow was soft coming down, wet slides were a major problem on the east slope coming off the ridge. I think it'll be getting pretty close to summer conditions shortly after the road opens up. 23 miles RT, ~6300' elevation gain Started 1:30 AM Summit 9:00AM Back to car 4:00 PM 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2019-11-10, By: Will_E
Info: Made it to summit of South Maroon today, a lot of snow up there, much of it in inconvenient places. There's a pretty good trench a little ways past the Crater Lake campsites, then a decent set of tracks until the S. Maroon trail splits off. I followed tracks rather than the route proper on the way up, then the tracks dead ended so I just went straight up the side of the mountain and made my own route to the ridge, which worked out okay, I avoided snow I didn't like and minimized the steep gulley crossings with snow. Still quite the chore getting up the 2,800 ft slope, and worse coming down. Once on the S. Ridge, the snow really made it difficult on the way up, it was often on steep sections where it was difficult to tell if it was shallow on a steep rock or thick enough to hold you. I got stuck in one particular section that was really dicey, ended up doing some class 4 up climbing to escape. The snow wasn't as bad the higher you went, after that I just tried to stay as close to the top of the ridge as possible rather than follow the actual route. Coming down was *much* easier using this approach. I didn't use any traction today, snow was very sugary in most places. A little postholing on the 2800 ft section, but not too bad. Only a few days before Maroon Creek Road closes, sign at entrance said it was closing on 11/15. 
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Route: Bells Traverse
Posted On: 2019-09-22, By: MC.Ikema
Info: South Ridge - snow free. Bells Traverse - small patches of snow hiding in the shadows of Maroon's north face during the descent off the summit to the top of the Bell Cord. No snow encountered from the top of Bell Cord to the summit of North Maroon. 
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2019-09-22, By: jweimar
Info: The route was snow free. Aspens have started to change color, but not the entire valley yet. Next weekend should be good for aspens. 
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2019-09-16, By: crowdsurf
Info: The light snow from the cold front that moved through last week is sticking to the north facing aspects but clear on the south ridge route. I would imagine this could change in the next couple weeks. Get it soon if you want it snow free. 
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Route: Bells Traverse
Posted On: 2019-09-17, By: wintersage
Info: Hike to South Maroon was completely dry, no snow encountered anywhere on the trail. Traverse from South to North Maroon had snow in the shaded north facing slopes, making the initial downclimb from South Maroon a little more challenging. Heading down from North Maroon had even more snow, especially near the crux of the route at the chimney. There is a large section of ice right at the landing spot. There is a rope there that looked stable and healthy as of 9/14. 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2019-09-06, By: CoHi591
Info: South Maroon was in great condition. It was easier than I expected to stay on a decent trail for the 2800 ft of suck, and I found it less punishing than Sunshine's east ridge and less crappy than Challengers north slopes. The entire route to the summit was surprisingly well cairned. We used the first of the two gullies, the second looked awful. 
 
Route: Bells Traverse
Posted On: 2019-08-28, By: Ptglhs
Info: I thought the traverse was in good shape. There was some rockfall on the way up the 2nd tower, nothing catastrophic. Nice cairns on the few wider sections, good holds going up the towers. Coming down Nth Maroon was dicey. If you haven't climbed up the chimney then you don't know where the foot holds are halfway down as they're under a small overhang. There was a fixed rope above the chimney. The anchor and the rope were in good shape as of Monday. 
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2019-08-15, By: Cruiser
Info: Took the standard route yesterday on maroon in perfect conditions. Putting up a quick conditions report to mention the good state of the cairns on the route once you begin the more challenging stuff after gaining the ridge. The entire route from the point where you gain the ridge to the summit is well cairned. If you are concerned about routefinding then take your time and look for the cairns as they are well placed and will surely keep you on the path of least resistance if you just make a conscious effort to look for them. If this route feels sketchy or exposed at any point there's a very good chance you're not on the "trail" so you need to go back to your last known cairn and then move forward. 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2019-08-10, By: Jacob-Hoffman-7
Info: Started hiking from just below the overnight lot at 4:00 AM. (the main overnight lot was full but there was parking no less than a quarter mile down the road) In the dark the trail to crater lake is slightly confusing. There is a portion of the trail that turns back and sets you facing away from the bells for a short section before looping back around. Reached the far edge of crater lake past the campsites at around 5:30 just as morning light was visible on the horizon. The route up to the south ridge is long and somewhat steep. After gaining the ridge, the remaining route stretches out in front of you. Pictures don't do justice to the beauty and true size of the route. My climbing partner and I kept a moderate yet steady pace up to the ridge. However we still didn't reach the true class 3 climbing potion until 10:00 (6 hours after our departure) With proper attention to the trail and cairns, it is fairly easy to follow the trail to the first ledges before reaching the 2 gullies. There is almost no snow on the route. Only a few sections of snow remain on the ridge. All of them are small and all of them are easily avoided or easily passable. Upon reaching the class 3 portion, it was very helpful to have pictures of the remaining route downloaded onto a phone for reference. (Don't expect any service on the ridge, only a spotty connection could be found on the summit itself) Keeping an eye out for cairns combined with photos of the route made it easy to stay along the path of least resistance. (Not to say the route was easy, there is no shortage of loose rock and steep climbing) The weather held out beautifully with only some sparse clouds quickly passing overhead and blue skies visible to the west. The remaining route after the robot and the large gulley is much easier and can be navigated by several slightly different routes. Cairns are more sparse here but there isn't as much need for a single, specific trail. There is plenty of easy class 3 scrambling up to the final summit pitch from this point. It took only 2 hours to reach the summit from the beginning of the summit ridge. By 12:00 the weather was slightly windy but still enjoyable. The views are spectacular and it is tempting to spend a long time on the summit. The clear views of Snowmass Mountain and Capitol Peak to the north only add to the view. After almost an hour on the summit I turned back. Downclimbing takes less energy but required just as much caution. The rocks are loose and are easy to accidentally set tumbling down the steep slopes. Pay careful attention to landmarks on the way back. My climbing partner and I got slightly off route and moved across a class 4 section of rock before quickly finding and returning to the true trail by the first gulley. There are several small cairns higher than the true route that take you across much more exposed ledges. Trust your judgement and make sure you are careful with your route finding. (especially on the way back when landmarks for the route are less obvious) It took just as long on the way back down the class 3 portion as it did going up. After returning to the chimney at the beginning of the ridge the trail is obvious and turns left down the slope. From this point the remaining route back feels long but is easy to follow and only gets easier. 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2019-08-07, By: Dayute
Info: Mostly summer conditions.There is one snow field around 12k on the slope that caused some route finding issues. Went around to the left and low on the way up and then upon rejoining the main trail noticed another heavily cairned trail off to climbers right that switchbacks straight up the slope. The main trail has very few if any cairns at this point so the other trail appeared more prominent. I ended up sticking with the main trail as my GPS was steering that way but two other guys I was playing tag with took this cairned trail. They said it went almost completely up the slope before dead ending at some cliff bands. On the way down it was clear we should have stayed climbers right of the snow. There is still snow in the bottom of gully #2 but there is just enough room on one side to squeeze by without traction. There is also a very loose mini-fridge sized rock about halfway up this gully that's just begging to come down on someone's head. 
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2019-08-03, By: Tacocat Climbing
Info: I started the day at around 4:30am from the Maroon Lake TH. I started with Maroon Peak, seeing an amazing sunrise along the way. Once the trail starts climbing the mountain, it gets pretty steep and the terrain is pretty loose. As I got further up the mountain the looseness of the rocks just got worse and worse. There wasnt really any notable snow on the route, so summer gear is just fine. Made it to the top at around 8:30am. Then headed back down the standard route. I ended up going up for Pyramid Peak on my way back! Which also required no snow gear, just some poles. Doing Maroon Peak and Pyramid Peak ended up being about 18.5miles, a whopping 9,379 feet of elevation gain, and took me 13hours 15mins round trip. Video of the hike: https://youtu.be/Z18ZrAOrtCQ 
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2019-07-30, By: JDG7
Info: summer conditions, except for a couple of minor snow patches on the slope approach. don't need any micros at this point for this one. 
 
Route: Bell Cord Couloir
Posted On: 2019-07-24, By: bwleachuk
Info: Made it up the Bell Cord to the summit, with the help of crampons/ice axe/rope for rappelling. The snow was surprisingly firm, even later in the day, though we did see a few larger snow pieces breaking off and tumbling down through the garbage chute area. Smaller size bergschunds are to be found all the way up to the top, and must be carefully avoided. There are runnels higher up, where the couloir narrows, but all still passable. Once at the top of the couloir (13,600), the traverse up to the summit is free from snow, and straightforward Class 3 scrambling. Thunderstorms rolled in much earlier than anticipating, and we were still at 13,600 when they hit at 9am. That was scary. Plan accordingly. We left camp at 10,100' at 3:45am. In hindsight, an hour earlier might have been OK, given that we had a near full moon to work with. The danger of the bergshrunds in the dark is a competing consideration. 
 
Route: Bell Cord Couloir
Posted On: 2019-07-22, By: HikerBox
Info: Bell chord is in great shape and probably will be for a few weeks. We didn't have the gas to top out but got near the base of the narrow section. The garbage chute is melted out, requiring the traverse around. Seems like there's a lower traverse than shown on the 14ers route that ends just above the top of the chute or the high traverse that involves a little water fall climbing. If you take the high route take your crampons off, it's dry for a few hundred yards above. There's a small bergschrund forming below the narrow part of the couloir but it doesn't go all the way across the slope yet, stay a little right on the way up. 
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2019-07-20, By: rsparksy
Info: Climbed Maroon Peak yesterday in perfect weather. I would consider the route summer conditions now as all the snow is avoidable on the route to the summit minus a few patches on the scree climb. I brought the axe and spikes just in case but didn't need either. 
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2019-07-11, By: drhbdc
Info: You can not stay on standard route. We used micro spikes early morning on the lower grade snow fields. Snow was firm all day. Did not use micro-spikes on the descent. Even at 3 pm, snow was still firm but just soft enough to heel plunge step our way down. No post holing at all. We did use ice axe to climb an 7 or 8 foot block at the first of the Twin Gullies. Twin gullies as others are still full of snow and will be there for a while. We were able to down climb 75+ feet or traverse over the snow but you are making 5.4 - 5.6 moves. A fall would not be survivable. We left camp 9 at Crater Lake about 5:50a, Summit by 1:00 pm and returned to camp about 5:30p. Route finding was a challenge. Beyond the gullies there is no snow to the summit. Large cornice at the top but peak was bare. Mountain Rescue was on their way up this morning for a body recovery. We did not see another group on the mountain so they must have fallen before the twin gullies where part of our team waited about about 2.5 hours for my son and I to make a summit attempt. 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2019-07-01, By: Giant hills
Info: Trail is dry with some patches of snow and a few creek crossings that poles helped a lot with and if you take your time arent bad. No flotation needed leave it in the car. There is quite a few avalanche debris fields you have to figure out your way through GPS helped on that especially in the dark. Slope that leads to the ridge has snow covering it in all the gulleys. We decided to climb one of the snow bands up to the ridge. Steep and straight forward but would recommend trail as you could get yourself in some trouble if you didn't choose exit wisely. As for once on the ridge. I can't stress enough how important an axe and crampons are right now still. I honestly can't offer much insight on the route we took because we made it up as we went. It basically went something along the lines of after the first initial scramble you cross a couple snow bands that an axe is definetly needed and crampons. We didn't use the crampons but they are needed if snow was a bit harder. we went up a small gulley to drop into the first gulley. Standard route is completely covered in sketchy rotten snow still. I didnt feel comfortable even attempting going that way. We climbed up this gulley up to the ridge then climbed the ridge the whole way which was dry besides a few patches of snow where an axe definelty is needed. If dodging the snow on the ridge theres some hard class 4 moves maybe some easy 5 moves at points with some good exposure. It was a ton of fun and great mountain. I can't stress enough how much route finding is key right now to get up and down safely and having the tools and knowledge to use them out there on this mountain, dont attempt without any of these things. Its still not full summer out there yet. The upper portion of the ridge that leads out of bell chord also looked bone dry from what i was able to see. 
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