Peak(s):  Maroon Peak  -  14,156 feet
North Maroon Peak  -  14,014 feet
PT 13,039  -  13,039 feet
Sleeping Sexton  -  13,460 feet
Belleview Mtn A  -  13,233 feet
Date Posted:  10/01/2014
Modified:  10/02/2014
Date Climbed:   09/27/2014
Author:  Kylie
Additional Members:   FireOnTheMountain, Monster5
 Megamaroonal Traverse  

Megamaroonal Stats 9/27/14
Miles: 16.6
Gain: 7880'
Time: 17:25

Stats from Megamydal last year - 9/21/13
Miles: 15.4 miles
Gain: 7260'
Time: 17:55

The crew reunited this weekend for another big fall day in the Elks. After Megamydal last September, Ryan came up with the idea of "Megamaroonal" which would involve traversing from Buckskin Pass over UN 13,039', Sleeping Sexton, North and South Maroon and Belleview Mnt to West Maroon Pass. Abe carpooled with Michael and I in the Marshmallow and Ryan drove up from Durango to meet us at the Maroon Lakes trailhead late Friday night.

Together again - the now nearly beardless Boggy, Myself, Daisy , Ry Ry and The Noob on the Summit of South Maroon!

The boys had all done the Bells traverse in one direction or the other before and Ryan had previously covered ground in various seasons on intermittent sections of the ridge between Buckskin and West Maroon pass. The unknown portions of the ridge were between UN 039' to Sleeping Sexton, Sleeping Sexton to the Gunsight saddle at the base of the NW ridge of N. Maroon and the north ridge to Belleview south of the standard route of Maroon Pk. We brought two 30 meter ropes, alpine harnesses/belay devices, cord/webbing and a few quick links to leave if necessary.

We chanced a mediocre forecast of 40% chance of afternoon storms with an early start at 2:35 a.m. Saturday morning and made good time to Buckskin Pass at 4:30 a.m. We scrambled up the north ridge to the summit of UN 039' and continued in the dark to bridge the gap between this point and the summit of Sleeping Sexton. We were able to stay ridge proper to the notches with some class 4 downclimbing and then dropped on the west side and followed ledges to the saddle. We continued on to Sexton, arriving at the summit just before 7:00 as the sun came up.

Scrambling in the dark between 039' and Sexton

Ledges to Sleeping Sexton


Reaching the summit of Sleeping Sexton

The boys on the summit

Alpen glow on the Bells

Here the route finding really began - immediately after the summit, there's a large notch on the south ridge which looked like it would involve a reachy downclimb with a few tough moves or potentially a very short rap. There's also a ledge west of the summit that looked like it wraps around and might go if it can be reached via brief maybe low 5th downclimb. We found a way to descend to sloping 3rd class ledges on the east side of the summit which eventually led to sketchy terrain so we climbed up and found a way to cross over to the west side of the ridge where continued ledge potential was more promising. We dropped about 100' into a gully on the west side to continue on ledges.

Ledges on the east side

Looking back at the summit of Sleeping Sexton, we came around from the right of this photo


Boggy on the ledges

We followed ledges on the west side, which led around a corner on a cliff face at the first really big notch. There didn't appear to be good options to continue free so we set up a rappel. Meanwhile Abe found a weakness in the cliff (low class 5 downclimbing). Michael and I rapped, Abe scampered down, Ryan cleaned the gear and followed Abe's route.

At the top of the rappel

Boggy on rappel

From the top

A shot from further back

Ryan downclimbing the right (looking back) of where we set up the rap

After this we stayed on or near the ridge crest, bypassing difficulties on the west side. At the next cliff band on the ridge we descended west and traversed another ledge system. This turned a corner and led to another cliff, which we downclimbed via low 5th dihedral ramp to reach the Sexton-North Maroon saddle in the Gunsight at 13,000'. The key to the Sexton-N. Maroon portion of the traverse is to scout out which ledge goes to where you want from above and then backtrack until you can down climb to it, generally on west side, or rappel.

At the last big notch before Gunsight

Dropping into the dihedral

Boggy in downclimbing the dihedral

Coming down the ramp

In the Gunsight

We climbed Class 3 and 4 up the northwest ridge to the summit of North Maroon Peak arriving around 11:30.

On our way to North Maroon, looking back at the headwall downclimb to gunsight

Ledge bypasses on the way to North

Near the summit of North Maroon, looking back!

Final scrambling to the summit of North Maroon!

We reversed the Bells traverse downclimbing the 5.0 sections on the first 1/3 of the N-S traverse free and made our way up the icy (!) class 3 scramble to the summit of S. Maroon around 12:30. My 57th of the 58 Colorado 14ers! Yeah!

Beginning the Bells traverse N-S

Crux downclimb

On the traverse



Icy Class 3 nearing the summit of South Maroon!

Where S. Maroon's standard crossed over its south ridge to descend to Maroon Crk, we continued south on the ridge. Onward to Belleview!

It turned to awful white choss right away, but this section was mercifully brief and we were soon back on comfy red choss with Belleview steadily getting closer. We stayed mostly ridge proper through a few notches and finally hit some cruiser tundra!

Nasty white choss:

The red stuff was way better!

Finally on some easy going tundra but still a long ways to go

At this point it was past 2:30 in the afternoon and though the weather was holding, our water supply was low and my pace was dwindling. From earlier glimpses of the ridge ahead, Ryan estimated the remaining ridge would require another 3+ hours of climbing and we started to consider nearby bail options. We briefly regrouped on the ridge and Abe generously shared some of his water and Aeve with me and designated his last piece of fruit from the whole foods in Basalt as communal food. We passed around the delicious organic apple and decided to at least take a look at what had earlier appeared to be a massive notch requiring a rappel. To our relief, it was just tricks and the tower we had seen was offset from the actual ridge! We skirted a bump on tundra/scree to the east and at last reached the Maroon-Belleview saddle.

Easier terrain ahead than we thought, junky stuff offest from the ridge

Looking back towards Maroon and at how far we'd come! Half of Megamydal shown on the right:

Bypassing on tundra on the east side

Two manageable towers remained between us and what looked like a straightforward climb up the north ridge to the summit of Belleview. We skirted the first tower to the east (might have gone proper but looked tricky and time consuming), climbed up the gully between the towers, and went over the 2nd one. We scrambled up loose ledges on the immediate face to gain Belleview's north ridge and continued up loose 4th class to the summit (this probably could have gone at 2nd or 3rd class with more time spent route finding here but we were ready to get up there asap!).

Finally on the north ridge

Ryan scrambling up Bellview

Reaching the summit at last!


We descended the class 2+/some class 3 downclimbing off Belleview's south side to meet the trail at the top of West Maroon Pass and rushed to the first stream in the basin to refill our water. After quenching our thirst, the hike out was pretty uneventful except the part where we ran into a BEAR (!!) on the trail just after the junction for Pyramid. First time I've ever seen a bear in Colorado - it was pretty exciting! Takes me back to family camping trips in NC as a kid. After some tactful small talk with Smokey's cousin and assisting a couple of backpackers/photographers with relocating the trail after the bear-scare, we continued out arriving back at the parking lot shortly after dark.

At the top of west maroon pass

In hindsight, we think the traverse might be more interesting South to North, allowing for more climbing/less downclimbing - we definitely enjoyed the more sustained upward scrambling on Megamydal last year and all agreed that this climb somewhat of a sufferfest in comparison. We considered calling this one "Megamoronal" but decided that name should be reserved for a megamydal/maroonal link up Still, very pleased to have completed the entire traverse and successfully navigated the unknown portions of the ridge - definitely a sweet way to get my few remaining fourteeners too!

TR credits go to Michael, Ryan and Abe who added detail and helped me with describing the tough sections of the traverse. Thanks for another great day guys, I couldn't ask for more awesome climbing partners!


Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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 Comments or Questions

you guys are good . . .
10/02/2014 05:07
When I get around to Sleeping Sexton, my sense of accomplishment will be tempered knowing that you guys did it in the dark (sort of).

So, what's with this no-helmet deal, if I may ask?

Kevin Baker

10/02/2014 05:15
You guys were moving quick on some intense terrain! Bells traverse in 1 hour N to S is pretty quick considering what you did to get there! Congrats on an impressive day of choss scrambling. Somebody get Abe a helmet.


10/02/2014 12:23
Now you guys are just showing off.


10/02/2014 12:29
What a climb. Congratulations. It seems like you even outdid your megapyramidoidal trip!


10/02/2014 13:32
Nice work team. Solid day out there. Way to spice this traverse up a bit.


10/02/2014 14:00
What a great day out and TR to go with! Nice to see ya'll reunited. You're beastly animals out there!


10/02/2014 14:30
I wonder if it's possible to do your proposed Megamoronal Traverse in one day.

Jim Davies

It's the Two-Pass Loop!
10/02/2014 14:33
Wow, what an incredible day!


You're kind of a big deal
10/02/2014 14:37
Do you have desks that smell of fine mahogany? Looks like a great day, thanks for sharing.


Incredible, folks!
10/02/2014 14:41
What an amazing traverse. I'm drooling. Well done, gents & lady. Great TR!

10/02/2014 14:48
I was expecting this route from you guys eventually. Very reminiscent of the other epic traverse! Looking forward to more!!


1 more kylie!
10/02/2014 15:27
Awesome outing. You guys realize that we literally did it on the last good weather day of the year, snow started falling that night! explains the warm weather we had.

BTW, Little Annies shut down, super fail!

Boggy B

shush noob
10/02/2014 15:36
Indian Summer is upon us.

Excellent TR Kylie!


10/02/2014 21:08
Thanks all. Megamoronal would be pretty amazing to do in a day, don't think I could though! I can't believe little annie's closed! Such a great place!


10/02/2014 23:02
Great trip report Kylie
Next time you all decide to take a day off and do 15 miles or less and say a 6,000 ft gain walkup. Call me please i'd like to join you.


10/03/2014 00:01
Nice write up, Kylie. Let's not forget the $100 anchor above Gunsight! Who the heck backs up a solid piton with a cam and then also leaves behind a locker, good carabiner, and double length for good measure? I can see leaving behind a nut and a couple bail biners as backups, but a whole freakin' cam?

Megamoronal - think it is doable in a day. Knock off a few hrs by having a small 1-2 person party (so much loose). Knock off another few hrs knowing the route. That makes it just barely doable.

I like this shot of Boggy's:


10/03/2014 02:46
You are my girl crush and biggest mountaineer inspiration and not because you're a girl because you are AWESOME! I love the part about Abe sharing the last bit of food he had which of course was a whole foods apple.

My favorite 4some, even though I have never climbed with 3 of you. Someday

Edit~~~ 2 of you, I almost forget I climbed Elbert with Ry Ry last winter.


10/03/2014 03:59
Incredible photos and a great write-up. It's often hard to impart just how amazing a trip was, but you all succeeded here. Kylie, you're finishing up your 14er list with a bang. Thanks for letting us relive an awe-inspiring day.


We saw you coming
10/03/2014 06:30
Did N to S traverse same day with my buddy Mike Carr. It was so quiet and peaceful on N Maroon. You were the only ones we saw on the traverse that day, we watched you for a few mins from south maroon before heading down. Yall were hustling. What an epic day you had, amazing pics too. Congrats. Such great timing we had for weather and leaves.

Brian C

10/05/2014 16:54
That is all about that!


04/02/2015 19:45
You guys don't mess around. Are you getting faster too? I am disappointed I didn't see a bear

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