Pyramid Peak, CO

1 Aug 2000 - by Donna Brockman

I originally signed up a few months ago with a CMC trip to climb Pyramid on Sat. the 29. I thought since I would already be in the area I might as well do North Maroon on Mon the 31. Having nobody to climb with I was thinking of using a guide for that one. About 6 days before the CMC climb the leader called and canceled her trip saying that she climbed it the day before and found it in such terrible conditioned that she did not want to take the responsibility of other people. She told me there was another person in her group who also wanted to do North Maroon so she gave him my phone number. After talking to him we decided to just go ahead and use a guide service for both peaks, as we both only had three remaining mountains to finish off the 14er's.

So on Fri. the 29th. Jack and I found ourselves starting up Pyramid at 4:30 am from the parking lot, with our guide Cameron. The first hour on the main trail was done with head lamps. By the time it was light we were on the Pyramid trail going up. This was very steep on dirt and loose gravel and I couldn't help but wonder how this was going to feel coming down. After the steep climb came an endless boulder and talus field that would have been made easier by a covering of snow. Next there was a 1100 foot grunt up a talus trail to reach the saddle. I was having a good time talking to our guide trying to keep my mind off this grunt work. Jack was quiet and just stayed in back. Now started the time for Cameron to earn his money and show us a safe route to the summit. This wasn't much of a problem for a while then all of a sudden there seemed to be a dozen trails with cairns all over the place. He knew which ones not to take and led us up to the area where there was some 4th class scrambling He offered us a rope but we didn't think we needed one. There was good handholds and solid rock but there was also so much loose rubble on top of everything that you had to be extremely careful not to slip on it or knock it down on someone below you. As we were climbing I could see how easy it would be to end up in a very dangerous situation. A few dozen feet in the wrong direction can make a big difference in the outcome of your climb. After some more good route finding on Cameron's part we reached the summit at 9:45am. The skies were blue and there was no wind. We took our pictures and ate our food and just looked around at the beautiful views. At 10:15 we started down. Here again Cameron took the lead and took us down a little different way than we ascended. There was a lot of down climbing and it was slow going. I enjoyed the upper part of Pyramid but from the saddle down was pure hell. This descent was so steep and loose that we all took a few butt falls.

After a long tiring adventure we arrived back at our car at 2:45pm safe and sound. Also waiting for me was my husband who had hiked to Willow Lake, a 14 mile 3,500ft. hike. He had cold beer for all of us in the cooler. Now that I had Pyramid under my belt I could look forward to North Maroon on Monday.


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