North Maroon/Maroon Peak (Traverse)

7 Aug 2003 - by T Colorado

It had been 12 years since the last time my husband, Michael, and I had done this traverse (together). In fact, Maroon Peak (after the traverse) had been our 55th 14'er (please read author's note below on the 55 14'ers in Colorado). Since then we have been concentrating on climbing peaks above 13,000 feet in Colorado (and many others out of state). Somehow the mind dulls the memories as time goes by and I had not remembered many details of these peaks (though Tim Edinger's description was of some filtered interest to me prior to the climb). This trip was yet another result of Ron, our friend, continuing his quest to do all the 14'ers in Colorado. We left the trailhead at 3:45 a.m. and summited the North Maroon at 10:30 p.m. (we're also not as fast as we were 12 years ago -- haha). The route up North Maroon is much more pronounced than it was and we actually avoided any 4th class challenges on the way up. We headed over to Maroon Peak along the top of the ridge (and sometimes on either side) and did not encounter any rappel opportunities until almost halfway across. We reached the summit of Maroon Peak at 2:00 p.m., signed in the register and only made it about 100 feet below the summit before the unmentionable substance hit the fan. The weather, which seemed to form over Pyramid -- man, that peak looks so cool from the Bells and viceversa -- stayed for over 2 hours with much electricity, thunder and hail. By the time the deluge stopped, all surfaces were wet and covered with lots of sleet. We started the descent at 4:45 p.m. and hit the West Maroon Pass Trail at 8:30 p.m. We made it back to the truck by 10:30 p.m. and slept well (to say the least). It was a full day. Happy Trails!

Author's Note: For those of you still in the process of climbing the 14'ers in Colorado, be sure to include #55 which is Challenger Point over by Kit Carson Peak (best approach from Willow Lake -- in fact, that's a great way to do both Challenger and Kit in the same day). Challenger Peak was added to list after the space shuttle disaster (in honor of those brave people). Some may scoff (that have done 54 14'ers), but I would remind you that if you did the 54 14'ers, you have already done "controversial" peaks that in some cases (whether you heed the USGS or Garrett/Martin parameters) that "may not count" as in Ellingwood Point and others. Just a thought.

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