The Maroons

7 Jul 2000 - by Bill Strand

On Friday July 7th Steve and I left Fort Collins to hopefully do the traverse between N. Maroon and S. Maroon on Saturday and then Pyramid Peak on Sunday. We pack in to the back country sites at Crater Lake just before sunset. When we awoke at 4am the skies were overcast. At this point we made the decision to climb Pyramid be cause it was the least committing of our ambitious plans. I won't spend much time describing the Pyramid Peak (Northeast Ridge) climb since there has already been an excellent report from folks we met on the trail. I will say Pyramid is the steepest 14ner I have ever climbed. It seems even steeper on the way down, especially the stretch from about 12,000ft to 10,500ft. We had a little difficulty initially finding the trail after it branches off of the Crater Lake trail. If one heads in the right general direction, it should be intercepted. The trail you are looking for crosses a talus slope that is very visible slightly west of the main drainage leading to the Amphitheater below Pyramid's North Face. The other tip I have is after leaving the 13,000 ft. saddle, after you cross to the left (south) side of the ridge try to stay near the ridge crest on the left side. Don't wander too far left. You should rarely be more than 100 feet left, and most of the time right on the ridge. This is a great peak to remember to look behind you and see what it should look like on the way down. There were several cairined trails, but the one that sticks to the ridge is the easiest. On the register a gentleman had signed that he had climbed Pyramid 16 times, wow. Another said it was his 256th 14ner, that's impressive. Safe climbing to everyone.

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