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Two weeks after our initial attempt we met our second guide for another try. We met at the trailhead at about 6 o’clock in the morning. We are very quickly regained the 2800 Feet of Suck, and then roped up to begin of the technical climbing.
Another shot from Maroon Lake at the start of the climb. Although it had only been 2 weeks since our last climb, the changes of Fall were very apparent. The sunrise was noticeably later, and the aspen trees had really begun to change.
While we waited four our guide I was inspired by Billinglendale to try my hand at a star shot. This was taken with my iPhone set on the roof of the car with a 30 second exposure. I think you can see the Pleaides in the upper left corner.
Dawn on our way to the 2800 FoS
The climb to the top of Maroon Peak in many ways was similar to the climb up Pyramid Peak earlier in the summer. The climb involved significant traverses on narrow ledges followed by sections of steep scrambling. The sections of scrambling were longer than we had on Pyramid, with 30 to 40 foot sections of steep rock.
This photo was taken from Pyramid Peak earlier in the summer. Maroon Peak on the left, North Maroon on the right. Our traverse closely followed the skyline between the two peaks. The thin band of snow that separates the peaks is known as the Bell Cord Couloir, and when it has snow in it is a classic climbing route. A couloir is a steep and narrow gully that fills with snow.
From the summit of Maroon Peak we had a long and loose descent to the notch between Maroon Peak and North Maroon Peak.
The notch between the peaks is the top of the Bell Cord Couloir. The couloir is melted out in September, and would be a nightmare to either climb up or down. This photo is a vertical panoramic photo of Pyramid Peak taken from the top of the Bell Cord
The total traverse distance from Maroon Peak to North Maroon Peak is a half mile. That half mile took us about three hours. From the top of the Bell Cord Couloir, the climbing got significantly more difficult. Having the guide made the climb a lot more fun, because we were able to traverse off of the usual route into even more technical terrain.
The descent from the peak was long, steep, and technical, but made it one of the most rewarding days in the mountains ever.
Thanks for sharing the adventures!