Peak(s):  "Thunder Pyramid" - 13,932 feet
PT 13,722 - 13,722 feet
PT 13,631 - 13,631 feet
PT 13,180 B - 13,180 feet
PT 13,140 - 13,140 feet
Pyramid Peak  -  14,029 feet
Date Posted:  10/08/2013
Modified:  10/09/2013
Date Climbed:   09/21/2013
Author:  FireOnTheMountain
Additional Members:   Kylie, Boggy B, Monster5
 Megamydal Traverse   

So as to not fall victim to a medieval stoning by the crew, I present to anyone interested a TR on a trip done a couple weeks past...

The aforementioned crew consists of familiar faces but who have only gotten out 1 other time as a team (some Cali 14er that doesn't start with W).

Side note before we begin: I apologize for the inundation as I may have gotten picture happy with this TR. However, 7 miles of awesome ridge pushing 4th and in multiple places 5th class offered a slew of good kodak moments. I felt they told the story better rather than me trying to be clever.

Yet another 14er Bonanza

From Front to Back:

  • The Bearded One - Boggy B (Mike)
  • The Bad Mama Jama - Kylie, the birthday girl (or is it woman?)
  • The Redcarpet Notable who graciously took time out of his star studded schedule to mingle with the commoners (public stunt I'm sure) - Monster5 (Ryan)
  • The Noob - Who you lookin at!?

The Pyramidal Traverse has tacitly (or perhaps traditionally) become known as the ridgeline connecting UN 13,722 (Lightning Pyramid for you LOJ'ers), Thunder Pyramid and our cuddly, loving 14er, Pyramid Peak. These three peaks by themselves are no trifling matter, requiring constant exposure to, well, exposure and climbing on rock better described with expletives. When viewing a map however, one notices 3 other ranked 13ers sharing the same ridge to the south. Adding 1 part quartet of peakbaggers, 2 parts awesome ridge in a great range and 3 parts pretty nice day, the "red, rugged and rotten" cocktail is conceived, or as we like to call it, the Megamydial Traverse.

But wait, there's more! Behind those match made in heaven smiles, Kylie and Mike had not confided the fact that it was Kylie's birthday AND she had not done Pyramid before. Seriously, who the hell gets Pyramid for the first time by linking it up with 5 (more like 4) other gnarly 13ers?! Tough to claim firsts in this state, but I think we can here.

The waltz began at 2:10am. We made our way to a few hundred feet below West Maroon Pass then shot left towards the ridge and our first peak of the day, 13,130. Feeling a little sleepy on the ridge, the crisp wind showed no mercy. We summitted 13,130 around 6:45, took some pics of Precarious Peak and the most famed duo in CO under a rising sun then sought shelter from the wind and some breakfast.

And so the journey begins. (Boggster and I, Ryan got a sweet photo here if you ask me)

Next up came 13,180B and a meager sampling of what would lie ahead.

Class 3 ride to 13,180B, the prominent middle right peak, towering above that to the right is 13,631

View of 13,631 atop 180B.

With those two out of the way, the real fun began. That is if cliff outs, gendarmes and sub par rock are your thing. Check, check and check. The first major obstacle of the day came with a large gendarme near the saddle which we side skirted to the right followed by a side skirt to the left for the very next one.

Coming off of 180B

A downclimb

Peaking around the corner

Another downclimb with Ryan there to lend a helping shoulder

Back up we go.

What we descended

Fun scrambling to the summit of 631.

3 down, 3 to go with Lightning up next. Since we're on the topic, clouds up to this point were a little on the ominous side forcing us to keep a watchful eye and look for possible escapes. In the end however, the weather actually got better as the day progressed and was simply great once we stood atop Pyramid around 5 pm.

Looks pretty simple right? Starts off so

Closer view

Kylie stompin it

Describing the route here is quite hazy to be honest. Generally from 631 to Thunder, left (west side) was the more forgiving side. That being said, our main goal was to stay proper for the whole trip due to the sheer drop on most of the flanks.

A look back at 631. Len Shoemaker basin can be seen to Boggy's right.

Perch with a view on the east side flank. Not this way fellas.

Exploring his options, Mike eventually abandons what he's doing here and goes for the arÍte-like rock on the right. Proves to be a good find with an airy fall off the eastern side of the mountain.

Kylie making her way up the final bit on Ligthening with Thunder and Pyramid in the background.

Lightning to Thunder ensued and we were all feeling pretty great.

Kylie displaying her proper manners

Hey look, a guest appearance by Mickey!

Summiting Thunder, Kylie and Mike surprised us yet again. Both of them had climbed and been in the good company of Mr. Gladbach and offered up this kind momento to a true Colorado legend.

Climb on Steve, we thank you for all the inspiration you provided

Returning to the ridge, in my opinion the most committing part lay ahead.

A look back at Thunder

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, Na, It's just the Bells

And as we marched down the yellow brick road, we were confronted by the crux of the day, a 5.4 chimmney. Sounds pretty easy right? Well, it was here I determined I am not the best at stemming. Mike went first opting for the right side as can be seen in the following picture but the rest of us took a line more left of Mike's. A fall in this section would have undoubtedly sent you on a first class ticket ~3k feet down to East Maroon Creek. Now I don't climb big wall or anyway wall for that matter, but after almost 6 hours of gnar ridge the exposure started to get to me a little which I have never really sensed on a ridge. The mind sure does wonder at times.

Not much picture deception here, the exposure was pretty legit.

We all made it up safe and sound without too much hassle only to be confronted by the Fortress of Pyramid. Following picture shows our route up Pyramid which required one awkward 5th class move.

No surprise, Kylie beats us to Pyramid thus summitting Pyramid via the Megamydial Traverse on her birthday! Now thats doing it in style!

Girls rule and Boys drool was the saying if I recall

Off we go to Little Annie's in Aspen!

Stats on the Ride:
15.4 miles
7260' vertical gain
17 hours and 55 minutes

A Further breakdown:
TH - 13130 --> 8.4 mi, 4h 37m
break --> 16m
130 - 180B --> 1.1 mi, 58m
13180 - 13631 --> 1.2 mi, 2h 34m
break --> 14m
13631 - Lightning --> 1.1 mi, 1h 55m
break : 16m
Lightning - Thunder --> 0.6 mi, 58m
break --> 14m
Thunder - Pyramid --> 1.2 mi, 2h 34m
Party --> 21m
Pyramid - TH --> 4.3 mi, 3h

Sorry but the avid trail runner in me has to mention this part: On our descent from Pyramid, we noticed a couple guys coming up 200' below us. Immediately, I turned to the crew and said, "Those guys are trail runners." As they approached I recognized one of them as Peter Bakwin, a trail running monster. With him was apparently the only guy to finish Barkley's twice, Brett Maune. I was a little star struck but kept it cool and collected.

Tread Lightly My Friends

Comments or Questions
10/09/2013 03:49
That's a heck of a way to spend a birthday (or, I suppose, any day). Congrats on getting something amazing done in style!

10/09/2013 05:07
I have considered this exact same trip several times, but never found the perfect day (or gumption) to go for it. Well done! Spectacular photos.

You animals....
10/09/2013 05:18

Great report. Great pictures.

Awesome TR in Detail!
10/09/2013 07:18
Major Props on the accomplishment and on the detailed TR. Nothing like lots of pics to convey the story.


10/09/2013 08:31
Those pictures are unreal, I felt the empty air by just lookin at them.

Congrats to everyone that participated.

On Fire
10/09/2013 10:05
Nice job on the report Abe!
I like the tribute photo for Steve, a great little touch to a kickass day you droolers had, and the birthday Girl!

Holy Schneikies!
10/09/2013 11:33
Impressive, and a great read. Some of those pics are outrageous!

10/09/2013 14:51
Looks like an awesome day of precarious scrambling! TP to Pyramid is bad a** enough, let alone adding on the rest. Great job and congrats to all involved.

Dudes and Dudette
10/09/2013 15:18

A beautiful tribute to Steve as well

Bought yourself some time
10/09/2013 16:28
Stoning's unavoidable I fear. All those unnamed peaks - I'm starting to forget which one was Electric. And you forgot about the morning competition, which I recall you lost, and your and boggy's conversation about other men's calves. Not that there's anything wrong with that. No big deal.

Nice report though, Noob, and picture selection. Memorable day.

10/09/2013 18:34
18 hours in that terrain is hard to imagine.

Google or Garmin Route Map
10/09/2013 20:48
Any of you guys able to offer up the route on Garmin or a link to your Google route map? Look forward to reconning and following in your footsteps.

10/09/2013 21:01
It is pretty cruel of you to put up such a great report on a route we can't touch for at least 9 months!

10/10/2013 01:25
Excellent ridge, excellent pics, excellent report! Great job, crew! And what a way to spend your birthday! Happy, happy!!

Pretty burly...
10/10/2013 02:00
..and then it keeps going, and going.
Jeebus, any one section of loose rock would make me nervous, but 18 hours?! Must've been mentally as well as physically exhausting!

Ridge runner
committing route
10/10/2013 02:33
Nice job on a very mentally and physically demanding traverse! I remember doing that with Kiefer and thinking it was one of the greatest traverses that I'll never care to do again (loved it, but one and done!). A number of your photos look very similar to ours. Anyway, congrats and wonderful tribute.

Any races coming up?

Glad you could get past the spelling errors...
10/10/2013 02:38
Thanks for the comments everyone. Good time for sure.

@marmot - get it man! just dont recommend with a ton of snow hah
@mrmoscow1 - will see if I can get you the route, but really quite easy
@Wolfcastle - haha sorry man. We may have put a few of those peaks to sleep.

Kevin Baker
Heck of a ridge run
10/10/2013 05:12
It took Papi, Woody, and I about 17 hours to do 13631 to Belleview (the easier section of the traverse), so you guys were moving well! I was wondering why I didn't see Ryan on Pyramid when I saw him post a condition update as I was up there there the same day. Sweet pics, Abe!

Boggy B
The Red, Rugged, and Rotten Cocktail
10/10/2013 14:58

Serve chilled.

10/10/2013 16:35
TR was worth the wait. Congrats to the crew and the birthday girl. The Superman photo made me LOL at work...

It was a pleasure reading/viewing
10/11/2013 03:53
Great trip,great pics and great report! Thanks for sharing.

rob runkle
10/14/2013 18:16
I'm still breathing a bit heavy after that picture show...

i somehow missed this one...
10/16/2013 02:39
Unreal pictures. what a great TR! nice job gang. HUGE DAY!

catfish hank
Serious Pucker Factor.
10/18/2013 21:28
Mind blowing pics. Colors were really popping What kinda camera did you use?

What they said ^^^
10/24/2013 01:27
Great job, Abe, Michael, Kylie, and Ryan!

I especially liked the honors to Steve.

Great TR
05/09/2014 12:30
And great pictures! Well done guys! Awesome tribute to Steve as well.


Ancient Lore at this point
05/16/2021 21:52
But many thanks for this! I live in Crested Butte and am thinking about doing this route from our side of the range, perfect beta. Nice work!!

   Not registered?

Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

Please respect private property: supports the rights of private landowners to determine how and by whom their land will be used. In Colorado, it is your responsibility to determine if land is private and to obtain the appropriate permission before entering the property.

© 2022®, 14ers Inc.