Peak(s):  Pyramid Peak  -  14,029 feet
Date Posted:  06/08/2005
Date Climbed:   06/04/2005
Author:  Schuller
 Attempt at Pyramid   

On Friday, June 4th my climbing partner and I attempted Pyramid Peak. We started at 3:30 from Maroon Lake and the valley was completely shrouded in clouds. We couldnt see either the Bells or Pyramid so we didnt know exactly where to go. Up was our best bet so we climbed a snowfield about 1500 vertical feet before realizing that we were not on the route. After a snowy, bushwhacking traverse we found the proper route and entered the impressive cirque. The snow in the basin was great and the hiking was easy. We were going for the NW ridge but at about 13,000 feet (just below the saddle) the snow conditions deteriorated quickly. It did not freeze hard the night before and even at 7am it was ready to start sliding. There were multiple new point releases between us and the saddle and the climbing was very difficult in the soft snow. So we took some pictures, had a snack, and decided to come back another day. By the time we got back to Maroon Creek there were several new small slides on the east facing slopes so I think our decision was the correct one.

A couple of notes, there was still snow down to about 10,200 feet on the north facing slopes and it appears that there were some large avalanches this winter as the 8-10 year old spruce was shredded in places. There will still be snowclimbing in this area for several more weeks. We tried to probe the snow depth in the basin but the 8 foot probe was not long enough. On Maroon Bells the trail to Crater Lake is mostly clear of snow and there was a party skiing down the N face of the N peak. Snow to about 10,800 feet or so.

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