OK, Thursday afternoon of Labor Day weekend - a first view of Pyramid Pk as I drive up the road to Maroon Lake.
A little further along - telephoto.
From the Maroon Lake TH (upper right), I'll backpack just a couple of miles to camp by Crater Lake. [After climbing Pyramid on Friday, the next day I'll pack over Buckskin Pass, descending to near Snowmass Lake.]
The Maroon Bells (N. Maroon Pk in center, S. Maroon behind it on left) loom over Maroon Lake.
Gerry Roach's swell map shows the routes on Pyramid and the Bells.[Close up view later.]
Superb route info from 14ers.com: http://www.14ers.com/routemain.php?route=pyra1&peak=Pyramid
On trail up to Crater Lake.
Pyramid Pk coming into view here - high point in far background.
[I'm a sucker for Columbines.]
I think these were the only ones I saw over the three-day trip.
From my campsite, just above Crater Lake.
Pyramid summit barely visible in back.
Crater Lake, looking south up the canyon.
Oh, well. I'm here now - time to climb!
Yes, the rock is sedimentary and VERY loose.
OK - up Friday at 0400 and enroute at 0430.
Summit ahead, but first a long snow gully. Not a problem to walk on it without ice ax or crampons, however.
Looking back. [Yes, not good focus.]
6:40 - Sunrise kissing the summit.
Doing Route #7 - the NE Ridge. Note steep gully from amphitheater up to NE ridge.
Gully starts up scree left of center and ascends to low point on ridge.
Telephoto of last shot.
Looking back north.
A slight diversion in a long, loose & tedious gully.
There is actually a trail - more or less.
Looking over to summit - high point on right.
Looking west across to the Bells. N. Maroon on right; the slightly higher S. Maroon on left.
Telephoto. Surprising that the prominent "Bell Couloir" still provides a steep snowclimb on Labor Day weekend. [Exactly a year earlier, Brett and I "Rang the Bells" by running the way-gnarly traverse from N to S.]
Scanning now from west to north. That's Snowmass Peak (a 14er) on the right.
Snowmass Mtn and then Capitol Pk.
Telephoto - featuring Capitol Pk, another quite gnarly 14er.
[Note the trail heading up to Buckskin Pass - my route the next day.]
The first of several mtn goats along the NE Ridge.
OK, the gully itself took just over an hour; 8:10 - time now to follow the NE Ridge to the summit.
Looking down east into the N. Maroon Creek drainage.
Looking back - note gully trail rising up to ridge saddle.
Note cairns leading down here.
OK - a nice broad step across this gap ...