Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pyramid Peak

Brian and I decided on a climb of Pyramid Peak on September 11, 2010.  I had planned to climb it earlier in the summer, but hit a cow elk just outside of Leadville which ruined that weekend.

I made sure I didn't roll thru Leadville at dusk to avoid the wildlife and spent the night in the Maroon Bells day parking lot.  The overnight parking was full, but nobody bothered me since I slept in the cab.

Brian arrived from New Castle and we headed up the trail past Maroon Lake.  The start of the trail to Pryamid is easy to miss, but we caught it and hiked the switchbacks to the boulder field.  The climb up across the boulder field is a bit tedious as the Peak looms over you.

If the boulder field is tedious, it is not as bad as the slog up to the pass.  This section was steep and slippery.

We were greeted at the pass by a small herd of mountain goats.  Finally the climb starts to get fun.  We found the gap where you have to jump over about a three foot opening.  Then we shinnied our way across the cliff traverse.  This was an interesting section, but not too exposed.

As the terrain gets steeper the rock gets smoother.  This is rated class 4, but I didn't feel it was any trickier than a lot of class 3 I've been on.  I guess I'm getting some comfort on this level of rock after much climbing in the Flatirons.  A couple of climbers past us on this section and one kicked a rock down on us.  It was easy to dodge and he apologized at the top.

Later that month I learned that Don (peakcowboy) had died on Kit Carson.  He had wanted us to join him on Snowmass the same weekend we climbed Pyramid.

I only made the summit of three 14ers this year, but next year I plan to finish the Elks.  I will also attempt Sneffels, Wetterhorn, and the Wilsons.

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