Peak:  Maroon Peak (14er)
 Route:  South Ridge
 Range:  Elk
 Posted By:  ktfoote628
 Date of Info:  07/15/2021
 Date Posted:  07/16/2021

Beautiful wildflowers on the approach to the ridge! Very stunning.

Pretty straightforward route finding on the way up... my boyfriend and I joined a group of 3 guys and only saw one other group of 3 all day (with the exception of a few folks coming over on the traverse). We were on trail (almost) the entire approach. Notable exception is I got separated from the group for about 5 minutes and they couldn't hear me and quickly found myself on very exposed class 4 with loose rock trying to get to a place where I could see them.... lesson learned: keep it class 3 to stay on trail.

Main condition report I wanted to add is gully 1 had water flowing down after Wednesday's rain... not sure how long it will last but we enjoyed ascending and descending Gully 2 which was only slightly damp. Going up, we hugged the left which was pretty solid and nice. Coming down, we tried the other side (perhaps out of laziness) and that was much looser.

We had much more trouble with route finding coming down (until the end of the ridge) and made the classic mistake of dropping too early. Fortunately, we found a pretty decent way to cross over to the Big Gully and get back on trail. Usually, I find it easier to route find on the way down but all the loose rocks made it hard to visually pick out cairns and there's so many lines that look like they could be trails but they aren't.

Once we left the ridge, route finding was very straightforward... my boyfriend and I donned old spikes to help with the loose, step descent.


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