Avg: 3.5 from 66 votes
|Type:||Trad, Alpine, Grade II|
|Page Views:||10,083 total, 53/month|
|Shared By:||ClimbandMine on Jun 15, 2002|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac|
DescriptionGuidebooks describe the ridge connecting the Bells as 4th class. Everyone I've talked to who's done it from south to north has rated it from 5.4 to 5.7. If you climb the Bell Cord Couloir first (in my opinion the most enjoyable option, and the fastest), this is how you'll do it. By the way, the rock (at least on the ridge) isn't as bad as they say.
From the summit of South Maroon, head back toward the Bell Cord Couloir notch. Either keep to the ridge or to the west side, following cairns as much as possible. From the notch, head straight up the 4th class wall in front of you. Follow steps and cairns and occasional dead ends up the ridge to the first improbable-looking 5th class section. It goes at about 40' of 5.2 or so. Some more routefinding will bring you to a flat area on the ridge with a blunt prow blocking your way. A 30' section of steep 5.4-5.5 rock (we found it just left of center) will get you past it. A rap sling was on top. Follow the ridge past a few more difficulties to the last climb up to the summit of North Maroon Peak and the last 4th class climbing. Descend off the northeast ridge, following cairns and a faint trail down (4th class). Dawson's guide is a great reference for the descents of both peaks. The Bell Cord plus the ridge is a combo that shouldn't be missed as an alpine day in its own right, not even for the purpose of a 14er double bagger. The climbing plus the views of the valleys around Aspen and the Elk Mountains are unmatched. See the following site for a good description of the ridge from north to south.