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Bell Cord Couloir

Bell Cord Couloir

Bell Cord Couloir

Page Type: Route

Location: Colorado, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 39.07080°N / 106.9886°W

Object Title: Bell Cord Couloir

Route Type: Snow and possible ice by July

Time Required: Most of a day

Difficulty: Steep Snow/Ice

Route Quality: 
 - 11 Votes


Page By: miztflip

Created/Edited: Aug 9, 2001 / Dec 5, 2004

Object ID: 155650

Hits: 13570 

Page Score: 80.49%  - 12 Votes 

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South Maroon Peak from the summit of Pyramid Peak. The Bell Cord Couloir is the thin strip of snow leading to the saddle between North and South Peak

Photo by xskier77

Approach from the Maroon Lake trailhead. Follow the trail up to and past Crater Lake. From Crater Lake follow the West Maroon Creek Pack trail to the East face of the Bells. From here the Bell Cord Couloir is the obvious chute that terminates in the notch between North and South Maroon.

Route Description

From the West Maroon Creek valley climb the obvious snow chute to the notch between the North and South Peaks. At 1,800 vertical feet with an average angle of 42 degrees, this long steep couloir is very demanding. As the couloir narrows and steepens, it eventually reaches and possibly exceeds 45 degrees. After exiting the chute you still have several hundred feet of climbing to the summit. From the notch the best route up is just around the corner on the west face. Climb this short face, unprotected and exposed class 4, and gain the ridge. Depending on the conditions you may be able to follow the ridge directly to the summit. The ridge consist of class3 scrambling on very unstable rock. In Spring and Winter this ridge can be heavily corniced. Ropes can add peace of mind while climbing this section. The best descent is same route but make sure to place each foot with caution while down climbing as several experienced climbers have met their maker while descending this route.

Essential Gear

Ice axe and crampons as well as a light rope will make the route much more enjoyable. Do NOT forget to bring your helmet.

When to Climb

This climb is typically climbable in June after the avalanche conditions have stabalized. It can be climbed earlier but great care should be taken to avoid avalanches. Also, when I climbed the couloir I had to walk from the locked gate at the Ranch which adds a considerable amount of distance to the climb. Into July the climb becomes icy and can present technical ice climbing. Late July and into the fall the climb is melted out and is not safe to climb.


An ideal Fall day to view...Two deer in a forestGary climbing the Bell Cord...Humbling BellsFirst Light in the Upper Bell CordCrater Lake ReflectionBell Cord Couloir on South Maroon
Perfect Peaks and Perfect ReflectionLooking down the Bell CordSteve on the Bell CordBell Cord CouloirThe Maroon BellsCord from the top of Pyramid in AugustEarly Morning Sun in the Bells
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