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Maroon Bells - Four Pass Loop

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Maroon Bells - Four Pass Loop

Postby pappabroome » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:50 pm

Hello Everyone!!!

A group of us, "from Texas", are heading up to the Maroon Bells to complete the Four Pass Loop. We are heading in August 1st for a 4 night adventure. From what I have seen and heard, the Bells have gotten record snow fall this year and the passes and streams are not passible at this time. Does anyone know any news regarding the ccondtions there now and what your thoughts on the conditions for the 1st week in August? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Patrick
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Re: Maroon Bells - Four Pass Loop

Postby RunTimRun26 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:28 pm

I'll be on the trail at the same time. I called the Aspen ranger station today. Very friendly and helpful. He said that they still have snow above 11.5k ft., but they just had their first group of the season complete the loop. One of the issues right now is high water and ice bridges that are unstable.

But he said that they are finally getting some warm weather and things should improve dramatically over the next two weeks. Highs in Aspen around 80 forecast for the next 10 days. He recommended checking back in about 10 days. I'll do so and let you know what I hear.

Sure hope we don't need a plan B. I'm very much looking forward to this hike. Can't push the date forward at this point.
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Re: Maroon Bells - Four Pass Loop

Postby pappabroome » Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:45 pm

A fellow Texan hitting the loop the same time as us, how ironic. Two of us are in Cedar Park, so we are practically neighbors. We actually talked to a guy that did it solo on July 4th and he stated the same as the ranger station told you. Trip of a lifetime!!! Cant wait!!! Follow this post and I will keep you updated on what we find out as well. Thanks for the info.

Patrick
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Re: Maroon Bells - Four Pass Loop

Postby RunTimRun26 » Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:37 am

How about that! Sure look forward to getting out of this heat. I've been doing a lot of training hikes around Lake Georgetown and the Doeskin Ranch Trail at Balcones. Usually on the trail at first light, but it's still hot.

Hope to see you on the trail.
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Re: Maroon Bells - Four Pass Loop

Postby pappabroome » Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:26 am

Real hot!!!
We have been hitting Shepard mountain next to the 360 bridge to the top of Jester Blvd for the last month. Taking that route after work in the heat of the day. We should be hitting trails at dawn on August 1st. Going to get some shots of the Bells and then we are hitting the trails. We are going to Geneva Lake on the way for an extra night. Keep training. Us flat-landers are gonna get beat up with the altitude, but at least no heat. Just look for a group of 4 on the trails.
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Re: Maroon Bells - Four Pass Loop

Postby pappabroome » Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:28 am

Here is the link from the guy that did the loop on the 4th. It's the most recent shots of the loop.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/camprini/5 ... 164583120/
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Re: Maroon Bells - Four Pass Loop

Postby tmahon » Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:27 am

Friends just came back from a day out there. Buckskin was fine, Trail Rider (snowmass lake side)and West maroon very snow filled still. Frigid air, somewhat snowy.

Do-able, but wet
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Re: Maroon Bells - Four Pass Loop

Postby pappabroome » Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:34 am

Thanks for the update. Any pictures that can show us recent conditions?

Patrick
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Re: Maroon Bells - Four Pass Loop

Postby RunTimRun26 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:32 pm

Called the ranger station today. As of this past weekend:
-The creek crossings are knee high right now, river crossing is waist high.
-He went to Buckskin Pass over the weekend. There is a large snow cornice there, but wasn't a problem to get around it.
-Maroon Pass was a bit tricky. Was passable with regular hiking boots, but caution advised.

With continued warmer temperatures and a good bit of rain in the forecast, he anticipates conditions will improve, although recommends water crossings be planned for earlier in the day.

The bottom line is that it is doable, but will be more challenging than normal.

BTW: The unofficial report to my wife is, "Everything looks great!"
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Re: Maroon Bells - Four Pass Loop

Postby pappabroome » Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:34 pm

Thanks for the update. What time are you guys going to be at the trailhead on Monday??? We are trying to be there by 6:00am.
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Re: Maroon Bells - Four Pass Loop

Postby tmahon » Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:54 pm

Did the loop Saturday, it was a great time. I posted some pics here - http://www.stuckintherockies.com/2011/0 ... pass-loop/

Have fun.

Ted
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Re: Maroon Bells - Four Pass Loop

Postby Tomash » Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:26 pm

Have anyone did the loop in late september that's when I'm going hopefully 3 nights will be sufficient and what's the situation with bears. Is hanging sufficient?
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Re: Maroon Bells - Four Pass Loop

Postby tmahon » Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:06 am

Hanging your food is a good idea. If anything there are more marmots and little critters trying to get at it than bears.

There's always a chance for snow up high in September. Not so much snow to be a problem, but rain at night down in Aspen is often snow up on the passes.
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Re: Maroon Bells - Four Pass Loop

Postby Outside » Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:20 am

I did the loop last September just after labor day. Did not take a bear can and did not hang. Just kept food bags double wrapped and well away from the tent. Remember, after labor day those busses only run on weekends. Check with RFTA for bus schedules. I hitchhiked up to Maroon lake on a Thursday, rode bus back to town on Sunday. Greatest hike of my life......but I'm only 52.
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Re: Maroon Bells - Four Pass Loop

Postby Outside » Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:40 am

Tomash, I actually had my days mixed up in the previous post. I got back to aspen on Saturday and enjoyed an awesome burger and few beers before my flight left on Sunday. Here's my itinerary. Took a Frontier flight out of Midway and got to aspen around noon on Wednesday. Bus into Aspen to buy groceries then a quick stop at the Ute Mountaineer for last minute gear and re-packing. Hiked out to the turnabout by 3-ish and thumbed rides up to Maroon Lake. Hiked up to Crater Lake and had dinner and in my bag by 8:30. Up early on Thursday and made it over West Maroon, Frigid Air and just below Trail Rider before making dinner and setting the tent. It was a long, hard day but I had covered a lot of ground. Got up Friday to frozen creek shoes as overnite temps were in the 20's. It was a short hike over Trail Rider and down the other side to Snowmass Lake where I arrived by 10 am. Spent the day, fished, explored, met some nice folks and shared a great meal and a split of red wine. Next morning, Saturday I broke camp by 7 and after some great sunrise photos I was on my way. The hike from Snowmass to Buckskin is the prettiest stretch so keep your head up and don't miss it. Breathtaking....So another long day but made it back to Maroon before the last bus to Aspen. Got to town, found a room at the Aspen Square Hotel and then found Aspen's best burger for dinner. Did some laundry at a coin op on sunday morning, back in Chicago for a late dinner. Perfect.
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