Pyramid Peak, CO - Glacier?

Pyramid Peak, Elk Range, CO
13 August 2005

I was surprised to come across what looked an awful lot like the foot of a glacier as I descended the cirque below the North Face of Pyramid. Walking along loose talus, I heard some rockfall, and suddenly came across this little ice cliff, about 10' high.

Any thoughts? See also this photo


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Gahugafuga - May 7, 2007 1:04 pm - Hasn't voted

Nice Find

That picture is probably more convincing than the one I posted. That is definitely not just a leftover patch of snow and is pretty good evidence that the ice is moving. Cool - another secret Colorado glacier!


km_donovan - Jun 4, 2007 9:22 pm - Voted 10/10

I think you may have discoverd a new glacier

I have done some study on glaciers and I had come to the same conclusion that appeared that there was evidence of glaciers in the Pyramid basin. I was told that there was no glaciology in that basin. Well I really think the experts are dead wrong.

Aaron Johnson

Aaron Johnson - Aug 24, 2008 10:30 pm - Hasn't voted

Just Like Glacier NP

I've noted the discussion beneath this photo and others about glaciation. It's hard not to believe glaciation played a big part of the formation of the Elks, particularly when considering the long, U-shaped valleys.

This evidence seen in this photo and others seems to strongly support the argument for glaciation. Rock glaciers, after all, harbor ice beneath them. Some rock glaciers move quickly, some as much as a foot a year. Furthermore, the "scoured" layered rocks of Pyramid, The Bells, Belleview and other sedimentary peaks strongly supports this notion.

I have climbed in Glacier National Park, which has features very similar to those prominently seen on these Elks Peaks. Both are sedimentary in nature, and I completely agree that glaciation, to some degree, played a role in forming the peaks of the Elks we have today.


jwproulx - Jan 16, 2009 1:56 am - Hasn't voted


Aaron -- not just former glaciation, but the remnants of glaciers continue to this day. I finally found a reference that discusses this.

I was at the Friends' Hut last week, and there was a book on the history of the Aspen area, including a discussion of how this glacier began to collapse in the last few decades.

I wish I could remember the name of the book -- you'll just have to ski up to Friends' to find out!

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