On July 27th at 9pm Ute Mountaineer employee Kim Hammond along with Justin Hewitt, Katie Oestrike, and Jeff Marshall set out from the Maroon Bells parking lot and hiked to Crater Lake. At 4am they left the Crater Lake campsite and summited Pyramid Peak around 8am. After a rest on top of the mountain for about an hour and another one at the northeast ridge for about 20 minutes the climbers arrived back at their campsite at Crater Lake at 12:30pm. The hike out from Crater Lake took about 30 minutes. Their weather was warm and clear, with a few clouds around noon. They found mosquitoes and biting flies at the camping area.
The climbers left Crater Lake campsite at 4am and summited Pyramid Peak around 8am. They hung out at the summit for about an hour, again at the northeast ridge for about 20 minutes, and got back to the campsite by 12:30pm. The hike out of Crater Lake took about 30 minutes.
Kim’s assessment of the climb was that it was a gorgeous hike. “Great views of the ‘Bells’”. She wouldn’t recommend using the Keyhole Route without going with someone who is familiar with the route. They passed some guided hikers ascending the Northeast ridge who were short-roped. It seemed overkill for Kim’s group (especially after seeing the Northwest side of the hill), but a good idea for inexperienced hikers. She would recommend intermediate hikers who are not familiar with loose rock or route finding to hire a guide. This route would not be recommended for inexperienced hikers.
Weather: Beautiful! Warm and clear morning. A few clouds around noon.
Mode of Transportation: Hike
Total Trip Distance: About 7 miles.
Total Elevation: 4,428 feet
Degree of Difficulty: Maroon Lake Trailhead to Crater Lake – Easy
Trip Appropriate for: Experienced climbers and mountaineers