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Summer Stashes: Colorado’s North Maroon and Maroon Peaks

By now most skiers have accepted summer’s arrival in all its warmth and glory. But while some may be hanging up their gear for the season, high in the mountains remain a few dedicated souls who are still chasing turns. This summer, we will talk with a few of these die-hards about their favorite “summer stashes” that take them to the hills while they wait for the next snowfall.

All summer long, we will add to the growing list of places where you can find snowy terrain to beat the heat. First on our list are some late spring/early summer lines from Colorado’s Maroon Bells Wilderness.

Maroon Bells — Aspen, Colorado

Location: Maroon Peak and North Maroon Peak — Aspen, Colorado
Team: Nikolas Anastas, Laura Hadar and David Horton
Summit Elevation: Maroon Peak – 14,163 feet | North Maroon Peak – 14,014 feet
Prime Time: Late spring
Descent Date: Maroon Peak May 14, North Maroon Peak May 23

“The whole hike in general is pretty wild,” says Aspen, Colo. resident Nikolas Anastas. “You have to get up at 1:30 a.m. and the most memorable thing is watching the night slowly go past you and the day come up.” Nikolas and his partners Laura Hadar and David Horton waited for the spring storms to pass and visibility to improve before summiting Maroon Peak on May 14.

First light shines on the face of North Maroon as Nicky Anastas and David Horton make the approach to the boot back. [Photo] Laura Hadar

First light shines on the face of North Maroon as Nicky Anastas and David Horton make the approach to the bootpack. [Photo] Laura Hadar

After scouting and watching other skiers find their way through the rocks, Anastas chose his lines. “For Maroon Peak, we decided to ski down the face into the Bell Couloir. And then on North Maroon we skied the face—you have to navigate through the rocks,” Anastas says. “I think in terms of the snowfall this year, it was pretty good coverage. I’ve noticed a lot of people skiing tons of mountains and picking lines that aren’t skied very often unless there’s enough snow.”

“When we summited North Maroon Peak there were seven people up there. So that’s one of the biggest precautions—running into other groups and getting dropped-in on,” Anastas says of the safety hazards. But he continues,“It’s kind of nice at this day in age because the information is so accessible. That’s why you see tons of people on the summits.”

Laura Hadar getting barrelled in powder coming down the garbage shoot of Maroon Peak. This peak is also referred to as South Maroon. [Photo] Nicky Anastas

Laura Hadar getting barreled in powder as she descends the Garbage Chute of Maroon Peak. [Photo] Nicky Anastas

Anastas isn’t planning on stopping anytime soon in his search for summer snow. He hopes to ski other 14ers before next winter, “The information’s out there to access a lot of different areas, so we may try a couple more 14ers around this area.”

Nicky and Horton hiking their way out for the last couple of miles. [Photo] Laura Hadar

Anastas and Horton on the hike out. [Photo] Laura Hadar


Do you have a “Summer Stashes” adventure worth sharing? Submit your story, photos and video to intern2@backcountrymagazine.com.

Comments

  1. I love AND respect Laura Hadar. She is the best.

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