Pyramid Peak is known as one of Colorado's most difficult or dangerous fourteeners. It definitely required a lot of technical climbing, though not as much as the Crestone traverse did. It was definitely dangerous, the loose rock on the very steep sections poses several hazards.
I had a few very large rocks move when I tried to climb them, and one of the guys I was with set a large rock loose that hit his leg pretty hard. He went to the emergency room later that day for stitches. The key to climbing this mountain is to take it slowly and cautiously.
Route finding also poses quite a challenge as many times what appears to be a trail will simply lead you to a drop off. And the dropoffs on this mountian usually measure in the hundreds of feet if not thousands.
In trying to get this hike organized I had a lot of difficulty coming up with hiking partners. Everyone I knew was not able to make it. So I connected with a guy on 14ers.com that was going to meet me at the trailhead. I waited for him for 45 minutes before I gave up.
I wound up hiking with two guys that happened to be hiking it that day as well. They turned out to be great to hike with. They kept a pretty stiff pace. In all it took me only 6:15 to go the 6 miles and 5100 vertical feet of the trail (round trip).
Due to starting early and trying to catch up with a couple hikers ahead of me I took no pictures on the ascent, so I'll outline the photos from the summit back down.
The guys that were on the summit with me were kind enough to take a summit shot for me. I'm glad I was there with them, because I didn't see a single other person on the trail that day.
The backdrop of any Elk mountain summit seems dramatic.
The summit of Pyramid is narrow and small.
I tried several times to get a shot of myself on this rock using the timer, but this was as close as I could get in 10 seconds.
The descent off the summit is steep. Yes, straight down is the trail in this picture.
Lots of classic Elk mountain loose rock here.
This is looking down the infamous "Green Gulley." It's steep but solid so didn't feel dangerous at all. When you go up the mountain and enter the Green Gulley be sure to look back at where you came in, it's easy to miss the exit point on the way down if you don't.
And this is the infamous Ledge. It gets narrow, but a fall wouldn't be huge, and if your really not wanting to risk it you can hike down 40 feet to get past it.
This was taken from the saddle where the trail first reaches the ridge. The Green Gulley is easily distinguished.
The talus field below Pyramid is tiring to cross simply because there is little if any stable footing.
The dramatic cliffs and spires of the Elks are amazing.
Crater Lake below the Sleeping Sexton.
The Northeast ridge route doesn't allow for views of the Bells except for the summit and in the valley, but when you can see them they are beautiful.
Rumor has it that these are the two most photographed mountains in the world. I don't know if it's true, but I can sure see why it might be.
On the drive out I stopped to get a picture of Pyramid Peak from the road. It was quite a mountain.
I enjoyed this hike so much I imagine I'll be back to do it again some day.
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