The Elk Range is a small mountain area near Aspen. It houses 6 14ers, including several of the hardest. I've climbed 2 of them.
Pyramid Peak is a dangerous and challenging peak just across the valley from the Maroon Bells. The crumbling sedimentary rock and complex route-finding combine to make the short route a long day.
Here is the view toward Pyramid from the parking lot.
Unfortunately, low clouds prevented me from getting any of the
classic views from Pyramid. However, this photo gives some
idea of the nature of the last 1000 feet of climbing. Much
of this is Class 3 or easy Class 4, and the rock is loose.
That short, light-colored wall in the middle is maybe 10-15 feet
tall or so. Note the blazing tape in the rocks; in addition to
the obvious one in the bottom right, there are two more visible
above and left of center, one green and one red. August 1995.
Here is a better view of the clouds that plagued our views,
from the summit.
Castle is the easiest 14er in the Elks, but still requires some combination of snow climbing and easy rock scrambling.
Here is a long view of the namesake southern ramparts of Castle,
from the 4WD road near the car trailhead. July 1995.
Summit self-portrait. Note the snowcover on the summit
despite it being July. In 1995, snowstorms continued in
the mountains into July, and very heavy snows fell all spring.
Back to the mountaineering gallery
File last modified: 08 January 2005