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539 Pyramid Fun 2011-12-16

Pyramid trail

In the Summer of '09 when we were climbing the Colorado Fourteeners, our good friend Ray climbed Pyramid Peak with us. After a late, 0600 start, we made good time up the trail past Maroon Lake, continuing to the junction for the climber's trail. The unofficial Pyramid Peak Trail was a slightly worn patch of dirt that wove up through the bushes. We only knew where it was because we had searched for it the day before while returning from our climb on Maroon Peak.

A short way up the climber's trail, another trail angled into the trail making a "Y" at an indistinct junction. Not long after the intersection we reached an upgraded section of trail that had been built by the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative group. We then knew we were on the right path.

The climb of Pyramid was outstanding. It was nearly a perfect day as we climbed the long snow slope to the upper basin, then up a nasty, loose, rocky gully, and then finally the upper peak. We were impressed with the climb and were feeling fit.

On the way down off the mountain, Amy and I stopped at the end of the snow to adjust our clothing and footwear. Ray continued down the trail. He must have been feeling good about the climb. He had never been one to miss an opportunity to take a break; but instead of breaking he walked briskly away. As he left, I knew we would catch him.

Giving Ray about a ten minute lead, we started the chase. Amy and I began to predict where we would catch him. Soon we were into our shuffle running stride as we continued the pursuit. Once on the main trail we continued to run until we reached Maroon Lake. Despite our efforts, we never caught Ray. He must have been flying. He definitely won.

We gave up on running and adapted an easy gait. We had already spent more energy than we needed to trying to catch Ray and we knew had another big climb, the next day.

When we arrived at the trailhead, we didn't see Ray. Looking around I remembered the restrooms. Ah, that is why he was in such a hurry. He wanted to get to the restroom; but after checking, no one was in the Men's side.

We looked around a bit more (it is a large area) and then crossed the parking area to wait at our vehicle. We were not worried about Ray; but we were confused.

A short while later, we saw Ray walking briskly down the trail and into the parking area. He couldn't believe that we were already at the trailhead.

After talking about his hike we decided that he had not seen one of the small junctions and continued straight on the small trail that led in the wrong direction.

Ray laughed. We did too.

A few navigation tips ...

Never allow only one person to be the navigator. Everyone should be involved in navigation decisions.

At each intersection, be sure to turn back and look at the area. What is there that will help you remember the turn?

Check your map or GPS often.

At tricky intersections, wait on the others in the group.

Always be ready to laugh.

Happy Pyramid trails.


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