Eye Candy – West Maroon Creek Valley

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | June 3, 2008      

Some say they’re the most photographed mountains in the world. That’s hyperbole, but the Maroon Bells have certainly burned up their share of pixels and celluloid.

After ski alpinism this past Saturday, the next morning my wife and I did a valley tour some distance up West Maroon Creek. We skied a nice cirque that is one step beyond Len Shoemaker, and discovered that while it does take some time to reach the upper end of the valley near West Maroon Pass, the return is enough of a glideout to make the trip doable in a day for just about any peak up at the end of the drain. (Take note, those who want to explore new places.) We didn’t start particularly early, as we weren’t planning on skiing anything east facing. Thus, we were hiking around Maroon Lake during the alpenglow and I caught the shot below (click to enlarge).

Lisa heading up Maroon valley by Maroon Lake.

Lisa heading up Maroon valley by Maroon Lake.

I told Lisa (she’s in the shot above) that this is the traditional hike most Roaring Fork Valley mountaineers do hundreds of times in their careers. Always somewhat nostalgic for this kid. But also with humorous aspect as you run the gauntlet of tourists on the way back.

Nearly every one of the sneaker clad minions are friendly and understandably curious when they see you tromping down the trail with skis on your back. I always try to be nice, but with thirst burning your throat and another mile of dusty foot trail between you and the cooler in your truck, the answers can get short. When they ask “How is the skiing?” my usual retort (given with a smile) is “Great, but the lifts are slow.” I’ve heard better comebacks, but that’s my line…

Anyone have some better ones? How do you answer “the question?”


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12 Responses to “Eye Candy – West Maroon Creek Valley”

  1. dave downing June 3rd, 2008 1:34 pm

    “Oh, this? It’s back protection!”

  2. Thomas June 3rd, 2008 3:52 pm

    ” no ,I just like taking my skis out for air in the summer, it makes them work better in winter”

  3. sherryb June 3rd, 2008 3:56 pm

    That’s kind of like “catch anything?”.

  4. dave downing June 3rd, 2008 4:06 pm

    “I beat up 2 mountaineers up there and all I got was a pair of stiff plastic hiking boots and some really expensive kindling.”

  5. Tyler June 3rd, 2008 4:34 pm

    The mountain in the photo looks a lot like Mt. Timpanogos in Utah. I like the responce to the question, that is funny!

  6. Scott June 3rd, 2008 5:35 pm

    “I was hoping to get Chris Davenport’s signature on the skis–rumor has it he’s up the trail aways”

  7. Lou June 3rd, 2008 6:17 pm

    Scott, LOL!

  8. Eric Holle June 3rd, 2008 10:56 pm


  9. Jon June 3rd, 2008 11:17 pm

    “I picked them up from Billy Barr at the annual spring ski swap in Gothic.”

  10. Lou June 4th, 2008 4:39 am

    “The skiing was okay — would have rather had my snowmobile but it’s being fixed at the moment.”

  11. Kimmers June 4th, 2008 7:45 am

    Actually Lou, I find the questions from the “sneaker clad minions” more entertaining. RMNP is a great place for this phenomenon too. My favs’ “Ummm, is there a resort up there?” or “Are you training for something” or “Are you allowed to ski up there?”. Great stuff.

  12. Mark Worley June 4th, 2008 10:21 am

    Yeah, the hoardes are coming. Saw them at RMNP Monday. Lou, great photo and inspiration as always!

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