“A techy route down one of the most iconic peaks in the world.”
— Jacob Winey
Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry
Need to Know
Check if the road to Maroon Lake is open. This can still be skied when the road is closed, but it takes extra planning (like a snowmobile if you have access to one)
This route follows a maze of steep snowfields between cliffs on the north face of North Maroon. It's easiest to find the route down if you climb up the north face first, then follow the boot-pack back down. The first cliff band from the summit (Punk Rock Band) can be skied to either side and might require a short down-climb. Then ski to the center of the face and follow narrow chutes between rock bands until you're on the lowest snowfield on the face. Traverse this snowfield to the skiers left until you're at the corner where the north face meets the Sleeping Sextant Ridge, from here there's a clear chute to the lower snowfields. There are multiple ways back to the creek from here; it'll depend on snow conditions for which way will be the best.
To access this route, start from the Maroon Lake Trailhead (the road stays closed until nearly memorial day, so earlier in the spring you need to hike up from the winter trailhead). From Maroon Lake, follow the summer trail up to Crater Lake and then towards Buckskin Pass, and cross the creek where the trail levels off. Work your way to the snowfield below the north face and start climbing up the way you'll ski down. Good luck!
History & Background
First descent by Fritz Stammberger in June 1972.