The Maroon Bells
Maroon Bells are two peaks in the Elk Mountains, Maroon Peak
and North Maroon Peak, separated by one-third of a mile.
The mountains are on the border between Pitkin County and Gunnison
County, Colorado, United States, about 12 miles (19 km) southwest of
Aspen. Both peaks are fourteeners.
other mountains in the Rockies that are composed of granite and
limestone, the Bells are composed of metamorphic sedimentary
mudstone that has hardened into rock over millions of years.
Mudstone is weak and fractures readily, giving rise to dangerously
loose rock along almost any route. A US Forest Service sign on the
access trail warns would-be climbers of "downsloping, loose, rotten
and unstable" rock that "kills without warning". The mudstone is
also responsible for the Bells' distinctive maroon color. The Bells
got their "deadly" reputation in 1965 when eight people died in five