Went up Capitol Monday and Tuesday with a guide.
That mountain is no walk in the park and I was glad to be with
a guide because I sure would not want to run off that mountain nor
find the route in a storm. I thought it was hard enough with
someone who knew the route and with good weather. But that's me.
Day 1 - backpacked into Capitol Lake. I believe it is 7.5/8 miles.
Took us 3.5 hours not much elevation gain and felt pretty easy which
I was glad since I have not lugged a 45 pound pack in quite a while.
I gotta learn to go lighter!
Day 2 - Started hiking 4:40 am - reached summit at 9:30 am (under 5 hours).
First hour was walking up to saddle then 4 hours of rock climbing and much
of the time I was short roped. Went about 20 feet below the summit of K2
on the right hand side. Hit the knife edge and I chose the right side as
I liked the footholds. But on the way back I tried the other side.
They should put that knife edge near the summit. It is unfair to get across it
then see another 2 hours of climbing ahead. Some people hate that knife
edge but I was short roped and the rock is good and footholds
good. I think the worst part is so much non stop climbing and if weather came in
-forget it! But each person has their own fear. I don't want to be up high for
long time. Having a rope gives me all kinds of comfort too. Some people just
walk right across with no rope and some people see that edge and turn around.
The continual climb up rocks can feel relentless at times.
On the way down, I tried the other side of the knife edge and then we went up
to summit of K2. Our climb down was way different route and took almost as
long as there were 3 of us and we decided to carry only one axe so we kept
walking around some of the steeper snowfields. I was all excited when
we reached the summit in just under 5 hours cause I thought it might be 3 1/2
on way back. But it took almost as long to get back down. That part I hated the
most. It seemed like we walked way out of the way but it was less downclimbing.
Arrived at base camp at 2:30 pm. Then backpacked out after 20 minute rest.
So it was 13.5 hours of hiking then I drove home 4 hours - should have stayed
in town and lived it up! Nothing like being tired and driving over
Independence Pass. But as some of you Coloradans know there is ice cream
stand in Buena Vista which is a good reward.