2nd attempt at Capitol due to a new snowfall late season last year.
Solo, long dayhike, about 18 hours door to door from GJ.
Didn't want to descend into the basin on the other side of the saddle, so figured what the hell? Climbed the ridge proper from the saddle for some great scrambling and some nice knife edge and exposure.
Capitol's NE ridge looked intimidating from K2 (as did the ridge to K2 itself, but none of it is as steep as it looks) and so avoided the ridge following cairned routes to the left. Turned out to be tedious and, in my opinion, unnecessary. Followed the ridge direct down almost the entire way, except for a small bypass on the steepest part a couple hundred feet below Capitol.
The upper reaches of Capitol is a scrambling fest where you can "choose your own adventure" and make it as easy or hard as you want.
Highly recommended but not for the faint of heart. New respect for CO peaks after a trip to the Sierras last year.
It ain't easy in winter. Whole different ball game. North Face looks really sweet with snow....inviting....
A long day, but good early fall weather.
My first Colorado 14er accomplished thanks to Dirk's expert leading! We climbed this beautiful line by belaying 5 full pitches plus a few short sections (out of the 13 standard pitches in the topo), and simul-climbing the rest. Aside from me pulling off hundreds of pounds of loose rock in pitch 12, the ascent was fairly smooth sailing. Descent was another matter - the "Knife Ridge" route was very long, convoluted and terribly loose, fortunately we had other climbers showing the way.
Another great climb & peak w/ G- at this rate, what will there be left for us to climb, man??!! Northwest buttress was everything I could have expected (which was hard, as I had a hard time knowing WHAT to expect).
Left campsite ~6.00. Saw a large fox running across our path, & heard elk bugling in the distance as approaching, which was also really cool. Got to the base, & waited on another party to get past loose 2nd pitch before starting. Finally got on the rock 9ish.
First pitch quite enjoyable, with solid rock & fun crux. P2 was fun, & loose enough to be thought-provoking & require care as to not knock stuff down on Gordon. Unroped until shortly after Unicorn Spire. I think that the next belayed pitch (we did a fair bit of simul-ing) was shortly before the Rotten Spire- fun climbing on good rock that was a little thin. By the time we got to the notch above the Upper Spire, it was obvious how clear the route was (in retrospect of course- everything was so massive early on, that it didn't seem obvious at the time). Not so obvious where to go after Upper Spire notch- seemed like about 5 different roofs, numerous dihedrals, & no obvious 'crack systems' directly above belay. Not sure if the path (roof to clear) was the "right" one, but it was SUPER loose, as described by all the descriptions I'd read (I somehow managed to avoid knocking anything off (good thing, as G was right below belaying!), Gordon cleared off a couple hundred pounds (estimated) of loose shite for the next party :) . Terrain above the roof (1 full pitch, & a little bit o' simuling) was pretty mellow (easy 5th), & we summited shortly thereafter (~14.30).
Had the summit to ourselves for a bit (amazing considering the masses that had ascended unto the summit earlier), enjoying stellar views of the Elks & beyond. Thank God the weather ended up holding out for us- I shudder to think of being on either the NE ridge (at least between the knife-edge & the summit) or the NW buttress in a storm...
Being drained from climb, the descent (which neither of us had done before) was long, loose, & tedious. Took us about as long to descend as it did to do the buttress (left the summit @ 15.07, got back to camp above lake shortly before 20.00)!
Overall, a great climb, peak, & day. Glad this could be your introductory Colorado Rockies climb, G. A special experience for me, too, bro.
I stopped @ "K2." My climbing partner D. Schnell summited.
soaking wet afternoon approach, bivvy by capitol lake, summit and out the next day
We had success on our third attempt in one week. Lol
Amazing trip. Loved the airy climb. One of the best challenges to date. Probably Top 5 for me. Read the trip report if you want to see some cool photos and video of the knife edge.
Climbed Capitol with Matt Payne from 100summits.com and Travis Arment. Very steep climb, some really loose stuff. Took a direct route to avoid rockfall from other parties, glad we did. Amazing view from the top. Trip report: http://intheexpanse.com/mountaineering/capitol-peak-2010
This was my first class 4 mountain in the 90s when i did it. It will always have a special place in my heart.
Pretty awesome climb.
on a blue bird day this time up! couldnt have been happier
Climbed the northeast ridge. Made it safely off the mountain before a bad hail/thunderstorm rolled in. It's really an amazing and beautiful peak! How do people ski that thing?!
Talk about tedious! Beautiful airy scrambling, great summit. Be forewarned, boulder field before K2 is treacherous ; )
My last "official" Colorado 14er. Finished them in just over 1 year because we were moving in August 2009. I'd still like to go back to Colorado some day (now living in Southern Oregon) and get North Maroon and El Diente.
Capitol is by far one of the best mountains I've ever climbed. Great rock, incredible scenery and a long approach (which I like). My ultra-running friends ran in and climbed with me. Summitted with Eric Lee, Chris Gerber and Ben.
Took our helmets off on a rest stop on the way down, when a rock came hurtling by. The helmets went back on VERY quickly!
Climbed via Capitol ditch/ridge direct. Definitely a fun climb, beautiful weather (sat on the summit for two hours in T-shirt), beautiful aspens, had the mountain to ourselves all day.
Was definitely an overrated climb (I would say class 3), absolutely no class 5 (not even on the ridge direct). The knife edge was cool, but really easy. Overall a great climb, but not as difficult as its made out to be.
Took the ridge from Daly saddle which made for a great route. Took the Avalanche Pass loop back. With Craig and Heather and millions of mosquitos.