A late start and fatigue hampered efforts to reach the summit before the afternoon storms rolled in, leaving us 50 feet from success. The boulder field was excrutiating and I took a tumble on the way back to camp that gashed my hip, bruised my knee, and left my entire foot below the ankle purple....that said - I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS PEAK! Without a doubt the most fun I've had on any mountain. The Knife Edge was incredible and I can't wait to go back and try for the summit again.
Great solo climb up standard route.
Hi! It was us you talked with just before getting back to the TH on Saturday. Sorry you guys had to turn around. Good luck on another try!
Standard route. Long day. A long-anticipated accomplishment. Fourteener #51.
A very poor night's sleep and sick climbing partner led to a late start and slow going. The ridge scrambling was some of the best in CO! So much fun. A stone's throw from the summit we turned back when dark clouds, lightning and rain threatened the summit. I kicked myself the whole way back to the car as the weather cleared... In conclusion, Capitol Peak is worth another climb. I'll be back! Next time I'll stick to the class 4 ridge route instead of dropping into that long, monotonous boulder field.
A later than planned start (friends got caught behind a fire between Grand Junction and Rifle that jumped the freeway and closed I-70, causing them to not make it to their campsite near Carbondale until after midnight the previous night), not having time to acclimatize beforehand, some monster blisters that gave me bloody heels, and a rainstorm all complicated our Capitol day hike plans. As a result, we only made it to K2. My first bout with altitude sickness threw me off my game, and I decided that tackling the knife edge with a headache and dizziness probably wasn't a good idea. The views were phenomenal all throughout the hike, though. I definitely want to get back and try this one again. See "Pushing My Limits" trip report for details.
I VASTLY under-estimated the difficulty of this arete/buttress located on Capitol's eastern side...approached from Pierre Lakes Basin. We (ripper333 and I) concluded a rating of 5.8
Some spots were insanely exposed, the ridge direct is not possible unless you're a proficient 5.11-5.12 climber. We even had to rap a small section.
An INTENSE climb. Made the standard "Knife Ridge" a virtual sidewalk.
Very fun scramble. Knife edge no where near as bad as I was led to believe. Solid scramble. Did with Josh
Definitely one of the better scrambles of Colorado. The knife edge was easy going. The mountain itself is good to look at from Capitol Lake. I would recommend this peak to a friend traveling in the area.
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