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Capitol Peak  
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Route  Conditions Information  Posted By   Posted On    Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2013-01-22  West Snowmass Creek  We put in a minor attempt on Capitol via West Snowmass Creek Trail (Moon Lake approach), I stress minor as the trail breaking was quite arduous especially with heavy packs…We were going nowhere fast. The trench warfare ceased @ roughly 10,400’, approximately 4.5 miles from TH. Feel free to poach the trench, and push the trench to Moon Lake. Don’t follow the trail @ the open meadow that traverses into the aspen grove use the meadow trench. krs1   2013-01-22  0       
2012-09-23  Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake  My wife and I climbed Capitol on 9.23.12. Crux of the route was getting around K2, several snowy spots to negotiate. We took the middle option to get around, looked like snow would be encountered on any of the options shown in the route description. There were light flurries on the way down but didn‘t look like too much new accumulation. No real snow on any other part of the route. glazedham   2012-09-25  0     Edit Delete 
2012-09-15  Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake  Standard route is dry except a dusting of fresh snow under the north side of K2. rockdoc53   2012-09-16  0     Edit Delete 
2012-08-18  Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake  Just want to warn folks to stay as far away as you can from the snow/ice field below the K2/Clark Peak saddle. There were numerous natural rockslides today -- some the size of refrigerators. These slides are occurring in both the morning and the afternoon. The debris is spreading several dozens of feet from the impact areas. tmathews   2012-08-19  0  2    Edit Delete 
2012-07-19  Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake  Just a note about the ridge from the saddle to near K2. It‘s class 4 but it‘s more difficult then the ridge from K2 to summit. It does save some time from the standard route but it has more exposure than the ridge from K2 to summit. I would much much much rather go along the knife ridge then this one. mikefromcraig   2012-07-19  0     Edit Delete 
2012-07-05  Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake  As stated already, no snow on the Ditch Trail to Capitol Lake. All stream crossings can be accomplished without removing shoes/boots if one looks carefully enough for the crossings. Approximately five small, remaining snowfields left. Most can actually be avoided if necessary. I did not use any traction or ax. Firm snow in the early morning and minor postholing up to mid-calf in the late morning. Current pics available if it helps your decision making process. Everything else is gravy! stuttle7   2012-07-06  0     Edit Delete 
2012-06-21  Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake  Approach via ditch trail 100% snow free. From the Daly-K2 saddle to K2 there are still snowfields to cross and ascend, but we made it with just axes, no traction. Route from K2 to Capitol completely dry and AWESOME! TR to come. AndYouSeeMe   2012-06-22  0  2 2  Edit Delete 
2012-06-11  Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake  Some minor snow patches encountered near Capitol Lake area on the approach trail - nothing significant. Trail is snow-free up to the Daly-Capitol saddle then plenty of snow until talus/boulder slopes below K2. Crampons and ice axe definitely useful. Some good glissading later in the afternoon. Almost completely snow-free from K2 - Capitol. There was one sizeable patch of snow in a gully that requires a short (but steep) crossing or tricky climbing above or below it to avoid the snow traverse. Ice axe would be a good idea for the crossing as a fall or slip here would be bad. anna   2012-06-11  0     Edit Delete 
2012-06-03  Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake  We climbed Capitol Peak yesterday from Capitol Lake. There is some snow on the last 1-1.5 miles of the approach, but snowshoes are not needed. The trail up to the saddle is bare and easy to follow. Once on the other side there is a ton of snow. We used crampons and climbed directly up to the ridge on the East side of K2. From k2 on there is minimal snow with only a few short traverses. We did not use crampons again and you could likely get by without an axe. The route from the knife edge on is about 90% snow free. I have a ton of pictures if anyone has any questions just shoot me a PM. Thanks. Iman86   2012-06-04  0  2    Edit Delete 
2012-05-20  Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake  Road to the TH is completely clear of snow,snowshoes were helpful from about 4 miles in and especially near Capitol Lake. There are some melted out camping spots about 1/4 mile from the lake near the trail and the stream is running that high too. The trail up to the Daly saddle is melting out, we stashed snowshoes about 1/2 way up. The section after the saddle to K2 is a mix of rock and snow, but with the east-facing aspect it turns rotten fast. K2 wasn‘t too bad to summit right now, good snow near the top but watch the cornice. Crampons and axe are definitely necessary... The Knife Edge is for all purposes clear of snow. I thought the climbing after the Knife Edge was more demanding than the Knife Edge itself. After crossing the Knife Edge the rest of the climb is a mix of rock and snow with plenty of class 4 moves; we also ran into low class 5 moves with our route selection. We took the ridge back to K2 because of less than ideal snow conditions, more demanding moves for sure. Tips: -It took us 16 hours from high camp to the summit and back to the car, rotten snow tacked on a lot of time on the way back. We started at 5 AM from camp, an earlier start time would have been better. -Set a rigid turn around time and stick with it. After K2 it took 2.5 hours to the summit and about 2 hours to return. -Watch for rockfall in the gullies after K2 -This was a very demanding climb with the mixed conditions. Plan accordingly and don‘t underestimate the mountain. -Have fun, it‘s beautiful up there. Photo 1- from the trail, idea of snow conditions up top Photo 2- K2, note mixed rock section and cornice Photo 3- Summit from K2 Photo 4- Last gulley and access to summit ridge Cool Hand Luke   2012-05-21 4  1  Edit Delete 
2012-05-07  Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake  Ditch creek trail has a few snow drifts to post hole through. Snowshoes required from about 10k all the way to the lake. Snow is not quite continuous to the Daily saddle. East side of the saddle boot pack through the basin and all the way to K2. From K2 to the summit ice ax and crampons required. Hit the summit at 9:50am. Last register signatures were from January. Didn‘t spent much time on the summit as the snow was already turning soft on the decent. Thunder snow rolled in about 11am as we hit K2. Snowed pretty much continuously all afternoon. Frequent snowshoe post holing on the way out. I attached a few pics: 1- looking back at the ridge 2- some of the traversing on way to the summit 3- K2 with the storm moving in (you can seen our tracks up an over K2) summitbound   2012-05-08 3  2    Edit Delete 
2011-09-28  Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake  Good to go. Fall leaves are really popping right now! Snow starts in the boulderfield leading up to K2, but is trivial at that point as its low angle and mostly sown between the talus. A couple small low angle snowfields must be crossed with steps already in place. Downclimb off of K2 towards the knife edge is the only worrying section of snow, about 50 feet, but steps have been kicked, and there are always dry handholds when your feet are on snow. The rest of the route is pretty much dry, with one or two places where you step in snow for one or two foot placements, but with steps kicked and good handholds. Tennies are fine. An axe or crampons would not really make any difference at all. andyclimbs   2011-09-29  0     Edit Delete 
2011-09-10  Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake  The north/west side of K2 has some snow, but it‘s only enough to make you really check where you‘re about to put your feet. The ridge between K2 and Capitol had some frost and a little snow on the north (ascender‘e right) side, but not enough to cause problems. It melted off by the time we descended. The rest of the route had infrequent, inconsequential amounts of snow, mainly in nooks where the sun couldn‘t get to it. As we descended, a storm came in with a very small amount of graupel. BobbyFinn   2011-09-11 2     Edit Delete 
2011-08-30  Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake  No need for crampons or ice axe up to K2. K2 clean of ice or snow on North side. Only saw 3 or 4 cows on the way up. You can avoid getting wet at creek crossing if you travel 100 or so yards to the right and then cross. hugemike   2011-09-01  0     Edit Delete 
2011-08-08  Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake  Summitted during the only perfect weather days of the summer, last week. Several sizable snowfields across the talus prior to K2. You can do it with hiking poles, but in the early morning, the steps are icy and spikes would be nice. Once you ascend toward K2, conditions are ideal. Camping is a challenge. Arrive early or be prepared to invent a campsite. (Hillhag & Slowhead have only two 14ers left now.) slowhead   2011-08-16  0     Edit Delete 
2011-08-07  Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake  River crossing still seem fairly high. Trekking poles and a change of socks helped. All summer conditions on the mountain with the exception of the talus fields between the Daly-Capitol saddle and the right turn to K2. There is still one significant snow field in this section which is unavoidable. Having microspikes and ice axe were nice, but others got away without...but then they missed out on the sweet glissade. We had an awesome blue-bird day (though with some increasing wind) which made for a very relaxed, fun summit push and return. image 1: crossing an optional snowfield helped avoid a lot of talus image 2: the unavoidable snowfield after the right turn towards K2 image 3: snow free for the last few hundred feet to K2 image 4: wild flowers in full bloom LynnKH   2011-08-08 4  2    Edit Delete 
2011-07-23  Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake  For the hike in, all the way to the Cap/Daly saddle, the only significant snow on the trail is a mild uphill, bareboot-able stretch just before the campsites, along with a few areas where snow can be skirted by hiking through mud. The stream crossing at the end of the ditch trail warrants removing shoes, and probably a trekking pole for stability. From the saddle to K2: there are still several bands of snow across/through the cliffy traverse just past the saddle. I found it easiest to descend the steep and loose, but dry slope straight down from the saddle to the snowfield in the lower basin. From there, a combination of talus-hopping and easy snow travel gets you to 13200‘. Ice axe is a good idea, crampons may or may not be needed depending on your comfort level on snow and the time of day. Snow gear can be left at the end of the snowfield at 13200‘. K2 itself still has a snowfield or two that complicate the presumed normal 4th class ascent. From the base of K2, you can follow cairns down and to the left a short distance to a steep, exposed 4th class ascent to the summit. K2 to Capitol: summer conditions. A few small, easily avoidable patches of snow. ChrisinAZ   2011-07-24  0  1    Edit Delete 
2011-06-11  Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake  Continuous snow begins shortly after the creek cross, about 10,100ft. Good conditions for a snow climb. The knife edge is actually easier right now than summer. Although I‘m sure it‘s melting quick so this report could be outdated very soon. The southeast face skied well today. Just two thin spots were you have to step over some rocks. Attached is a photo. Carl   2011-06-11 1     Edit Delete 

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