Capitol Conditions - Elks in general

Colorado 14er peak questions, condition requests and other info. 14er Trip Reports, Condition Reports
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Capitol Conditions - Elks in general

Postby Shattuck311 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:35 pm

Hi All,

I haven't seen it covered here in the past few days, and haven't seen an updated peak conditions report since the snows. My buddies and I are hoping to get out and do Capitol on Sunday. It looks like it's supposed to be nice Saturday and Sunday, so I'm hoping some of the ice/snow may melt off.

Any updates on the weather conditions there? Curious if anyone has any updates/advice on hiking Capitol if it has a bit of snow. I know it's a very difficult mountain even without the snow, and I'm not sure how much the snow/ice has gotten to it. Any info would be much appreciated! Thanks!


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Re: Capitol Conditions - Elks in general

Postby myfeetrock » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:49 pm

Snow on the elks as of now. Lots of it from what I can see from work.
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Re: Capitol Conditions - Elks in general

Postby Marmot72 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:11 pm

Dang. Was hoping recent warm days would melt and we have more snow tonight and tomorrow. Was planning some ridge traverses in Elks and HCW, but unsure now.

There are a couple reports on Capitol with snow: however the problem I would think now is that the snow is unconsolidated. I would think the knife edge is likely dry: if icy, that would be dangerous.

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Re: Capitol Conditions - Elks in general

Postby rescuemonkey » Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:14 pm

We attempted North Maroon(would have been our finisher :cry: ) yesterday and unfortunately had to turn around at 13,200(just above the second gully). The combination of snow, loose rock, ice, exposure and fatigue won. The snow just kept getting worse as we went up. On the ledges above the second gully we encountered knee to waist deep snow. I did get a good view of Snowmass and Capitol from there though. Wish I had taken a picture. I can say that Pyramid, Snowmass and Capitol received less snow than the Bells. Maroon Peak even appeared to have slightly more than North Maroon. The snow was melting very fast though. I couldn't believe how much snow melted from the time we left the car and back. Hope this helps.

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Re: Capitol Conditions - Elks in general

Postby Jphebbie2 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:12 pm

Tried castle yesterday. Turned around at about 13,200 as well. Enough snow to cover the scree and not discern the deep holes in the scree field, but not enough to support a snowshoe/crampon climb. the snow is melting very fast though. keep an eye on the weather as its supposed to rain in thr area tonight and tomorrow which could mean more snow up high.

Re: Capitol Conditions - Elks in general

Postby forbins_mtn » Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:22 pm

obviously, I'm the guy posting TH, condition and TR on Capitol from this weekend so I have a few thoughts:

1) we got two perfect weather days last weekend, but that was also after two weeks of complete hell around the state of Colorado. The entire route, except for the hike up to the Daly saddle, and the north side of K2 lies in the sun. If you can't get to the top of K2 you're going to be miserable past the knife edge anyway

2) knife edge is the least of your worries. you can scoot across it on your crotch while squeezing your thighs and ankles onto each side of the rock. After the knife edge holds hours of exposed climbing. That's your real problem.

3) you don't have to follow the cairned path. so if that looks snowy/icy you can easily just go up and you'll make it. There were people all over that mountain last week finding their own route.

4) if there is snow on the route past the knife edge then be careful or turn around. the rock of Capitol is extremely smooth and slick. i guarantee this amount of snow is just enough to make your day horrible. it's not going to be enough to have crampons take hold and you stick to everything.

I say go up there! With weather like that you going up on Sunday, you will cross dozens upon dozens of people coming down who can give you info. We passed a handful of people who had turned around at K2 and it just made us realize we simply had to go over it. Problem solved! Good luck, man. Great mountain

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Re: Capitol Conditions - Elks in general

Postby dustj » Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:45 pm

Rescuemonkey, my wife and I talked to you on your way down yesterday. I didn't realize that was going to be your finisher. Sorry it didn't work out. For those considering doing something in the area, here's a pic of the Bells from my phone yesterday afternoon (9/25)
MaroonBells.jpg (86.5 KiB) Viewed 776 times
A voice is calling, "clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness"
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Re: Capitol Conditions - Elks in general

Postby Shattuck311 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:40 pm

This is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you for such specific information. Hopefully we can make it to Knifes edge and scope it out from there/have a good sense of the conditions/danger level. I'll be sure not to push it if it doesn't feel safe. This community is awesome, thanks! =D>

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Re: Capitol Conditions - Elks in general

Postby cheeseburglar » Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:11 pm

The snow will be melting, but your biggest concern will be snow on the north face where you go around K2.
Once you get to the knife edge, your snow concerns should be over.
If I was to try it this weekend, I'd take a short rope, an ice axe and crampons to make sure I could get around K2. I'd probably leave them there, they won't be needed after that.
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Re: Capitol Conditions - Elks in general

Postby gb » Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:56 am

Snowing, but not sticking, right now at 9500'.

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Re: Capitol Conditions - Elks in general

Postby ajkagy » Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:02 am

gb wrote:Snowing, but not sticking, right now at 9500'.

the clouds cleared off of whetstone just for a brief minute. Definitely sticking above 10k. Can't wait to get some photos tomorrow or if it clears out later.

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Re: Capitol Conditions - Elks in general

Postby TakeMeToYourSummit » Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:24 pm

My apartment in Snowmass Village sits roughly at 8100 feet - snow in my backyard this afternoon... and it is sticking at 9.5 or 10k. Be careful if you're going for the Elks in the next few days.
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