How to prep for Captiol's exposure?

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Re: How to prep for Captiol's exposure?

Post by Trotter »

Aphelion wrote: Mon Sep 20, 2021 11:43 am You should be fine exposure-wise. Capitol has some very loose rock on either end of the knife, that's likely going to be the only thing to worry about.
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Re: How to prep for Captiol's exposure?

Post by mickknu16 »

Mt. Meeker felt like great prep to me. Great knife edge to scramble on up top and a long overall distance with some good route finding needed depending on approach. Super nice hike and is great if you live on the front range.
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Re: How to prep for Captiol's exposure?

Post by arianna2 »

MichelleLW wrote: Mon Sep 20, 2021 11:26 am Interesting that you didn't feel the El D - Mt. W traverse was exposed, but that the top of Crestone Peak and Kit Carson were! I recently did the El Diente - Mt. Wilson traverse followed by Capitol the following weekend and felt more exposed on the traverse than I ever did on Capitol. The high exposure section on Capitol (knife edge) is at least quite straightforward, and in the worst case, very scootable. While the exposed moves on El D - Mt. W are easy, you do have to maneuver a bit from rock to rock with major drop offs on either side. It just felt more awkward to me. That said, my friend had the opposite experience, so ymmv.

After the knife edge, route finding was definitely the key. There is exposure, but there was almost always something to hang on to and keep 3 points of contact (although certainly with the caveat of being exceedingly careful about loose rock), which for me is way more comfortable. I do think It was helpful that I had also climbed Pyramid, and more recently the Bells; although the rock itself is different, you do encounter ledge-y climbing and gullies on both, along with the ever-present loose rock. I would say it might be worth doing one of those peaks first to get used to that kind of climbing, as it does feel very different than the peaks you listed. But if you were fine on the El D - Mt. W traverse, I think you'll likely be OK on Capitol.
Agree with above. Just did it as our last 14er this weekend. Will take me some time to get up a trip report but hopefully soon. You likely will be so focused on your next move you might not be as aware of the exposure. I think doing pyramid and South Maroon first would be good. We felt their were similarities in terms of route finding,, ledges,, and gullies,, just more class 3/4 moves. and the time it takes from K2 back to K2 is mentally exhausting. You have to be very careful of your steps and route finding for four hours. Summit back to K2 was harder we thought and I couldn't wait until we got back to the knife edge where it is solid and no questions as to where to go. Quite a few groups on the mountain this weekend and more questions from groups on the route than any other 14er we have been on. Feel free to PM me if any other questions and good luck.
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Re: How to prep for Captiol's exposure?

Post by Wish I lived in CO »

Get a guide. That's what I did anyway. Was there about 3 years ago, took one look at the knife edge and knew I wasn't summitting that day. 2 years later, I hired a guide, and was more determined as I knew I wanted to finish the 58. The guide however really put me at ease. I really enjoyed the climb. Well all but the knife edge anyway. I just did that because I had too, but the guide made that part easier too.

You don't have to hire a guide of course. But if it's your last resort, then it's a good resort.
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Re: How to prep for Captiol's exposure?

Post by Gandalf69 »

Just don't look down. If you were climbing a latter to fix your Christmas lights you don't fall, same on the knife edge. When you get to k2 the exposure jumps up to max level and doesn't stop until you are back at k2 on the way down. I would suggest climbing and down climbing Kelso ridge to train. The hardest part is the down climbing when you are tired from reaching the summit. There is no shame in turning around and coming back when you are ready. The mountain will be there forever, you will not.
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Re: How to prep for Captiol's exposure?

Post by I Man »

zdero1 wrote: Mon Sep 20, 2021 11:32 am I’m afraid Of heights, but the exposure didn’t really get me on Capitol. I was too focused on my hands and feet on the knife edge to really worry about the exposure. It seems like you’re ready for it. The rock is incredibly solid. Download a gps app like Gaia, upload the route, stay on route, and enjoy this classic peak!
I agree with this. I am very afraid of heights. I still get nervous on a fire escape or close to the edge of a building and I certainly don't go on roller coasters or other thrill rides. I have done Capitol twice - once in summer and once in winter. The exposure isn't that bad, because you should be focused on the climbing.

LB Blanca traverse still scares me, maybe one day I will get a chance to try it. The only time I summited LB was in March and I took 1 look at the snow covered ridge and said NO WAY!
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