Peak:  Capitol Peak (14er)
 Route:  Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake
 Range:  Elk
 Posted By:  ChrisinAZ
 Date of Info:  07/23/2011
 Date Posted:  07/24/2011

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.

 Comments or Questions

07/27/2011 05:42
I've uploaded some pictures that should be helpful, particularly those near the end showing conditions in the basin: . Trip report will be up soon!

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