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Capitol Peak

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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 8/31/2023, By: jmfb3
Info: One snowfield required to cross after the Daly/Capitol ridge if you want to avoid elevation loss. Microspikes not needed for it. The class 1 trail to the lake seems to disappear / become hard to follow around 10,650 ft, where it begins turning very rocky and crosses what maybe used to be a stream?. If hiking in the dark, be very observant and you should be fine. Beta: A dirt trail reappears veering left off the rocks after a small group of small trees. Then you come across a few large stone steps, completely cross over the stone gully, and from a patio of rocks the dirt trail resumes veering hard right back into the woods. This can be hard to notice since the rocky path seems to veer left back into the gully. 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 8/22/2023, By: donovanrice
Info: Left lake at 3:30. Summit at 8. Back to K2 at 9. Back to lake at 11. Back to TH at 1:30. Could probably start as early as 3 and hit K2 right when light starts getting visible. Plenty of water sources from TH to lake. Brought microspikes but did not use them. Had two or three low angle snow crossings. After the saddle, there is a fork where you can go up or down. Went down which possibly saved us from steeper snow crossings. I found the cairns after the knife edge to be very easy to follow. Glissaded with trekking poles on the descent. Overall, I found the hike to be less technical or scary than I originally thought. Met some pretty cool people. In the unlikely chance you see this, hit me up! 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 8/21/2023, By: jfm3
Info: I climbed Capitol from the trailhead on 8/20. There were some cows in the meadow after leaving the trees on the ditch trail. I used the logs to cross the creek in the morning and waded across in the afternoon on the descent (very refreshing for sore feet). There are several short/small snowfields on the lower part of the traverse on the east side of the Mt. Daly saddle. I used strap-on crampons and a short ice axe for both the ascent and descent of the longest snowfield that starts at ~12,800', and goes most of the way up the large, tan-colored talus. I thought the cairns on the east face above the Knife Edge were difficult to find. They are there, and constructed in obvious places, but seemed to blend in with all the loose junk that litters the upper mountain. The final ridge/traverse to the summit at 14,000', after turning off the east face, has some rock that looks far too large and solid to be loose, but somehow still is. I also saw Andrew Hamilton and Andrea Sansone with 2 other people at the Knife Edge. That seemed to be a good omen. It seems I didn't take any pictures between the Mt. Daly saddle and K2, so refer to previous CRs for pictures of the snowfields below K2. 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 8/20/2023, By: infinitealpine
Info: There are snow fields after the saddle on your approach to K2. The route I took crossed 3 or 4 of them, the attached photo shows some of them. I personally felt much more comfortable with microspikes and an axe. 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 8/18/2023, By: NathanMihm
Info: Brought microspikes but did not use them. Snow is rather low angle and can mostly be avoided: only needed to cross a few small spots between boulders. (As already mentioned, this is before K2 and not on any exposed sections) Glissaded a bit on descent. Logs are present at all the stream crossings so if youre careful you can avoid wet feet on approach. 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 8/15/2023, By: hellmanm
Info: Disagree w/prior reports about optional traction. It felt mandatory yesterday in AM. The snow is still very solid, with long enough runouts that traction (or a significant elevation loss to circumnavigate the snow patches) is mandatory. The mosquitoes, though definitely still around, aren't as horrible anymore. 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 8/13/2023, By: jpriske
Info: Climbed Capitol Peak 8-12. Still a good amount of snow on the backside of the Capitol-Daly saddle leading up to K2. In my opinion I would still recommend spikes. You could possibly avoid the snow but would require a good amount of elevation loss. No snow on the ridge between k2 and summit. Our group climbed k2 and descended on the climbers right side of k2. It was very solid and would definitely recommend going that route. Overall, conditions were great and the rock was loose but honestly felt like it wasnt as loose as people make it out to be but definitely still test every hold and dont sell out on anything. Left capitol lake at 3:15am, k2 by 5:45, summit at 8:00, back to k2 by 10, back to capitol lake by noon. Have fun out there! 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 8/13/2023, By: samfarmer789
Info: Capitol is in great condition! I'd definitely recommend backpacking up to the lake the night before unless you're in for a very long day. We did car to car in just under 15 hours (oof) with 4 hours of that being k2 - k2. Some snow in the back behind the saddle but it was fine without spikes or ax and we glissaded on the way down. There were 3 snow crossings total back there. Bugs weren't bad at all, so pretty with the wildflowers! 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 8/8/2023, By: skeater912
Info: Beautiful day on capitol. Started at 430, on top at 8 sharp, and back in camp at the lake at noon with about half an hour on the summit. Did not have a ton of bug problems, but did have copious bug spray. As mentioned, the climb up to K2 still has a few hundred feet of snow - traction certainly not required, although spikes made our ascent in the morning way more efficient as we could bail off the rocks and head straight up the filled in areas. Axes or poles for the glissades down too. Knife edge was fun, rock along the entire route was nowhere near as bad as I was expecting, and the route finding was straightforward with lots of cairns present. Definitely don't underestimate the route as you are pretty exposed for the entire ridge without any escape options. Easily my favorite 14er so far, in an area that was significantly more beautiful than I was expecting, or aware of. 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 8/8/2023, By: JeffPurdy
Info: Agree with the consensus, traction/ace not required but highly suggested. We left ours at camp and had no difficulty summiting. The snow will not leave the trail this year. PSA: mites and ticks are not the same thing. There were MITES everywhere. There were no ticks. The flies were a nuisance in the timber and the mosquitoes were a nuisance up to the camp sites, so keep yourself covered. 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 8/5/2023, By: Beccadoe
Info: Beautiful day to summit Capitol! We camped at the lake the night before. I was so worried since I normally get eaten alive by mosquitoes but brought Ben's Insect Repellent - 30 Percent DEET and used Sawyer Permethrin Pump Spray for my clothes. It helped so much and only left with one bite the whole trip! Spikes were not required, but definitely helpful in the initial gullies and approach to K2. Descending K2 can be kept to class 3 with adequate route finding. The knife edge was a thrill, but do not lose your focus since route finding is essential for the East Face and final summit scramble. 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 7/30/2023, By: lauradaughtry
Info: All summer conditions with a few exceptions, most notably being the backside of the mountain/boulder field after you reach the saddle. It is still very much a snow field; I'd highly recommend micro-spikes and an ice ax. There is also a little bit of snow before you reach the lake. Lastly, a little bit of snow is still lingering on K2, so the best option is to summit it and then down climb to the knife edge. The knife edge, though the most notorious feature, was the MOST sturdy (and least scary). Everything after it and onto the summit is EXTREMELY loose; it's honestly not talked about or discussed enough. Please make sure you test absolutely every hand- and foot- hold. Cairns are well marked, and route-finding was not a problem. Bring bug spray, as flies and mosquitos are equally awful! 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 7/31/2023, By: happyallyy
Info: Be prepared for bugs, mosquitoes, and ticks galore. I saw a tick crawling on the knifes edge and many more on the ground/trees near camp. Pack bug spray! Whether you are taking the standard route or high ridge to K2, be prepared for snow on the back side of the Daly saddle. I'd recommend spikes & an ice axe still. We went up & over K2 and I'm glad we did to avoid the snow. Lots of loose & crumbly rock as expected, double and triple check all your hand/footholds. This route is epic! 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 7/24/2023, By: ryanfree7926
Info: Fun day on Capitol. The trip to the lake was snow free with a few easy creek crossings. No snow until dropping down the back of the daly saddle where you can expect continuous, consolidated snow (starting at photo 13 and ending just before photo 16). Usual pattern in hard ice in the AM and then slushy glissadable snow on the way down. Spikes and poles were great to have but an axe on a few sections would have been helpful but not necessary. The snow ended on the last approach to K2 and the photo 16 talus field to the summit was entirely snow free. 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 7/24/2023, By: fuzzysisneros
Info: Gorgeous weather day on 7/23. Similar report to ryanfree. Standard and straightforward river crossings from the trailhead to the lake. One patch of snow right below the lake. Clear and dry up to Daly pass. Snow on the backside from Daly Pass to about 200 vertical ft below K2 summit. It is mostly continuous and makes for easier travel up and down. Solid freeze in the morning and soft enough to glissade but not posthole on the way down around 9:45 am. We were fine with just axes. Spikes would inspire confidence but not necessary. One patch of snow by the summit of K2, the north face, forcing you to go over the top (Photo #17). No snow between K2 and summit otherwise. edit: Bugs are pretty bad. Bring DEET or Permethrin 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 7/21/2023, By: Dayute
Info: All snow avoidable on the K2 bypass though after doing both I would never opt for the bypass again. K2 direct is solid and fun and bypass is a chossy death trap. Previous report still correct re snow from Daly saddle to base of K2. Bring the good deet and put it on at the trailhead. 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 7/18/2023, By: amitchell
Info: Started 2am, summited 8am, back to car at noon. Full snowfield from Daly saddle to just under K2. Had to use microspikes and axe. It did make it a lot easier than walking up rock though. From K2 to summit no snow. Was a great day! 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 7/14/2023, By: nweitzer7
Info: Virtually no snow until cresting Daly saddle, on the other side its mostly snow with pockets of rock so spikes or axe still a good idea. Right side of K2 has a hanging snowfield so we opted to top out on K2 then downclimb to the right before snaking up to the Knifes edge. Beyond knifes edge no snow/ice obstacles 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 7/9/2023, By: Jorts
Info: There were some snow crossings on the traverse over from the Daly saddle. Then it was a snow climb up to the Clark saddle. Capitol ridge was completely dry. We descended down to Pierre Lakes via Wandering Dutchman. That was also mostly dry. Plenty of snow down around the frozen lakes. Made travel over the talus blocks fairly effortless. 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 7/8/2023, By: Loganweber16
Info: Summited on July 7 with great weather conditions. The backside of K2 still has a good amount of snow and would require ice axe/crampons for a few hundred yard ascent before 11am or so (if you choose that route). We climbed the ridge of K2 which requires class 4, class 5 moves - not recommended for inexperienced hikers. On the way down, we were able to glissade the pitch on K2 with little difficulty - still no significant postholing. 
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