Capitol Peak  
Condition Updates  
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-20, By: Gandalf69
Info: Backpacked for a night in the valley, went up the peak Sunday with a friend. Little snow showers on summit and shared summit with someone who finished. 
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Route: Ridge Direct
Posted On: 2020-07-19, By: IsaacD
Info: Snow free all the way to the summit. Total summer conditions on the ridge direct - can't comment on the basin below for the standard route though. Very loose rock below K2 that almost proved fatal for multiple parties on Saturday. Be careful out there! 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-12, By: Gandalf69
Info: Day hiked Capitol Saturday again, but made the summit this time. Blue skies, no wind, and great trail companions. Everyone was looking out for everyone else with falling rock and everything. Flowers up to and around lake are great. Snow fields on last picture. 
Route: Ridge Direct Variation
Posted On: 2020-07-11, By: RichH
Info: Beautiful warm bluebird day on Friday Jul 10th. We went up a variation of ridge direct from the saddle, then followed ridge up to K2, then took the standard route to Capitol. We didn't hit snow anywhere from the lake to the summit. The small snowfield on K2 is easy to avoid. The standard route east slopes/basin after the saddle still has quite a bit of snow which is hard in the morning. Microspikes and an axe/poles are recommended. We took the standard route back mid-morning and the snow was soft and easier to cross. 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-05, By: Wild Bill
Info: Trail conditions are great. I would consider taking crampons for some fast travel along the east side, still some solid snow covering. Incredible views, clear sky, no wind. 
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Route: ridge direct/descend standard
Posted On: 2020-07-01, By: CaptCO
Info: Creek crossing was doable for me, most everyone else had to take off shoes. Small packed down snowfield just before lake, was rock hard ice from the overnight freeze no issue. Gained the saddle via dry switchbacks. Once on the saddle from basin, took the ridge direct to summit including a fun chimney. Totally dry on the ridge direct, descended standard and never felt the need to use my crampons. If you ascend standard traction/gaiters might help. Fun route 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-06-30, By: Eagle Eye
Info: I summited Capitol Peak yesterday 6/29. As Gandalf69 mentioned there are multiple trees down and detours around trees on the lower trail. The (wide, but not deep) stream crossing at 9,850 required me to take off my shoes and socks and wade across! Parts of the lower and much of the upper basin approach to K2 are deep snowfields. Microspikes were great in the morning there, for traction -and the snow was supportive, too. MUCH less so on the return!! Words were said. A mostly overcast day had probably helped a lot, actually! I climbed K2 on the way up but bypassed it on the north side returning. Much of the upper, north side of K2 is snow-covered. It was windier than I wanted for the knife edge and I stayed in whichever places I could hold onto and that seemed less windy. The wind came in big surprise gusts and I didn't walk any of the ridge. Once across the ridge, snow gullies cover some of the upper summer route to the summit. Lots of drainage and mud on the upper part of the mountain. Other than at Capitol Lake and lower (on the way down) I didn't see anyone on the ridge or mountain. A person was just a little behind me (with a headlamp) in the early morning as I was reaching the Mt Daly-Capitol Peak saddle, but I didn't see them again. I will post some pictures soon. 
6 5
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-06-28, By: Gandalf69
Info: I day hiked Capitol today, went up past the knife edge and back. Turned around because clouds looked threatening and was tired. I didn't get any good pictures because my phones screen died a hour into hike. Route dry past k2, lots of dead trees on trail before lake. 
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Route: Ridge Direct
Posted On: 2020-06-21, By: yaktoleft13
Info: Went up ridge direct from the Daly/K2 saddle to the summit. Other than minor deviations, only left the ridge to avoid the overhanging flakes just shy of the summit ridge. Managed the whole ridge without stepping foot on snow. Standard route holding significant snow. Basin approach to K2 is completely snow covered. K2 bypass is blocked by snow. Several steep snow gullies on the face. 
6 1
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-06-07, By: superdawg
Info: Packed in Thursday night, summited and returned to town Friday. A couple of the camp sites were dry, but many are still covered in snow. Plenty of snow remains on the trail in the last mile-plus up to the lake, as well as on the route to the summit. We roped up for several snowy sections above 12K. 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-06-07, By: Gandalf69
Info: I went with a friend to Capitol lake to scout out everything. Lots of snow after trail intersection to lake. Snow around lake. Saw tents at lake, we didn't go any further than lake. Snow on the saddle. Camped for 2 days and came back to a tree fallen on our car! Will park somewhere else next time. 
7 3
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2019-10-07, By: gluckhikes
Info: Perfect fall day with little wind and sublime aspens colors. Some fresh snow on the dark side of K2 but mostly avoidable. Microspikes would be best if you plan to cross the snowfields just past the saddle. I was able to avoid them easily enough. 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2019-10-09, By: linkashish
Info: We left the trail head around 8 pm Friday 10/04, took ditch trail and eventually creek trail and hiked to the Capitol lake and camped there. The trail is nice and dry and pretty obvious. Started the hike to the saddle next morning around 5:30 am. Could see few headlamps going up to the saddle... Met few hikers at the saddle. After you take the trail on your right from the saddle, descend down the gully and stick to the base keeping the mountain on your right without losing much elevation as you advance . If you do not descend down, it'll be a class 3/4 scrambling almost all the way to K2 which is what I did back in 2017 and was a long day. Look for the cairns and step up your route finding game.. after taking right from the saddle. There were about 4 snowfields we crossed before we could see K2 in distance in right. Crampons could be helpful but the fields didn't bother me much. We got to K2 and climbed it where class 3 scrambling and bouldering began. There was some snow so had to be extra careful bouldering up and down K2. The ridgeline was visible upon coming down from K2 and every move beyond that point was very careful and focused all the way to the summit. Be ready for class 3 /4 difficulty , exposure and route finding all the way to the summit . The sustained difficulty and exposure is why Capitol is different.. It was a beautiful day to boulder up the ridgeline with wind gust probably not more than 15. Descending down required more focus and I climbed back the knife-edge from the right instead of saddling this time. The last stretch of it is a little tricky with barely any foot placement. Be very careful if you intend to do so. As we got to K2, we decided to avoid climbing up K2 and tried going around it. However, with some fresh snow present, that route seemed to be a bad idea. We returned back and went up K2 again. Going up K2 was solid class 4 climbing. Once you descend down K2, things are pretty obvious! Hope this is helpful for anyone attempting Capitol for next few weeks, untill snow covers everything and it all becomes a different game. 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2019-09-29, By: Marshall
Info: Very beautiful approach, but it snowed up top Friday night. We made it up to the K2 summit with no issue (totally dry), but we were unable to safely cross from K2 to Capitol. Still super beautiful views as well as all the aspen colors, but no summit for us. Snow might clear in a few days 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2019-09-22, By: ablock0
Info: Dry as can be up there! Took the ridge from Daly saddle to K2 for bonus 3rd terrain, highly recommended if you're comfortable on that. Only wetness was a sneaky iced log at a crossing. Temperature were good minus the howling wind. Aspens just started to yellow, likely to be bananas these next couple weeks, go get it! 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2019-09-14, By: MC.Ikema
Info: Climbed Friday the 13th. The bypass around the north side of K2 was snow covered from Wednesday's snow (see Will_E pictures & report below). We didn't see any climbing parties attempt the traverse around K2. Did not encounter any significant snow along the ridge or on Capitol's slopes. Microspikes would be nice to have for the snowfields between the saddle and K2. 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2019-09-13, By: Will_E
Info: The Elks got a bit of snow on Wednesday night, when I left for Capitol I was a bit worried what it might look like up high. The only section that the snow had significant impact was around K2. First I went to the top of K2, but didn't like how the snow looked on the other side, so I went back down the front side, and then around the north side, which had enough snow that it was a little sketchy. Got across it okay, but it was a little unnerving. I suspect this snow might hang around for a few days. Past K2 the knife edge is snow free, and just a few small pockets of snow here and there that will probably melt off today, but are easily avoidable none the less. Great day up there, I only encountered 6 people past the lake, didn't see any snow tracks past K2, I suspect I was the only summit of the day. Felt great having the mountain mostly to myself. Oh, and Capitol was my finisher, was a perfect day for it 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2019-09-02, By: noexit33
Info: HIked into the lake Sunday - about 3 hrs from the car with my pack (I'm an average hiker). Very few bugs, didn't freeze overnight at our elevation, no problem finding a site at 3:00 PM but others arriving near sunset were just plopping tents down wherever they could. Would echo previous conditions report. Snow fields still in place. We didn't use microspikes but wouldn't be a bad idea. Took us about 4.5 hrs from the lake to the summit. Another group did it in 4 and more fit, younger folks did it in 3.5 hrs. More than everybody was expecting. Knife edge is at least solid but the ridge after that has a lot of loose rock that was pretty nerve racking. Beautiful weather both days. 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2019-08-26, By: tetleyd
Info: Snowfields south of the Daly-Capitol saddle are breaking up. Snow is firm in the morning so microtracs on the feet will just speed up your progress, but I saw many people not use them. The Knife Blade ridge gets the press, but the area beyond the Knife Blade is solid Class 4, with serious exposure and plenty of loose rocks. One must proceed cautiously and don't even attempt it if you don't have some rock climbing experience, as it comes in handy. If the weather is not solid before cross crossing the Knife Blade ridge don't even think about it. If the rock gets wet, you could be in for some serious difficulty. Do not underestimate the commitment of this this peak and become a statistic. 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2019-08-21, By: jchapell
Info: Hiked to Capitol Lake 8/19, climbed and returned to the car on 8/20. Hike In: - The flowers are epic right now. Get out there if you can. - Found a way to cross the stream (where the Ditch Trail meets the Capitol Creek Trail) with a little leap without having to take shoes off, and on the way back someone had tipped over a small tree to use crossing. Climb: -We left a little before 4am, and the first snow crossing would have been dangerous without microspikes. Some of the others would have probably just been tedious, and others just fine but pre-dawn traction for us was a no-brainer. On the descent, the highest snowfield (below K2) was a pain - steep with rounout into rocks. Don't stash your poles below this field, you'll need them for an afternoon slip-slidy descent. - Check the first large vertical rock on the sharpest part of the knife edge (where you would otherwise put all your weight) - it's not loose enough to pull out, but it's quite wobbly. -Otherwise the route is perfect! 

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