Peak(s):  Capitol Peak  -  14,130 feet
Date Posted:  10/12/2011
Date Climbed:   09/25/2011
Author:  Dancesatmoonrise
 Finishing the14ers: Capitol Peak  

Finishing the 14ers:
Capitol Peak

Route: Capitol Peak, Northeast Ridge
Approach: Capitol Creek TH ("Ditch" Trail)
Date: 9-25-11
Length: 18 miles RT
Vertical: 5400 feet
Ascent Party: Dancesatmoonrise

Capitol Peak in early autumn attire.

Prologue: Capitol Peak, the PLB, and the 14er Quest

Before I knew there would be any fourteeners in my future, I'd already gazed in awe, wonder, and fearful respect upon Capitol Peak and the Snow-
Cap Traverse. In those days I used to enjoy getting into wilderness places where most folks didn't or couldn't go. When I'd heard about the Pierre
Lakes Basin, I was excited, but couldn't find any reasonable access on the maps. Initially I thought it would mean rappelling in from somewhere
around Siberia or Avalanche, so I shelved the idea for the time being.

No trail to the PLB, but gorgeous wilderness.

I think it was 2001 when I first gave it a go up Bear Creek. It didn't go. Two tries later, I made the day hike; it was a long one, but well worth it.
I'd seen this incredibly pristine place for the first time, and could not believe the awesome magnitude of what I was witnessing. By 2008, I went
back up for an overnight trip. I was smitten with the idea of doing the Snow-Cap Traverse from the PLB. It looked blissful and at the same time
positively frightening. Capitol Peak reigned supreme over the entire huge cirque. It seemed like an impossible dream to ever step foot on this mountain.
I had no actual plans for it, though passion for this mountain remained securely in my heart.

This is what North Snowmass Peak and the lower PLB look like under a Harvest Moon.

Snow-Cap traverse: "The ridge becomes an absolute nightmare, with car-sized teetering gendarms and huge scalloping flakes on the walls below them..." (MP)

Point 13,431 on the Snow-Cap ridge, looking majestic as it towers over the lower Pierre Lake.

Another year passed. In late 2009, the summits of Yale and Belford beckoned. I had never considered 14er'ing because I'd always heard the 14ers
were crowded. But to my surprise, I had these summits to myself. The trick was a late start under great weather - everyone had this curious
compulsion to be off the summit shortly after Noon, and I found myself basking in the sun around 1:30 pm with the summit all to myself. I enjoyed
it a great deal, but had no plans to complete the 14ers. After two more in October that year, I figured the season was pretty much done. That is, until
Steve Gladbach took six of us up Quandary Peak on Halloween, 2009.

Capitol Peak's NE ridge, as seen from the PLB, Fall 2008.

The other end of the Snow-Cap ridge: taken during a May 2010 ascent of North Snowmass Peak.

For me, that totally demolished some mental barriers. In one short trip, the mental connection was made that 14ers can be done during
the "off" season. I got more interested, and Steve helped me with advice on which ones would be reasonable to attempt next, as winter
approached. Yet, I still had no plans to do all the 14ers. By the time winter was over, I'd had a dozen calendar winter ascents, and maybe
twice that many 14ers in all. It started to dawn on me that maybe I could polish off the list. By summer's end, I'd had 50 in the bag. Then a
curious thing happened. I didn't want to finish. I was having too much fun, and was worried that I'd lose motivation by wrapping it up. By winter,
the second go-round added another thirteen ranked 14ers to the winter list, and one new 14er (Little Bear) to the overall list. It seemed
reasonable to finish out the overall list next summer or fall. Some difficult peaks remained, as well as a choice for a finisher.

Capitol Peak above the expansive lower Pierre Lake.

By this point there was plenty of experience, and though the remaining peaks were among the most difficult, none would be an unreasonable challenge.
Yet, Capitol Peak, alone, stood as the magnificent, penultimate, and covertly terrifying quest that lay ahead. Clearly, I'd long ago elevated it to the
status of impossibility. Would it be too much pressure for this mountain to be my finisher? Still, what more worthy way to celebrate completion
than with this noble peak?

Waiting out an unusual September

In early August, great weather graced a fun road trip to polish off the remaining pre-finishers: Mount Wilson, Wilson Peak, El Diente, and
Maroon Peak. I had banked on typically warm, dry September weather for the Capitol Peak finisher, but was rebuffed with torrential rains the first
half of the month, so I waited. Then by mid-month, it snowed a foot in the Elks: most unusual. I really didn't think I was ready for Capitol in
anything resembling winter conditions.

The Capitol Creek drainage with Capitol Peak in the background.

Every year, it seems to take the first good snow to bring Indian summer. I'd hoped to wait for decent melting on the difficult fourth class sections
of the route, since much of it is south-facing, and Indian summer had come into full swing. Yet the nagging reality remained that it was only getting
later in the year, with colder night-time temps and an ever-increasing likelihood of a shut-out snowstorm.

By Saturday, September 24, 2011, a developing weather window for the following week appeared to be faltering. I wasn't taking any chances with
this one. I quickly threw a pack together, got groceries, went over to say good-bye to the new GF, and came home for a relatively sleepless night.

Finisher Day

I can't imagine I'm the only one that wakes up before the alarm on peak-day. Definitely dragging at 4am, I'm out the door at 5, and making record
time to the TH, given a surprising lack of traffic on this gorgeous Sunday morning.

Pulling into the TH parking, the north side of the peak looks depressingly snowy, but I know the south side will be better; maybe even passable.
By 8:40 I'm moving. The Capitol Ditch trail is not bad at all this time of year. Much of the water is gone, and so are the cows. I'd hoped to hit
peak colors; the aspens are just now turning in the Elk range. By 10:55 I'm at Capitol Lake, about six miles in.

Fall Colors on the Capitol Ditch Trail.

At right skyline is a 5.9 Gr IV which ascends the NW Buttress.

The Capitol-Daly saddle is seen at top left.

The new GF had been worried and wanted to at least join me for Capitol Lake. I can see why Aaron did all, and Steve most, of the winter 14ers solo.
Sometimes when you're worried about things possibly being sketch, it's just easier to go alone. She and I can start with something easier after
the finisher. Meanwhile, I break personal tradition and carry a cell phone for the first time on a 14er, so I can check in with her.

North side of K2.

Capitol Lake.

The Capitol-Daly saddle.

Up ahead I see what looks like a group of two or three making way for the Capitol-Daly saddle. By 11:20 am I find a half-open day-pack at
the saddle, and no people. I also find lots of snow on the back side. This is not looking so good. At the least, the fast pace to this point is going
to take a back seat.

This is not going to be fast today.

Entering the huge field of talus blocks partially covered in snow, I'm not enthused. I aim for tracks across a snowfield. This turns out to be a mistake.
An older gentleman with a young woman tells me the way is straight ahead (due south) and that the snow becomes slick and difficult, to the point
that they had been forced to turn back. I figure he knows what he's doing because this is his third time on Capitol.

The old man's steps lead toward the prominent notch on the Clark-Capitol ridge. As I approach, the snow indeed becomes slick and difficult
in approach shoes. I stop to don spikes and axe, which helps. Stopping again, I need gaiters. Halfway up the slope I know this isn't correct,
though I want a view of the Pierre Lakes Basin through the notch. The approach shoes really aren't kicking steps in this slick stuff very well, and it's
getting late, so I reverse course and make for the dry stuff to the west, heading up toward K2.

Clarks Peak.

You can't see K2 from here, but there's not too much that's higher elevation that isn't on-route, so you just head west toward the ridge, and K2
appears. With the southern exposure this time of year, Clark's ridge shades much of the terrain near it, so the trick is to stay further north,
out of the shadow of the ridge, while heading west toward K2. There are some beautiful, very large orange-colored blocks here that are almost
like walking on sections of concrete side-walk: a welcome relief from the grind. Higher up, it's easier to approach the ridge for views over the other
side, where I discover dry conditions and three climbers on the infamous knife-edge of Capitol's NE ridge. I'm excited to finally be entering
the business district. It's nearly 1pm. With a calculated cut-off for the summit by 3pm, time is a little tight, but the rest of the way looks clear, dry,
and close.

Dry, beautiful, and close: Now we're talkin'!

The phenomenal Pierre Lakes.

Looking up from the Pierre Lakes to the ridge near K2 where the prior photo was taken...

Approaching K2, top left.

Capitol peeks out from behind K2.

K2 as seen from North Snowmass, May 2010.

K2 has this reputation for being the hardest part of the route, but it looks fairly benign. Still, I already know I don't want to go around the north
side of it due to the snow. To my surprise, the south side seems to "go" - at least for a ways, until clearly 5th class terrain is reached, where
one then experiences Sudden High Altitude Realization. In this case, the realization is that while fifth class climbing ability can be helpful in the
alpine, it can also get one into trouble in the alpine. The rock over here is dry, it's solid, it's fifth class, and it's getting steeper. I turn up to gain
the top, where the crew of three is directly ahead, just having completed their return across the knife-edge. Turns out it's Nick (Roguejackalope
on with Ben and Alli. Nick, great meeting you guys!

Peak Moment: The "Knife-Edge"

Capitol's NE ridge is reminiscent of the Mama Bear Traverse, between Little Bear and South Little Bear.

The crew tells me there's one more party of two just getting to the knife-edge now, and after that I'll have the mountain to myself. At the knife-edge,
I meet Bryan and Connie, who graciously offer to get photos across the knife-edge. (Bryan and Connie, nice meeting you guys, and congrats on
finishing the 14ers last week! Interesting that all four of us were on Bierstadt that day...)

This is Capitol's infamous knife-edge. Bryan is seen coming across, as Connie looks on from above.

Connie tells me she wants to wait till I go. Am I ready for this?

It's 1:30 pm. The section ahead is everything I'd anticipated - steep, exposed, solid. The knife-edge is reputed to be the most difficult part of
the route, yet most trip reports say that either K2 or the ridge and face below the summit are. Without question, though, the knife-edge is the
most dramatic feature of this incredible route. With nearly two thousand vertical feet of exposure on either side, many people do the butt-scoot
across this section, throwing one leg over either side of the knife-edge, and scooting across. Others traverse slightly below the top, using footholds on
the south (left) side, while using the top of the knife-edge for hands. A few stand up and walk across the top. Connie, still on the other side, tells
me to go first, as she wants to take her time with it.

At the moment, the knife-edge ridge speaks to me. I'm feeling good; I want to man-up and walk across. Capitol Lake, two thousand feet below,
is to the right. The Pierre Lakes are incredible, 1400 vertical feet below, to the left. As I gaze into the PLB, time takes me into the past, back to
the basin, looking up at Capitol Peak and the NE ridge. Can I see a tiny dot a few years into the future, about to walk across?

Seen from the PLB, K2 is roughly at center; the knife-edge is to the left of K2.

Peak moment: With over 1000 vertical feet of exposure on either side, Capitol Peak's infamous "Knife-Edge" requires intense focus and concentration to stand up and walk across.
There would be no dishonor in resorting to the "butt-scoot" here.

Capitol Lake, below to the right.

Come on, stick it!

What "down" looks like from here.

OK, you know you're having too much fun when you can get a little off-kilter over big exposure and still smile... : )

The butt-scoot is a highly valued mountaineering technique in this setting. Here's Connie demonstrating the technique in a most elegant fashion, as Bryan, only slightly nervous, looks on.

Approaching weather? Time to get moving...

I'm in a dream. Can I actually summit Capitol Peak? Will it happen today? The knife-edge goes smoothly. I get some shots of Connie crossing;
we say good-byes. I turn to the mountain, alone, in awe and respect, and ask permission to gain the summit this day.

I know route-finding will be difficult. All that has been done to this point has been preparation for this impossible goal. I chose to do the
route-finding for our group on Pyramid Peak last year, knowing that it is one of the more difficult routes, and also knowing I was blessed with
very competent partners who could spell me in the event of error. It was like a safety net. Last month I did the route-finding for a small impromptu
group on Maroon. Maroon was the most difficult, for me, of the standard 14er approaches, in terms of route-finding, but it went without a hitch.
Today, I'm alone. Everyone is headed down off the mountain. It's late. It's quiet. I take a quick inventory.

Let's see. Summit ridge; check. Only 400 verts to the summit; check. A steep face on the sunny side, with ledges for traversing; check. Solid rock
ribs leading back up to the summit ridge along the way if needed; check. Hmm...sounds not a great deal different from the other 58 fourteeners I've been
on. Let's roll.

The route to the summit goes smoothly, until the very last section. I'm in a steep gully, and cannot discern a definite route either cresting the far rib
out of the gully, or one heading up the somewhat loose gully to the summit ridge. The summit is close, so I get past some loose stuff to get on
one of the steep but more solid ribs and take it to the summit ridge, where the actual summit is only another hundred yards or so of pleasant scrambling
along the ridge-top. A mood of business-as-usual does not seem to give way to the realization that I've just summitted Capitol Peak, and just
finished all 59 fourteeners (58 + North Massive.) As I'm later to learn, it's going to take a few days for this to sink in.

Capitol Lake as seen from the summit of Capitol Peak.

What does sink in is the incredible alpine terrain in this part of the range. I've dreamed these views for so long, and now I'm here witnessing Snowmass,
North Snowmass, the entire Snow-Cap traverse, the majestic Pierre Lakes Basin, the Maroon Bells in the distance...

The Maroon Bells.

North Snowmass and Snowmass Peak.

The legs are hot to descend into the traverse, while the ol' brain says, "Hold on there, pardner, it's 2:15pm, and you still have to get down!"
Oh, yeah...that...

The start of the Snow-Cap Traverse.

The Snow-Cap Traverse with North Snowmass and Snowmass in the background.

Detail of a portion of the traverse.

So what does this remind me of, sitting in the warm late-season sun on a summit, all to myself? That first trip up Denny Creek two years ago,
witnessing the last of the Indians marching off the summit ridge saddle, while ascending into the awe, beauty, and solitude of a high alpine summit.
This one was a little harder, but they are all mountains, and they all sort of work the same way. The long-term mental block has suddenly been
blasted free, on this, the last new Colorado 14er summit. Ken Nolan is right. Fear Confrontation Therapy really does work. He is also right,
that this moment is not so much a finish, as it is a beginning, a birth - the birth of a mountaineer.

Some quiet reflection in the warm sun, a brief supplication of gratitude, and it's time to reverse steps with the hope of making it back to the car by dark.


In the days following the finish, the accomplishment finally begins to sink in. That I have been able to witness such an incredible journey has been
only by His blessing and grace. I am humbled to be a 14er finisher, to have witnessed the great high works of His hand all around us, to have journeyed
to the highest places where Earth meets Sky.

A few words about the descent, just to finish the story, and to perhaps offer some beta for future travelers attempting the route. Getting off the
summit and back across the knife-edge goes without a hitch. The same is true for K2, despite some snow on the north side. There is a nice
rock rib at the easternmost extent of the north face proper on K2, which remains relatively dry in current conditions, allowing access more or less
along the standard line up and back over K2.

K2 at top right, Daly at top left.

More fun coming back across the knife-edge: Capitol lake to the left.

Upper Pierre Lake to the right.

Descending into the talus field works best staying toward the left (east) side of the gully, particularly when there's snow in the shadow of the
Clark-K2 ridge. Large flat red-orange blocks are found in this area, facilitating travel. The best line for cutting below the Capitol-Daly ridge remains
debatable. Benners and USA Keller prefer a line somewhere below the cliffs and above the lower gully. Staying high on the traverse back over works
relatively well, though after a bit, I'm into crossing ribs and gullies. One of the ribs works well to get back down to the upper gully, nearing the Capitol-
Daly saddle. I'm surprised to find a fixed rope here. The snow and ice is a little troublesome, as is some loose talus, occasional remarkable for its size.

Should I be here without a rope? Oh, good; here we go...

Finally nearling the Capitol-Daly saddle, and the end of difficult terrain.

A look back at this beautiful mountain...

At the Capitol Daly saddle, difficulties are essentially over. I dig out Red's cell phone and give her a call. I know little about cell phones, so have no
reason for surprise when the darned thing actually works. Descent off the saddle is graced by the warmth of the southwestern sun, now nearing
the horizon. Calculations put me at the car at last light. Perfect. I holler over toward the small mesa above the lake where Nick and his crew, and
Bryan and Connie, are camped, and wave good-bye, as I start the long trail back.

Sure enough, I avoid pulling out the headlamp only by mere minutes, arriving back to the car at last light, and thinking about that sweet strawberry
blonde cutie waiting on my return. Somehow, no matter how many of these you do, the last mile will forever be the longest...

I wish to thank all of you, our mountaineering and climbing community, for having made such a positive impact on so many of us in terms of our
growth as mountaineers. I know that I personally will be forever indebted to many who have come before us, offering their advice, encouragement,
and camaraderie. A warm thanks, guys.



 Comments or Questions

10/13/2011 04:09
Fantabulous! And congrats. What a trip report!!


Well Done!
10/13/2011 04:21
Congratulations Jim! And thanks for the awesome trip report!


10/13/2011 04:25
Congratulations Jim likewise Picture & Trip Report. What next plan for you ? We feel the same way with His grace let us enjoy His Creation.

Blessing, Steve & Tiffany


Oh my gosh!
10/13/2011 04:49
beautiful report on the end or better yet the begining of another exciting adventure. Great finish, great report and great climbs...I would expect nothing less, Jim, congratulations! Also, thank you for all your picturesque narratives of your mountaineering experiences. You, and they, have helped mold my appreciation and love of climbing. Chris


Nice going Jim!
10/13/2011 04:52
Congratulations, bud. And thanks for another classic Dances TR. I think you rolled all your photographic skills, introspection and gift for narrative into this one.

Are you still thinking about KC in winter?


10/13/2011 05:12
What a great accomplishment. takes a lot of heart and effort. not for the faint of heart

Doctor No

Great job, Jim!
10/13/2011 05:14
You're an inspiration to us all, and your photos are (as always) fantastic. Looking forward to your next journeys.


10/13/2011 05:29
Congrats on your incredible accomplishment! Amazing trip report.


Something to be Proud of!!
10/13/2011 06:21
Your words carry such great imagery and is masterfully complemented by your incredible photographic skills. Congratulations on your 14er finisher and such fantastic journeys. Hope to meet you up at Quandery, but it looks like I will be standing in line behind about a 100 other people. Will have my 8 year old with me who climbed Longs Peak on Sept 1st as her second 14er.


Absolutely fantastic...
10/13/2011 11:56
Sincere congratulations on finishing, Jim. I hope that you will continue to post your incredible pictures along with your great narratives. There are a lot of fun 13ers out there that deserve your attention! (hint, hint...).

Take care and God bless....


10/13/2011 13:35
This is a fantastic trip report and well worth the wait, love the ”what down looks like from here” photo. Looking forward to the Winter Welcomer, and best wishes for continued success in your winter 14er quest!


The smile
10/13/2011 13:43
Jim, I really enjoyed your adequate photos as usual. Seriously though, it has been a treat to see you progress through these peaks as a whole and comforting to me that even you get psyched up about certain mountains. Very happy for you. Your knife-edge pictures brought a smile to my morning as I saw the fun you were having. Note: will not let my wife see the one where you are looking straight down.....


10/13/2011 13:54
Awesome TR & photos. Thanks for sharing.


10/13/2011 13:59
Great photos! Congrats


Wonderful Trip Report
10/13/2011 14:27
I really enjoyed your trip report. Your words crafted an entire story about your 14er adventure that revealed humility, confidence, and professionalism. And the pictures weren't to shabby either . I liked how you pulled pictures from previous trips to tell a full story. Very nice.

Congratulations on finishing!


10/13/2011 14:46
Way to go, Jim. Hope to be in your shoes next summer, great job!!


10/13/2011 15:41 usual, Jim! Your photography is simply stunning! Also really enjoyed reading about your journey! Oh, and by the way, a BIG congratulations! Thanks for sharing this with us!


10/13/2011 15:47
You never disappoint with these! Excellent trip report, and again, really nice to meet you up there!


You said
10/13/2011 16:07
”...I know that I personally will be forever indebted ....”
I would argue payment is well under way as you teach all those who follow how to see and dream of similar hues. Congratulations and thank you for your input here.


Finished in style!
10/13/2011 16:08
Congratulations, thanks for all the great trip reports.


10/13/2011 16:18
Nice job Jim!


Mad props
04/02/2015 19:45
for being able to walk across the Knife Edge. I would not even dare...

Amazing photos, as usual - made me re-live the excitement of that memorable climb.


10/13/2011 17:14
Excellent TR and even better pictures Jim! The photos are really stunning, not that that's surprising from you! Congratulations again, and I'm truly honored you picked my finisher peak to make your finisher!


10/13/2011 17:18
Absolutely stunning story and pics, Jim! A hearty congratulations on your finishing them 14ers.


10/13/2011 17:21
Thanks for the great write-up. Kate and I also finished on Capitol and we had the summit to ourselves. It's a great finisher.


10/13/2011 17:22
Great report and your photos are unreal!!

emcee smith

Best Report
10/13/2011 17:24
Although I still like the one shot from the Needle best, this is truly a remarkable report. Thanks for taking us along with you.


Worth the wait
10/13/2011 17:24
Another excellent TR Jim. Congrats on finishing! Here's to another successful winter.


Great TR
10/13/2011 17:50
Excellent report and pictures. Congrats on finishing the 14ers!

Jessie_s Dad

Awesome Accomplishment
10/13/2011 18:05
What a beautiful report. The pictures are amazing. Your accomplishment of finishing the 14ers is an inspiration to me to try a few more. Congratulations on a job well done.


10/13/2011 18:32
My title says it all.


Most commented trip report ever?
10/13/2011 18:39
It'll get there. 'Bout time


Way to go!
10/13/2011 19:30
Nice job Jim, great photos too.


Excellent Finish
10/13/2011 20:12
Congrats! What's next?


Excellent Pictures!!
10/13/2011 21:26
Congrats on finishing! Incredible pictures, brings back great memories for me!


Congratulations Jim!
10/13/2011 21:55
I have been anxiously anticipating this trip report since hearing about it. It was well worth the wait. Your ability as a mountaineer, photographer and writer are inspirational. Thanks for sharing and safe travels on your next list. Bernie


10/13/2011 22:21
Great Report - a few days to sink in - same way it hit me as my finisher in July!

Next thing that happened to me was the realization of just how many more great routes/mountains there are in this fine state.


10/14/2011 00:49
thanks for sharing!


10/14/2011 01:54
Well done Jim.


Been waiting for this report...
03/04/2012 18:31
Nice job! Your pics are amazing. Can't wait to see what you manage to put together this winter. Way to finish in style!


nicely done!
10/14/2011 04:12
I'm ready to get up some 14ers in winter with you. You can carry me while I sleep, right?


Amazing as usual, Jim
10/14/2011 15:34
Great report, great route, great guy. Thanks for posting, Jim. What an amazing accomplishment my friend.


Well done sir!
10/14/2011 18:56
That first picture of Capital is off the charts! Congrats again on finishing and a wonderful TR. NO question the last mile is the longest!!

sgladbach Photo guy....
10/14/2011 19:28
First, congatulations on a beautiful finisher. I've never tried (and don't care to!) walking the knifeedge in a full standing position. I've put my toes in the lateral cracks while fingering the top of the knife, used the Bear Crawl, and butt-scooted. But , standing all the way across......? That's for you guys who are still man enough to be able to pick up new GFs. Beyond my capabilities!

Next, we need a Dancesatmoonrise Calendar or T-shirt that we can purchase through When can I expect that?


A real Jim Dandy!
10/14/2011 19:41
Congrats. The location and solo finish looked ideal. The travel back in time with ”PLB-Jim” looking up into the future at the ”tiny-dot-Jim” was a dramatic trip within the trip. A fine timeline and collection of snapshots of the area. Here's a name change suggestion: Dancesaftersunrise? Just a thought based on your speed and start times.


Good work
10/15/2011 01:24
Well done Jim. Beautiful photos, great write-up, and of course the minor accomplishment . I'm confident you won't lose interest, there's a long winter ahead.


Great job
10/15/2011 01:49
Thanks for this excellent as usual TR. Your photos and TRs have a way of lifting my sprits and reminding me why I love this sport.

Hope to climb together some day.



10/15/2011 14:08
Well done. Great TR and beautiful photos. I'm glad I caught this TR on a Saturday morning...I would have definitely been late for work otherwise. Congrats.


10/16/2011 16:04
Sounds like it was an amazing finisher trip. Great report, as always. So when is the push for the Snow-Cap? I'm betting you have everything it takes to make that one happen!


high 5!
10/17/2011 02:07
great photos as usual and thanks for sharing with us your 14er journey. congrats!


Nice finisher Jim
10/17/2011 15:55
A cool climb to end round one. Hope to cross paths this winter.


10/17/2011 22:22
Congrats on finishing, and thank you very much for the extremely beautiful trip report, with stellar photos from all vantage points around Capitol. That pano looking down on the knife edge is a gem!


Why do we climb?
10/18/2011 02:29
Your words and pictures capture this grand question and answer it with absolute eye opening honesty. You say ”the birth of a mountaineer”. I know these are words I'll take to the top when I finish. God Bless you and your futures endeavors. Thanks you for sharing.


Warm thanks!!!
10/18/2011 03:56
I can't thank all of you enough for the wonderful comments, praise, affection, and collegiality. YOU GUYS ROCK!!!!

It took a while to sink in that I've actually done the 14ers - but the really tough thing is, still reeling at all the responses to the trip report. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!

So what's next? Probably more 5th class routes. They are scarier, but also tend to blow up my skirt a bit more : ) If that proves to be insufficient fear confrontation, there's that pesky winter 14er list that looms in exponential difficulty. Like some of my idols (and unlike one notable exception) I'm not sure I can hack the risk. (The notable fellow claims to be an ordinary guy. Yeah, right.) I'm also looking forward to more time teaching and mentoring, with both rock climbing and 14ering. And maybe getting back to some basic backpacking/flyishing trips next summer. I hear my trout a-callin'.


New standard!
10/18/2011 22:15
Yep Jim, you have set a new standard on trip reports and mountain photography . No doubt! And this one didn't disappoint. Stellar pictures and story. Loved it.

Super congratulations on reaching your goal of finishing the 14er list. I'm sure you'll discover, that word ”finishing” doesn't really apply to most of us on this site. Ha! There's always another list.

Climb on my friend. Climb on. Looking forward to our next peak together.


10/22/2011 02:55
Jim, what an honor to have met you by chance on Crestone Needle last year! Your reports and photos are truly an immersion experience and speak volumes to your genuine mountaineering spirit.

Congratulations !


11/20/2011 04:53
Congrats on an amazing journey, and wishing you the best for new adventures to come! Great photos-I had butterflies just looking at the knife edge photos!


This is old
06/19/2012 02:38
But I just HAD to drop a line to say I really enjoy reading your TR's and seeing your pictures.

Maybe in a few year I'll finish too!


Thank You
06/27/2012 18:11
You're trip reports fill me with such joy to see the reverence with which you hold the mountains you've summitted. You've been inspirational to me at least with the way that you've shared your stories climbing these peaks. Thank You and Congratulations!

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