Peak(s):  Capitol Peak  -  14,130 feet
Date Posted:  09/04/2020
Date Climbed:   09/03/2020
Author:  SpringsDuke
Additional Members:   HikesInGeologicTime, xDoogiex
 #57 Capitol Peak   

#57 Capitol Peak

Success! If you read my previous report on Capitol from a month ago you know I failed the first time. Why? Cause I followed cairns that took me too low to this point here in the photo. I tried to climb that gully safely for two hours before realizing I was not on the 14ers website route. By then my energy was gone, the sun and wind had taken its toll on me, so I went home.

What did I change for this trip? First I went looking for the lower route and found this photo from a very great trip report from this website. A Weekend at the Capitol By: bdloftin77 Capitol Peak 09/13/2014. You can see from his photo and the photo above that I took on my failed attempt that he and his team did climb that nasty gully. So it is possible but I still would not recommend. And on this successful trip you will see I found the higher route this time and was much better to summit. I also took everything back an hour. So the day before we hiked and camped an hour earlier and the next morning woke up an hour earlier as well. I also bought new insoles for my hiking boots since they were shot and killed my feet last trip.

Camping at the lake again on this successful trip.

Sunrise in the huge boulder field that leads to K2. This boulder field is a pain and takes time to climb from the Mt Daly saddle to K2.

Still in the large boulder field looking up to K2.

Climbing K2. Some ice and snow but easy to avoid. Before you hit the K2 summit you can take a right and drop off K2 an easier way then we did last time. But no cool pictures like last time of that downclimb.

Pretty much all photos from here on out are after the knife edge. As this photo is while your still on the ridge proper after the knife edge.

Still on the ridge.

From here aim high and I advise you ignore the lower cairns. We know it does go and is doable now but even on this trip looking at that gully I got stuck on last trip I still didnt see a line I liked. VERY lose gully. Since the cairns are larger I started to think maybe its the winter route?

Aim for just below the "shark fin" then traverse over that loose gully across the face of Capitol. In my opinion that is the crux of the route.

Just below the ridge proper aiming high at the Shark Fin.

From the same spot in the photo above but now looking back at the route behind me.

A little further up the route but another photo of the route behind me. A cairn can be seen so there are cairns on this higher route as well.


Getting to the face to cross over the notch in the ridge.


Crossing the face of Capitol above the loose gully that I dislike with a passion. Again in my opinion this area is my crux since it is skinny, has loose dirt and small rocks, and is right above the steep nasty gully. At the end of the day though it still was not that bad. We never kicked down rocks or had any mishaps at all today!


Looking back at the route after crossing the face right before we took a right and climb up the ridge from the notch.

Climbing the ridge to Capitol.

Stay high for best solid climbing.



Looking back at the summit ridge.

Looking forward at the summit.

Summit Views. Pierre Lakes.

Summit Views. Capitol Lake and campground.



Summit Views. Snowmass.

Going back down the same way we came. Again Ill focus on most of the photos I took before we hit the knife edge on the way back.

Stay on the ridge till you hit this point and you can down climb to that dirt path.

On the dirt path going back to the notch in the ridge to then cross the face of Capitol and get back on the knife edge ridge.

Satans ridge from the notch area.

Cairns marking the ridge down to the notch area.

Climbing down to the notch

Climbing out of the notch

Cairns are still abundant up on this route

Cairns leading to the face crossing

Crossing the face again.




Down climbing back to the ridge proper and the knife edges.

Doogie standing on the knife edge

Back at camp. Took 5 hours to summit from here.

As I finish the last 14er this weekend I wanted to send a quick thanks to some I think deserve it. First would be Bill Middlebrook for the site here. As I continue to hike Colorado I will buy my gear from here to support as your site supported me on this journey. The first time I ever searched the internet for hiking/climbing beta it was for North Maroon, my favorite 14er. It was the trip report that WildWanderer did for North Maroon. I used your trip reports for all peaks I needed and would not have found this site of good beta on the climbs I wanted if it weren't for that post, thank you for that. HikesInGeologicTime thanks for being a badass and doing the hard peaks like Little Bear and Capitol with me. Also it was super fun to do winter climbing with you and getting Culebra when we first met off this site. And to all the other climbers I meet along the way, you were all great people and great climbing partners!

These next photos will be out of order as they were taken by xDoogiex of myself while climbing on parts of Capitol past the knife edge. This would be me going down the ridge to the notch after leaving the summit.

Working down the route back to K2.

Going up the ridge to the summit after crossing the face of Capitol.

Me on summit.

Climbing up towards the Shark Fin.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 18 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 51 53 56 57 58 59 60

Comments or Questions
Good Stuff
09/04/2020 01:20
Congratulations! One more to go!


Way to go back!
09/04/2020 08:00
I expected to see another TR from you of Cap! Congrats!

Good times
09/04/2020 08:29
Great climbing with ya


Awesome write-up!
09/04/2020 11:32
I€„˘m happy that hikers in years to come will have your report so they avoid making the same mistake we did back in July...would€„˘ve been super helpful to have such detailed pictures and descriptions!

It€„˘s been awesome doing snowflakes and the two hardest-rated fourteeners with you. Enjoy that champagne on San Luis - you€„˘ve earned it!


Thank you
09/04/2020 19:31
I have this one coming up fairly soon
And I really appreciate the great pics:
The knife ridge I am not worried about it€„˘s the
Last section that people say is hideous.
These will really help and great job summitting

Nice work!
09/05/2020 00:33
You€„˘ve knocked out Capitol - nice job! I remember when we slogged up Nellie Creek together to tick off Uncompaghre.

Really impressed - keep it up!


Nice report & photos
09/05/2020 21:20
I see you only have San Luis Peak left, so nothing can stop you now.

09/08/2020 16:51
So glad you made it safely along with HikesinGeologictimes!!. And also truly happy that only San Luis is left!. Congratulations!!

Excellent Report! Thnx!
09/26/2020 10:31
I created an account so that I could thank you! You helped me on Pyramid the past couple of weeks. I had to do it twice. Stopped at 13,800 the first time because I wasn't sure where I was. I had cut over too low and climbed the entire gray wall...twice as much as necessary. So we downclimbed correctly and I knew the route then for attempt #2. It was a smooth climb, no issues. Downclimb is always the hardest part especially in the class 4, but we made it. Now I'm getting ready to head to Capitol. If you see this message can you text me please 719-426-1968. I lived in the Springs for 6 years. Now in Edwards. We climbed Capitol last year about the same time but stopped at K2. I think I'll try to get over the Knifes Edge. : )
I've saved a lot of your photos...hopefully it looks the same when I'm there. Haha!

   Not registered? Click Here

Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2021®, 14ers Inc.