Peak(s):  Capitol Peak  -  14,130 feet
Date Posted:  09/07/2005
Modified:  04/18/2007
Date Climbed:   09/03/2005
Author:  doumall

 Capitol Peak Dayclimb - Knife Edge Ridge  

Yep, the best one indeed (well havent done the Eolus group yet). Capitol has everything. Drove to the trailhead Friday night of Labor Day weekend and slept in the back of my truck. Started down the hill to Capitol Creek at 3:30 am. Reached Capitol Lake in 2 hrs, took a 20min nap in the tundra to wait for the sun. From there to the summit in 3.5 hrs.

Here is a tip on the route from the Daly-Capitol saddle to K2. Wait to cross the first large snowfield, then ascend class 2+ terrain directly toward the ridge. As the terrain eases, the talus hop to K2 is on deliteful slabs and it avoids the many other snowfields in the lower basin.

Didnt see anyone else which made me feel somewhat uneasy, so I took my time on the ridge from K2. This is the best strech of climbing on the 14ers I have done. Awesome! The most class 4 on any of them. The knife edge is pure fun. Roach's route is best after this, staying just south of the ridge, maybe 20-30 feet below until you reach a rock rib to climb back to the ridge proper. From here there are several class 4 pitches to the final summit ridge walk scramble. Here is a pic which gives some idea of the climbing after the knife edge:

Great views of Snowmass, which I will spare you until you climb this yourself. Dont want to ruin it. Met another solo climber shorlty after the summit down climb and the first group (3) of the day near the knife edge. They decided to use a rope on the knife edge. I guess the idea is jump over the opposite side as your partner is falling down and you will stop his fall. Crazy... One other solo right after them. A nice peaceful, secluded 14er on Labor Day weekend. Two other groups turned around at K2. The views in the daylight on the way back to the trailhead were a perfect cap on the day. Round trip of 9.5 hours.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

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