Peak(s):  Capitol Peak  -  14,130 feet
Date Posted:  08/10/2009
Modified:  09/07/2009
Date Climbed:   08/09/2009
Author:  zeekzilch

 Flies on a dead cow - videos and pix  

Standard Route via the Ditch Trail approach
Elevation Gained - 1,769 metres (5,800 feet)
Roundtrip Distance - 29 kilometres (18 miles - one extra mile due to getting lost on a cow trail and a few other places...)
ZeekZilch's time to summit - 3:55
Roundtrip time for Barb and Zeek - 8:50


First, a big Thank You to Bill Middlebrook for putting together - it's bringing a lot of good folks together, in the mountains, for some safe and memorable climbs. This report is about me (Roger J. Wendell aka ZeekZilch), Barb (booboo), Al (piper14er), Ken, and Chris - most of us having met either through or along the climb! We also met Steve Gladbach, Eric (lostsheep5), Bret (they summited the day before) and many other familiar names, avatars, and faces along the trail to Capitol Lake - most excellent!

Second, a HUGE Thank You to the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative () for the fantastic work they do on our trails. I have a picture of their crew, below, which also includes members of the Sierra Club's GL section. The Sierra Club does fantastic work for our environment and their GLS group is always involved as well! ()

Finally, a BIG THUMBS DOWN to grazing cattle on public lands (welfare grazing)! The destruction of alpine meadows, flies and cow pies throughout the Snowmass Wilderness area is intolerable and must come to an end! YOU can help expedite the demise of cattle by giving up meat - it's easy to do and will be a lot healthier for you AND the planet! ()

Here are my personal pages about 14ers, low impact techniques, and the Ten Essentials:


YouTube videos here and further down the page...
If all you see is white space here it's because your boss has blocked YouTube and wants you to get back to work! (Scroll further below to see the photographs)

    Flies on a dead cow along side the Capitol Creek trail in the Snowmass Wilderness area


    Barb being held-up on the Knife Edge by Chris, Ken and me joking a bit...


    Barb on top Capitol Peak


    Al, Barb, and Ken downclimbing


    Al, Barb, and Ken downclimbing


    Al and Barb hiking back to Capitol Lake


    Get those cows off public land!


Pix Galore:

   Welcome to the parking area (even on Capitol things can get crowded on a weekend...)


    Barb alongside the ditch trail


   Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
   I took the one less traveled by,
   And that has made all the difference.
   - Robert Frost


    Cow pie pollution


    Keep cows off our public lands!!


    Barb hiking toward Capitol Lake with Capitol Peak clearly visible


    Cows at 3,505 metres (aprx 11,300 feet) - just below Capitol Peak


    Most Excellent volunteers from the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative and the Sierra Club's GLS group


    Early morning start with a 3/4 moon overhead


    Al leading the way, before sunrise, with a colour map from!


    Al leads us up some 3rd and 4th class terrain (that little white spot is the moon...)


    Capitol Peak as seen from the ridge


    Chris (holding camera), Al, Ken, and Barb making their way across that famous Knife Edge!


    Ken on the Knife Edge


    Chris, Ken, Al (and me) slowing Barb up on the Knife Edge...


    Ken and Chris on top of Capitol Peak - Peace to you, brothers!


    Barb making her way over the last few metres of ridge before reaching Capitol's summit


    Barb on top of Capitol and very glad we're not blocking her way anymore!


    Barb, Al, and Ken downclimbing off Capitol's summit


    Barb, Al, and Ken downclimbing some 3rd and 4th class terrain on Capitol's summit block


    Barb, Al, and Ken downclimbing some 3rd and 4th class terrain on Capitol's summit block


    Barb, Al, Ken, and Chris taking a break directly beneath K2


    Barb and Al making their way back to Capitol Lake


    Barb and Al making their way back down to Capitol Lake


    Horses catching up with Barb and me along the Capitol Creek trail


Even more YouTube videos!
Again, if all you see is white space it's because your boss wants you to stop watching videos and get back to work! However, below these videos (or white space) are a couple of photos of my favorite climber...

   Neil Bidleman dancing on the Knife Edge


    Horses pass us along the Capitol Creek trail...


    ZeekZilch makes his way to the top of K2


    ZeekZilch makes his way to the top of Capitol Peak


    Roger J. Wendell (aka ZeekZilch) on top Capitol Peak


    Roger J. Wendell (aka ZeekZilch), self portrait on top of K2 with Capitol Peak in the background

All photos and videos by Roger J. Wendell
except the one of him standing on top
Capitol Peak - I'm pretty sure Chris took that one! 

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Good report!
03/04/2012 18:31
Good pics, videos and over all congrats! Your almost done!


lostsheep5‘s Capitol report??
08/11/2009 13:49
Thanks Eric! However, where‘s your own report from Capitol the day before???



You made us look good!
08/11/2009 14:01
Great videos and pictures. Thanks for letting me tag along. Fun time.


08/11/2009 22:35
Very nice report, can‘t wait untill next year for these last few!


Was that mud or a cow pie?
08/11/2009 22:47
First, thanks for getting Barb to the top! She is on a mission!! Second, I remember that hike all in one day, hiking at night you think you are stepping in mud until you come down at the end of the day & it is cow poo... ICK!


Snowfield crossings?
08/13/2009 03:42
Yo Roger,
Another trip report from a climb one week prior to yours talked about opting for crampons/ice axe on the snow fields. Do you see the need for them? Planning on doing it this weekend if we can get a decent weather forecast, that is.


dchambliss - Snowfield crossings?
08/13/2009 13:31
You really need an ice axe (or at least I needed one!). Our groupd didn‘t need YakTrax or crampons - nor did a groupd that did it the day before us. The weather remains questionable for this weekend though...


Ice Axe, footwear, Depends??
11/30/2010 17:28
Great photos! Congrats! You mentioned that you really needed an ice axe and I'm wondering about the details. Would walking sticks suffice or was the angle of the snow dictating the need for the axe? How large are the snowfields? Thanks; I'm hoping to go midweek so I'm planning my pack weight. Thanks!


CoulCat - Ice Axe, footwear, Depends??
08/18/2009 01:50
I believe hiking poles could replace the ice axe but I‘m not sure as I‘ve never used poles before. But, others used ‘em so I suspect if you can kind of self-arrest with them you‘ll be okay. Hope that helps and hope I‘m not too late - just got back from the Crestones so I‘m a little bit out-of-the-loop on snowfields but the ones on Capitol were only 100 feet wide, at most...

Hope this helps!

Roger J. Wendell

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