Peak(s):  Capitol Peak  -  14,130 feet
Date Posted:  09/06/2009
Date Climbed:   08/31/2009
Author:  jmg6429

 What are two out of shape 40yr old doing on Capitol?  

Having a good time thats what. It was easily the most challenging hike/climb of my life. I didn‘t even want to look back at the mountain on the hike out for hours. It was worth it, I am very happy for the experience, it was not beyound my ability, Im glad we did not use ropes, and it beat me up!

We took the wrong trail on our first attempt. There is a road to the right of the trail - we were told that was the trail and it would avoid elevation loss. Stupid us! My brother and I got to the TH for Hell Roaring Trail and kept going. It was a great hike and we camped up high - good fun but the wrong way.

The next day we resupplied and headed up the Capital Ditch trail - (did I mention we are out of shape 40yr olds?) 5.5 hours later we made it to the lake. Campsite #6 has the best, if only view of the lake, mountain and keeps the sun the longest. The last thing you want to do after gettting to the lake is to climb up to your camp site, but it‘s worth it.

Next morning started hike around 4:45am. Probably about 40 degrees, so pretty comfortable. Took us old guys about one hour to get to Daly/Capitol saddle. (This is where the climb starts) From there we took the high route, not staying lower in the talus fields - it was faster but more effort. 3 points of contact at all times.

Met up with Nelson right around K2. thanks for climbing with us, good meeting you. Good luck on finishing the 14ers in the near future.

The knife edge is the entry way to capitol. It is relativey easy compare to what you have after it. Straddle it in places, hang on to one side and move across that way, exposure is much but tolerable.

What really worked me was the rest of the route, just continuous testing of holds, climbing, route finding, WORK. Like I said earlier though - it was rewarding as most things that you have to work for are!

About 5.5 hours from Campsite #6 to summit, 3.5 hours back to campsite, and another 3.5 (or so) hours back to TH.

This mountain is unlike any of the class 2 mountains I have climbed to date. They were all hikes. This was a CLIMB. If this will be your first Class 4 - go for it, have fun, and be ready to work for it. I did.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Nice Job
09/06/2009 17:12
Way to get up there Mike and John. Now the rest of the Elk range awaits. Good luck and happy climbing.


Congrats, again!
09/07/2009 18:17
It was great climbing with you guys. I hope the rest of the week went as well.



09/08/2009 22:44
Ok, 2 out of shape 40 year olds...yeah, right!
Wait until you are in your mid 50‘s. Then you can take out of shape to a new art form.


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