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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2016-08-28||Route: Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake
Info: Most of the route up to K2 is free of snow with the exception of a couple of small snow fields that can easily be crossed without traction. Recent snow made the descent from K2 a bit slick so use extra caution on that section. Otherwise, conditions were typical for late summer.
|2016-08-28||Route: Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake
Info: Ominous conditions up there today with some snow and low cloud coverage, it was eerie going over the knife edge as one side of the ridge was covered in fog. Snow has made a couple areas around K2 very slippery, other than that trail was dry and in good condition.
|2016-08-27||Route: Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake
Info: 11:15 am and noon pics from Mt Sopris of Capitol Peak on 08/27/16. Snow up to summit of Sopris was negligible. Didn't see any significant weather move through the Elks today.
|2016-08-21||Route: Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake
Info: Route clear from snow all the way from lake to the peak. If you come across snow, just look around and find a way around it. No need for any traction. Also the road gets intense as people are parked like idiots on the road blocking the easiest path. Lot of big trucks and SUVs were not able to get all the way to the TH because people were parked blocking the road. I have not seen such bad parking even on the road to Kite Lake. This was evident both on my way in and way out. Multiple different cars blocking the road making the need of a 4 WD car a must to avoid hitting them.
|2016-08-20||Route: Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake
Info: It was a very busy Saturday out there. I had to be careful not to kick rocks down on folks. There were no surprises out there. There were a few snow patches, but all were easily avoidable. There were thunderstorms the night before, but we couldn't have asked for better weather. It held all day and I completed the 54!
|2016-08-15||Route: Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake
Info: The few small snowfields remaining between Daly Saddle and K2 can easily be avoided. No need for ax or traction. We put on microspikes briefly to cross one (maybe 20 steps)--but we were navigating in pitch black by headlamp and the snow was hard and icy that early. In the light of day, this snow could have easily been avoided by dropping only very slightly lower. What a peak!
|2016-07-29||Route: Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake
Info: Trail is totally clear of snow to the Daly saddle. There are a few small snow fields from the saddle to the talus field below K2, most can be avoided or crossed without ice axe/traction. No snow from K2 to the summit of Capitol. We did not bring ice axe/microspikes and did not regret that decision. The E face of Capitol (after the knife edge) has cairns marking the best route. Stuff above or below the cairned route tend to be very loose. A mountain goat ran across the NE face as we were descending from the summit and set off a few massive rock falls. Luckily it was below us, so it was fun to watch. It would be a different story had the mountain goat been above us.
|2016-07-18||Route: Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake
Info: Did Capitol as a day trip with a 70% chance of thunderstorms. Weather held off until 3 pm when we were in the car driving away from the mountain. There is still plenty of snow in between the Cap/Daly saddle and K2. We used microspikes/iceaxe combo and felt very comfortable utilizing all available snow to avoid loose rock. Some of the snow is unavoidable, some avoidable but we were both happy with our choice to carry snow gear. There is also a nice chunk of snow blocking the "easier way" around K2. Personally, I think going up and over K2 is much easier on the ascent and return. This was the part I was most worried about and found it to be severely over hyped, same with the knife edge. Most of the difficulties are in route finding and negotiating after the knifes edge. This is the best 14er in Colorado in my personal opinion. Fell in love, hard. Just follow the neon green cow diarrhea and you should have no problem with the early part of the route in the early morning dark (if opting as a day trip). We crossed a creek early on with no shoes on because we couldn't find a bridge or easy way over it. It was raging pretty good.
|2016-07-17||Route: Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake
Info: Still some snow left just after the saddle and on the talus section. There's a sketchy spot you can avoid by going lower (pictured), but who likes doing that ? It won't hurt to bring micro-spikes for a little longer(I didn't and wish I had) and some poles. The snow sections are still long enough in my opinion to warrant them. Glissaded sections on the way down. Prepare for many mosquitos and fly's on the approach and at camp.
|2016-07-14||Route: Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake
Info: We were a team of two. We hiked into Capitol Lake area and set-up camp at Site 7 on July 13th. Upper camps (including ours) filled up by the end of the day, but it was not "crowded". Others reported problems with marmots. We kept everything in the tent or hung items from a tree, and as such, had no marmot problems. We woke up around 4:00 a.m. on the 14th and hit the trail to the saddle by about 5:00 a.m. After the saddle, there were multiple snow crossings where spikes and an ice ax would have been used (had we brought them). On approach to the summit, we abandoned the loose talus along the standard route and scaled steep stable granite to the ridgeline where we traversed to the summit. We crossed paths with only two other teams of two (each) above the lake. We were the first to top out that day, and had the summit (in fact, most of the route) to ourselves. We retraced our steps back to the camp. On our way down through the snow crossings, we punched several post holes near rocks warmed by the sun. We returned to camp, packed out and started our descent to the trail head. We encountered a small brown-colored black bear sow with her cub along the trail on our way down. We made a lot of racket, but they would not clear out. The sow was between us and her cub. We passed without incident. The weather was mostly warm and clear, with some scattered clouds (single layer day). Mosquitos and biting flies were a bother between the trail head and lake.
|2016-07-09||Route: Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake
Info: As mentioned previously, it is smooth sailing all the way up to Daly saddle. The "backside" or Half Moon Basin is 85% packed with snow, and that means the "steep" gullies are snow packed. It is dry 300-400 ft below K2. I did the entire route with just my trail runners and hiking poles. K2 is still holding some steep snow that unless prepared to cross, can be avoided going over the top or dropping down further than normal.
|2016-07-03||Route: Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake
Info: From TH to Capitol Lake, there is only one part of snow, at the very end. The campsites are dry, and there is just a little bit of avoidable snow up to the saddle. We used our Ice axe's all the way up to K2, and our crampons from a little after the saddle to a rock field before K2. We didn't use our crampons, ice axe, or poles from K2 to summit. With some slippery conditions, it took 2 hours and 45 minutes to summit from K2. We went over K2 not around. This was the 43rd 14er on the list of 55 that my dad and I have summited.
|2016-06-26||Route: Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake
Info: The trail was mostly clear up until Capitol Lake where there were low- angle snow fields that were easily navigated with an ice ax but micro spikes or crampons would have been nice to have. Past these snow fields the hike up to the saddle between Daly and Capitol was clear but after reaching the top of the ridge and beginning to traverse the gullies on the East side of the ridge it became apparent that the steep gullies were packed with snow and crampons were a requirement and so we turned around.
|2016-05-25||Route: Secret Chute
Info: Ascended and Descended Secret Chute. Climbed the riding route to the top. Rode from the top with the hefty traverse. Coverage is great right now. Snow conditions somewhat similar to Pyramid (see report from the 23rd) Thermal Masses are producing unnerving rot. It's scary to climb around the rocks. The Southern Aspect had great turns off the top. The true eastern aspect had 20-30 cm of chalky powder on crust. The traverse featured good supportable snow. Lots of snow in secret chute. We felt very comfortable climbing with out a rope. lots of opportunities for protection with small nuts, small cams, and pitons. We left a biner and a piece of webbing on a horn at the SC saddle. lots of snow on top
|2016-04-26||Route: Capitol Creek Rd
Info: Snow clear within .9 miles of the upper trailhead. After precip last night the road was a little soft, no ruts other then 2/3 speed bumps. Photo at 7.3 miles from the junction.
|2015-11-12||Route: Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake
Info: Road to the trailhead was snow packed and slippery. Ended up parking small rental SUV with no 4wd in the horse trailer lot and hiking the 2 miles up to the trailhead. The first couple miles after the trailhead only had a few inches of snow. At about 10,000 feet the snow started getting much deeper. Snowshoes would have been nice. We ended up turning around just shy of Capitol Lake due to deep snow.
|2015-10-11||Route: Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake
Info: Overall still relativley snow free. The most snow we encountered was located on either side of K2. We did not feel the need to use microspikes. Knife edge to summit was 90% snow free.
|2015-09-25||Route: Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake
Info: Standard route is nearly all dry as of 9/25. The bypass on the north side of K2 is snowy. There are a few small pockets of snow in the gullies below Capitol‘s summit, which are avoidable or even helpful for kicking small steps into. I should be able to get some photos up later. Feel free to PM me if you‘re making an attempt soon and would like any additional info.
|2015-08-31||Route: Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake
Info: Absolutely no snow on the trail. I found the section between the Daly saddle and K2 to be the most unnerving. I also had to do a lot of route finding after the knife edge. None of the summit attempt is anything short of dangerous when wet. I learned this on the way back down between K2 and Daly saddle. Forewarning: I camped at site 7 near the lake. It rained all night and even though I was on the top of the hill, a stream ended up flowing through my tent and made for an unpleasant night. It seems the same happened to a camper in site 6.
|2015-08-23||Route: Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake
Info: My climbing partner and I hiked in to Capitol Lake on Saturday 8/22. We summited and hiked back out on Sunday 8/23. Beautiful hike. It‘s a great time of year to do Capitol! A couple pointers: - 4WD road to trailhead: We were in a low clearance 2WD sedan and made it to the trailhead. However, it is a gnarly road and we got a flat tire on the way up. I‘d encourage drivers with similar vehicles to park at the horse trailer parking lot that is called out in the route description. If you are starting and ending your hike at popular times, you might be able to hitchhike between the two parking lots. - Hike in to Capitol Lake: Left the trailhead at 11:30 am and arrived at the lake at 3:00 pm. Get to the lake early on a weekend if you want a good tent site. There were plenty of sites still available when we arrived. By 6:00 pm, there were slim pickings. - Summit Push: We left Capitol Lake at 5:15 am, summited at 9:15 am, and were back to Capitol Lake by 1:15 pm. - Hike back to Trailhead: We left Capitol Lake at 2:30 pm and reached the trailhead at 5:15 pm. - Gear Recommendations: As others have noted, the following are no longer necessary: crampons, micro spikes, ice axes, and gaiters. Helmets are a must since there are many times when you find yourself climbing directly below another party in terrain with loose rock. Bear cans are required due to recent bear activity.