Click to Expand
|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|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.
|2015-08-17||Route: Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake
Info: Time started: 5:00am End time: 5:45pm Time to Summit: 7 hours and 20 minutes Time to Descent: 5 hours and 25 minutes Overall Pace: 1.5 miles per hour This was my 26th fourteener this summer. I‘m attempting to climb them all. You can read more about this hike and others at sunshineof1985.com! Enjoy! *GEAR (to bring): Helmet, GPS, extra socks, phone, SPOT Satellite Tracker, Map, Topo Map from 14ers.com, hiking boots with 2 pairs of socks on, long-sleeve, wind-guard/raincoat, light weight puffy coat (didn‘t need), lightweight gloves (didn‘t need), day pack with water sack, snacks. *Road Condition: The road is rough with typical pot holes and pointy rocks, but my sedan was able to make it all the way to the trailhead. *Trail Condition: The trail through the woods is great (minus all the poop)- until it rains, then it becomes really bad mud- not fun. Also, THERE ARE COWS ON THE TRAIL! Don‘t confuse them for bears like I did. The trek through the meadows and all the way to the lake are straight forward. There is a confusing part about crossing Capitol Creek, but I outlined directions below with pictures. The backside of the mountain is all large boulders and some snow until you get to K2, then the real fun begins (class 3 and 4 climbing). Here, I did get scared (not frozen, just deeply focused).
|2015-08-15||Route: Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake
Info: Just a little snow remains on the back side of K2. No need for axe or traction on standard route. Be prepared for a long day on the mountain with a lot of fun class 4. Not many places to refill water. Make sure you bring enough. You‘ll be working. I didn‘t see any signs of the bear(s). Don‘t forget your Bear vault if you spend the night at the lake. The NFS requires use of a bear vault.
|2015-08-09||Route: Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake
Info: Left camp: 4:30 am Return to camp: 2:30 pm Gear: Crampons, ice ax, helmut (duh..) Bear activity: None whatsoever I‘m a few days late putting this up. I climbed with Cbrobin and Gerrbear on Sunday. I wore crampons up the snowfield but it can be avoided by walking on the rocks. The time it took me to put on and take off my crampons didn‘t really save me much time, although the snow even at 6:30am was great. We went around K2 on the way out, over the top on the way back. If I do it again I will go over both ways. The downclimb to the ridge didn‘t seem bad at all and is on solid granite, whereas the "around" option was loose above steep gullies. Sketchy! The ridge was fun! A combination of sit & scoot and walking and it was over in no time. In my opinion the most exposed part of this climb is the summit block after the ridge. It requires constant focus the entire way. Rock fall by hikers above was not a big problem, most people are courteous and aware of others. I would do this again! Thanks Chris and Gerry for being my climbing partners and for such a great day of hiking!
|2015-08-05||Route: Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake
Info: Conditions similar to the last report. There is still a lot of snow on the back side of K2. Part of our party was able to cross without ice axes, but especially early when the snow was still hard, an axe was nice for stability. Snow was really hard in the morning. Saw a bear at a campsite below the lake and tried to drive him off with the help of another group. The camper had left food in his tent and pack, no vault. The bear was not very scared of people. Even with seven of us trying to pack up the food and hang it higher, he stayed around circling the site. Bring a vault!
|2015-08-02||Route: Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake
Info: A group of friends and I recently climbed Capitol‘s standard route. We knew it was going to be a great climb, so we brought GoPros to film the experience. Highlights of the video include the snow crossings, climb over K2, the Knife Edge, and the epic, often underestimated summit ridge. Hope you enjoy, and let me know what you think!: https://youtu.be/yYlggP805tc
|2015-07-25||Route: Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake
Info: 4-5 Snowfields still persist on the backside. My partner and I had ice-axes and we are glad we did - ended up cutting steps for others. Snow softened up on the descent. Bears still a problem and apparently there was an "incident/encounter" (as posted on a USFS sign at the trail junction - whatever that means) on the west snowmass trail. We saw a bear as we were leaving and he was not frightened away by our presence in the least. Good luck.
|2015-07-18||Route: Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake
Info: Safely climbed Capitol on Saturday. Summer conditions all the way to the Daly saddle. There‘s a lot of snow on the back which was nice to cross with an ice ax. (see the photos) I‘d recommend carrying the extra weight of the ice ax to have peace of mind crossing those snow fields. There‘s a small snow field on the right side of K2 which is the suggested easiest route. We didn‘t mess with that snow field and instead climbed higher up K2. There are some good cairns that should get you to the summit.