Deja Vu on Capitol Peak

Threads related to Colorado mountaineering accidents but please keep it civil and respectful. Friends and relatives of fallen climbers will be reading these posts.
Forum rules
Please be respectful when posting - family and friends of fallen climbers might be reading this forum.
Post Reply
User avatar
Conor
Posts: 978
Joined: 9/2/2014
14ers:summits41 ski6 winter6 
13ers:summits41 ski1 winter1 
Trip Reports (7)

Re: Deja Vu on Capitol Peak

Post by Conor » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:48 am

CHWitte wrote:
Conor wrote:Just to clarify, these are YOUR 4 big problems and don't originate from any analysis of accident reports? For instance, there is no evidence taking a route other than the standard route causes one to be more prone to an "accident."
This is simply not true. Almost every accident that has occurred recently has involved folks getting of the standard route and/or leaving their partner. Correlation to an accident/death, absolutely. Out of the 1000s of people that stay on the standard route, we rarely hear about an accident or death unless it's weather related and that's why it's point #4.

Look at the 5 deaths on Capitol last year. All involved going off the standard route. Look at the rescue on Capitol this week, Tuesday, July 10, 2018. Going off the standard route and not having rain gear.
I'm waiting for you to quote yourself....that would just make my day.

Going off route is the issue, not going off the "Standard" route. Perhaps my 1st grader can help you out with the difference?

You should read about the 2 times alpine rescue was called out to bierstadt on Mon, none of them "violated" your ADVICE.
User avatar
Monster5
Posts: 1666
Joined: 8/7/2009
14ers:summits58 winter30 
13ers:summits284 winter51 
Trip Reports (27)
Contact:

Re: Deja Vu on Capitol Peak

Post by Monster5 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:51 am

CHWitte wrote:Almost every accident that has occurred recently has involved folks getting of the standard route ...
IMO, the problem is less that people are going off their intended route, and more that 14er climbers never actually have to learn route finding in the first place. Route-finding, terrain analysis, and topo skills are under-emphasized on 14ers as preference is given to following colored line overlays on route photos, text blocks, and well-developed and popular trails.

Getting off route, or hitting an unfamiliar part of a route, is an aspect of mountaineering. It happens to everyone, some more often than others. Getting off route isn't the problem. The problem is not having the skillset to get back on one's intended route, or to a feasible alternate route. Being "prepared" doesn't necessarily mean stay on route. It means having an idea of what to do when (not if) you get off route.

That being said, I think the mass education approach won't ever be able to keep up with the crowds. Most people suited to mountaineering have to burn their hands before learning not to touch the stove.
"The road to alpine climbing is pocked and poorly marked, ending at an unexpectedly closed gate 5 miles from the trailhead." - MP user Beckerich
User avatar
AlexeyD
Posts: 1281
Joined: 10/28/2013
14ers:summits40 ski3 winter2 
Trip Reports (3)

Re: Deja Vu on Capitol Peak

Post by AlexeyD » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:59 am

Jeeze, this is getting silly. Going off-route, or even off the intended route, doesn't always lead to accidents and tragedies, in fact oftentimes it's perfectly fine to do so. It does so only when the attempted shortcut leads you into a bad place. Knowing when it's OK to do this and when it isn't is a function of being able to read a topo map, study and memorize the terrain beforehand, and other types of spatial awareness. Things that generally come from spending time in the mountains, as well as just doing your research.
User avatar
MonGoose
Posts: 1085
Joined: 8/14/2009
14ers:summits58 ski13 winter16 
13ers:summits45 ski11 winter4 
Trip Reports (14)
Contact:

Re: Deja Vu on Capitol Peak

Post by MonGoose » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:05 am

Subject: Deja Vu on Capitol Peak
mtree wrote:I think you can get the experience you need to climb Capitol without hiking/climbing an excessive number of class 2 peaks. A lot depends on the individual and the circumstances. That said, climbing Capitol without an experienced partner or without actual climbing experience leaves very little room for error. I believe that's the underlying point to this discussion. Poor planning, poor judgment, a misstep, or a simple accident can be deadly on this peak. Just as bad is not being physically or mentally up to the challenge. Skill is nice, but experience counts for something.

Conor, face it, either you got lucky (as we all have been to various extents) or you had enough experience and skill level to reasonably make a successful summit attempt to begin with. But to suggest someone can climb Capitol "on a whim" on this forum is braggadocious bravado. People have died doing exactly that. Send a couple dozen fools up there and I'm sure a few will come back alive. Those are the odds anyway. I'm sure Vegas would agree.
Very well said. This is an important message that we need to keep reinforcing.
User avatar
CHWitte
Posts: 278
Joined: 8/6/2008
14ers:summits58 
13ers:summits17 
Trip Reports (13)

Re: Deja Vu on Capitol Peak

Post by CHWitte » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:10 am

Conor wrote:Going off route is the issue, not going off the "Standard" route. Perhaps my 1st grader can help you out with the difference?
The standard route on any 14er has historically been developed as the safest way up and down the mountain. If another "route" was safer, the standard would change.

Thus, anytime you venture off this route, you are most likely increasing your chances of an accident. This is simple logic and in many of the accidents, you see folks not on the "safest" route.

Are there other routes that work, yes...but you might ask yourself, why isn't that route the standard? There is probably a reason based on safety.
(promotional text removed)
User avatar
CHWitte
Posts: 278
Joined: 8/6/2008
14ers:summits58 
13ers:summits17 
Trip Reports (13)

Re: Deja Vu on Capitol Peak

Post by CHWitte » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:12 am

AlexeyD wrote:Going off-route, or even off the intended route, doesn't always lead to accidents and tragedies, in fact oftentimes it's perfectly fine to do so.
Nobody ever said "always"

The discussion is about risk and going off the standard route typically increases this risk.
(promotional text removed)
User avatar
rijaca
Posts: 3186
Joined: 7/9/2006
14ers:summits58 winter4 
13ers:summits244 ski1 winter3 
Trip Reports (1)

Re: Deja Vu on Capitol Peak

Post by rijaca » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:14 am

CHWitte wrote: The standard route on any 14er has historically been developed as the safest way up and down the mountain. If another "route" was safer, the standard would change.

Thus, anytime you venture off this route, you are most likely increasing your chances of an accident. This is simple logic and in many of the accidents, you see folks not on the "safest" route.

Are there other routes that work, yes...but you might ask yourself, why isn't that route the standard? There is probably a reason based on safety.
Wrong! Historically the standard route often was the route that had the easiest TH access.
"A couple more shots of whiskey,
the women 'round here start looking good"
User avatar
CHWitte
Posts: 278
Joined: 8/6/2008
14ers:summits58 
13ers:summits17 
Trip Reports (13)

Re: Deja Vu on Capitol Peak

Post by CHWitte » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:19 am

rijaca wrote:
CHWitte wrote: The standard route on any 14er has historically been developed as the safest way up and down the mountain. If another "route" was safer, the standard would change.

Thus, anytime you venture off this route, you are most likely increasing your chances of an accident. This is simple logic and in many of the accidents, you see folks not on the "safest" route.

Are there other routes that work, yes...but you might ask yourself, why isn't that route the standard? There is probably a reason based on safety.
Wrong! Historically the standard route often was the route that had the easiest TH access.
Interesting. Which 14er(s) has a route that is more difficult than another route simply based on the TH feasibility? I'm curious.
(promotional text removed)
User avatar
HikerGuy
Posts: 958
Joined: 5/25/2006
14ers:summits58 
13ers:summits192 winter8 
Trip Reports (6)

Re: Deja Vu on Capitol Peak

Post by HikerGuy » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:23 am

CHWitte wrote:
rijaca wrote:
CHWitte wrote: The standard route on any 14er has historically been developed as the safest way up and down the mountain. If another "route" was safer, the standard would change.

Thus, anytime you venture off this route, you are most likely increasing your chances of an accident. This is simple logic and in many of the accidents, you see folks not on the "safest" route.

Are there other routes that work, yes...but you might ask yourself, why isn't that route the standard? There is probably a reason based on safety.
Wrong! Historically the standard route often was the route that had the easiest TH access.
Interesting. Which 14er(s) has a route that is more difficult than another route simply based on the TH feasibility? I'm curious.
Little Bear for one.
User avatar
yaktoleft13
Posts: 225
Joined: 4/17/2017
14ers:summits58 winter5 
13ers:summits94 winter5 
Trip Reports (11)

Re: Deja Vu on Capitol Peak

Post by yaktoleft13 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:24 am

CHWitte wrote:
Conor wrote:Going off route is the issue, not going off the "Standard" route. Perhaps my 1st grader can help you out with the difference?
The standard route on any 14er has historically been developed as the safest way up and down the mountain. If another "route" was safer, the standard would change.

Thus, anytime you venture off this route, you are most likely increasing your chances of an accident. This is simple logic and in many of the accidents, you see folks not on the "safest" route.
That's why I spend every Saturday and Sunday at SCL with a bullhorn yelling at everyone on the Arete that they're off the standard route and to immediately descend.
User avatar
CHWitte
Posts: 278
Joined: 8/6/2008
14ers:summits58 
13ers:summits17 
Trip Reports (13)

Re: Deja Vu on Capitol Peak

Post by CHWitte » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:27 am

HikerGuy wrote:
CHWitte wrote:
rijaca wrote:
Wrong! Historically the standard route often was the route that had the easiest TH access.
Interesting. Which 14er(s) has a route that is more difficult than another route simply based on the TH feasibility? I'm curious.
Little Bear for one.
What's the better route up Little Bear?
(promotional text removed)
User avatar
Hershel
Posts: 43
Joined: 8/5/2013
14ers:summits43 winter1 
13ers:summits2 
Trip Reports (1)

Re: Deja Vu on Capitol Peak

Post by Hershel » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:29 am

CHWitte wrote:
rijaca wrote:
CHWitte wrote: The standard route on any 14er has historically been developed as the safest way up and down the mountain. If another "route" was safer, the standard would change.

Thus, anytime you venture off this route, you are most likely increasing your chances of an accident. This is simple logic and in many of the accidents, you see folks not on the "safest" route.

Are there other routes that work, yes...but you might ask yourself, why isn't that route the standard? There is probably a reason based on safety.
Wrong! Historically the standard route often was the route that had the easiest TH access.
Interesting. Which 14er(s) has a route that is more difficult than another route simply based on the TH feasibility? I'm curious.
I can't speak to this ('easiest TH access') but checkout the standard route for Mt.Wilson. It's class 4. I completed one of the class 3 alternatives, which is shorter mileage and less vert. Also I've done an alternative route for Elbert which was also shorter and still class 1 but the TH requires 4WD access.
Every Man Dies, Not Every Man Really Lives -William Wallace
Post Reply