Deja Vu on Capitol Peak

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MonGoose
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Re: Deja Vu on Capitol Peak

Post by MonGoose » Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:27 pm

Thankful we're talking about a rescue and not another fatality.
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dwoodward13
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Re: Deja Vu on Capitol Peak

Post by dwoodward13 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:51 pm

MonGoose wrote:Thankful we're talking about a rescue and not another fatality.
+1

I think one advantage of earning your stripes on easier peaks is margin for error. We all have made mistakes on the mountains. That might be misjudging the if that dark cloud is moving toward you, taking a wrong turn, or not stopping to filter water when we should have. This guy just happened to make his 'shortcut' mistake on a peak like Capitol. Of course you can make your mistakes and learn from them many other places than the 14ers, but given the popularity of the 14ers, the easier peaks become the proving grounds so to speak for the masses.
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mtree
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Re: Deja Vu on Capitol Peak

Post by mtree » Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:51 pm

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.
- I didn't say it was your fault. I said I was blaming you.
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Re: Deja Vu on Capitol Peak

Post by Conor » Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:12 pm

Reading comprehension not required for the 14ers.com hive mentality.
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mtree
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Re: Deja Vu on Capitol Peak

Post by mtree » Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:15 pm

Conor wrote:Reading comprehension not required for the 14ers.com hive mentality.
+1
- I didn't say it was your fault. I said I was blaming you.
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Re: Deja Vu on Capitol Peak

Post by mtnkub » Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:20 pm

Conor wrote:....but there is more than one way to skin a cat (and do so safely, if not in a more safe manner).
Safe or not... i just don't know why one would want to skin a cat in the first place...
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Re: Deja Vu on Capitol Peak

Post by Buckshot Jake » Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:34 pm

Conor wrote:shows the inexperience of the commentor themselves. These people are a bit stuffy....and probably less prepared than I was "on a whim.".
You're reaching.
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Re: Deja Vu on Capitol Peak

Post by Hershel » Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:45 pm

XterraRob wrote:
Monster5 wrote:I have partners who have never climbed a significant mountain who could casually climb Capitol on their own without any issues.
I have partners who have already climbed Capitol yet I still wouldn't be cool with even leading them up Capitol. Shoot, I have partners with hundreds of 13ers and 14ers on their peaklists who have absolutely no business being more than one mile from a solid trail on their own. Additionally, some hardmen rock climbers I know would get lost heading up Bierstadt.

Common sense goes a long way in mountaineering, and I'd say just as far as actual peak experience sometimes. There are many "'paths" to gaining the skillset necessary to climb Capitol. Peak quantity and technical skills development help (preferably both), but they aren't the end-all for being able to follow a cairned and traveled class 2-4 route.
Great Post Ryan!
+1

Sunlight was my third peak ever (Grays & Quandary were first). The same year I bagged Sunlight, I ran into a girl who had just completed all of the 14ers in 2 years. She proceeded to explain to me how I needed to take a step back and get more experience before attempting another one like that. %&$# that. She didn't even try (or ask) to take in the context that I'm in really good shape, have a lot of comfort (and experience) with heights and climbing, and also that I was with several other very experienced 14er hikers. We just can't assume we know what kind of hiker someone is by the number of 14ers they've bagged. Granted I'm all about this community being more proactive and assuming a climber is less experienced then they might be. Better to possibly offend and make sure they have the correct information then the other way around.
Every Man Dies, Not Every Man Really Lives -William Wallace
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Eli Boardman
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Re: Deja Vu on Capitol Peak

Post by Eli Boardman » Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:43 pm

Heading out tomorrow to attempt Capitol (solo) on Friday. Hoping not to witness any problems...
Monster5 wrote:I have partners who have never climbed a significant mountain who could casually climb Capitol on their own without any issues.
I have partners who have already climbed Capitol yet I still wouldn't be cool with even leading them up Capitol. Shoot, I have partners with hundreds of 13ers and 14ers on their peaklists who have absolutely no business being more than one mile from a solid trail on their own. Additionally, some hardmen rock climbers I know would get lost heading up Bierstadt.
Exactly. One of my main technical climbing partners has climbed 3 mountains: Bierstadt, Capitol, and the Grand Teton (in that order.) Another one of my usual partners climbed all of the 14ers by age 12. Which one is a better mountaineer? Hard to say. Either would be more than qualified for any of the 14ers.

Thanks for taking me out for a trad lesson last year, by the way. I finally led my first trad 5.9 (Touch 'n' Go in Eldo) in May. Not something impressive enough to brag about, I know, just wanted to toss out a quick thank-you for giving me my first trad experience. :)
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Re: Deja Vu on Capitol Peak

Post by oldschoolczar » Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:08 pm

Monster5 wrote:I have partners who have never climbed a significant mountain who could casually climb Capitol on their own without any issues.
I have partners who have already climbed Capitol yet I still wouldn't be cool with even leading them up Capitol. Shoot, I have partners with hundreds of 13ers and 14ers on their peaklists who have absolutely no business being more than one mile from a solid trail on their own. Additionally, some hardmen rock climbers I know would get lost heading up Bierstadt.

Common sense goes a long way in mountaineering, and I'd say just as far as actual peak experience sometimes. There are many "'paths" to gaining the skillset necessary to climb Capitol. Peak quantity and technical skills development help (preferably both), but they aren't the end-all for being able to follow a cairned and traveled class 2-4 route.
+ another 1

Agreed. I climbed Kelso Ridge solo as my first 14er. I didn't think the mountain was technically very challenging and I feel like I probably could've progressed to Capitol that summer after getting in a bit better shape. However, at my future wife's request, I decided to progress slowly with increasing difficulty. I feel really comfortable now after 41 peaks taking on any of the remaining 14ers solo.

I think I probably would've been fine on Capitol back then, but I have to say I've learned a lot taking it slow. Learned a lot about just being comfortable in an endeavor that's usually defined by suffering and being uncomfortable. I feel pretty comfortable making weather calls, routefinding, etc. I'm more aware of the seriousness of rockfall. These are things I didn't really have a great grasp of or appreciation for when just starting out.

There was a phenomenon I encountered on Quandary that really gave me a great respect for the objective hazards in the mountains. I was hiking on a nice, mostly cloudless day on Quandary about 100 feet shy of the summit when all of a sudden I just got blasted with a microburst or freak wind gust out of absolutely nowhere. There was no warning. The wind was strong enough to slightly lift me off my feet and make me lose my balance to a point where I almost fell over. My hat flew off my head and looked like a bird soaring through the valley in the wind. I'm pretty sure if I encountered that same phenomenon on an exposed peak like Capitol that I would be dead. That one incident really opened my eyes to the fact that you can be doing everything right and still die.
“what matters most is
how well you
walk through the
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Re: Deja Vu on Capitol Peak

Post by oldschool » Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:50 pm

My .02 cents....

I've got almost all of the 14ers done. I've been up El Cap, Half Dome, and spent 23 years climbing Yosemite Valley and the Sierra's, Lake Tahoe...lots of stuff. This includes technical rock climbing, big wall, and hike/scamble. Started climbing in 1975.

Just about 2 weeks ago I did the Crestone traverse. I have done Capitol 3 times, including the Cap to Snowmass traverse. I can say without hesitation that the Crestone traverse caused me to take pause, get my head together, pull up my big boy pants, and dial in! Not saying Cap is easy...saying peaks, climbs, and scrambles all require different mind sets, skill sets, and head strength. The Knife Edge is the least of my worries on Cap...

It is frightening to see, after last year, the report of 2 major errors..1)leaving your partner! 2) looking for a shortcut!

Don't do either. ..EVER!

The message from sage and experienced hikers/climbers is either not reaching the ears of others or being purposely ignored.

Shortcut's in mountaineering are shortcut's to a coffin.
"There's a feeling I get when I look to the West and my spirit is crying for leaving" Led Zeppelin
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Re: Deja Vu on Capitol Peak

Post by DArcyS » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:39 pm

Monster5 wrote:I have partners who have never climbed a significant mountain who could casually climb Capitol on their own without any issues.
I have partners who have already climbed Capitol yet I still wouldn't be cool with even leading them up Capitol. Shoot, I have partners with hundreds of 13ers and 14ers on their peaklists who have absolutely no business being more than one mile from a solid trail on their own. Additionally, some hardmen rock climbers I know would get lost heading up Bierstadt.

Common sense goes a long way in mountaineering, and I'd say just as far as actual peak experience sometimes. There are many "'paths" to gaining the skillset necessary to climb Capitol. Peak quantity and technical skills development help (preferably both), but they aren't the end-all for being able to follow a cairned and traveled class 2-4 route.
Yeah, peakbagging isn't technical rock climbing, and technical rock climbing isn't peakbagging. Competency in one doesn't ensure safety in the other.

Lots of comments on when a person is ready for class 3 or class 4. My litmus test is athleticism. Did you grow up playing sports? Are you uncoordinated and klutzy? To me these are hints as to whether or not you can climb a hard mountain safely. Give me a 60-year old who's only climbed 100 class 2 peaks and an athletic 25 year-old who hasn't ever climbed, and I'll put my money on the young one for being able to do the class 4 climbing on Capitol safely. But, like I said, it's a litmus test. Your pH may vary. Some people who never did a thing athletically as a kid may have some innate athleticism that emerges as an adult when they start to climb.

I'm also okay with Conor climbing Capitol on a whim given he's climbed Sunlight Spire and knows a little something about the outdoors. Perhaps he needs reminding here and there that he's actually a good climber.
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