Capitol Peak  
Condition Updates  
 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-10-21, By: timewarp01
Info: Route is completely snow free except for some easily avoidable patches before K2 and on the ledges below Capitol's summit. Very high wind on the knife edge made it even more interesting. Intended to take the summit ridge direct after the knife, but ended up bailing onto the standard route due to the wind. Otherwise perfect weather, nobody else on the mountain. 
 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-10-12, By: Lordofthegnar
Info: No clue how much snow Cap got on Sunday but conditions were 99.99% dry on Sat 10/10/2020. I went up and over K2 and there was a little bit of frozen snow at the base when ascending, but easily avoidable. Likewise there was some snow and ice in the middle of some of the cairned paths through the talus section. Speaking of, holy smokes, no one gives the talus section enough cred - that part sucks. Multiple cairned paths at different latitudes through it...I wanted to kill myself coming back through it. Save some energy for that for sure. Really awesome hike though. Absolutely stunning virtually the entire time. 
 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-10-05, By: Wish I lived in CO
Info: Summited on Saturday (3rd). The route is 100% dry, with the only exception being there is some snow for the bypass around K2 (some by-passers who took it reported that way to be "sketch") - but the option up and down K2 (which is a better choice anyway) is all dry. Regarding weather, was essentially perfect - clear and only moderately cooler than summer; forecast through Thurs. is the same as what was experienced, with some moderate cooling and moderate chances of snow starting over the weekend. Fall colors were at peak on Saturday, but should last nicely for at least a week. Get it now if you want it! 
 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-10-04, By: Peak200
Info: Summited on Thursday. Only one tiny amount of snow on the north side of K2. Otherwise dry. Weather was perfect dry and little wind. Our group only saw one other person on the peak All day . Capital is as hard as most people say it Is. The knife edge is very nerve wracking but doable. Route finding around K2 and after the knife edge is the key to sumitting 
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Route: Northeast Ridge from Snowmass TH Moon Lake Approac
Posted On: 2020-09-28, By: jryor121
Info: Started at the Snowmass TH. After a 6 mile bushwhack off the Snowmass to Capitol trail (which includes an immediate barefoot river crossing) through trees, mud, avalanche debris, and much else, you arrive at moon lake. From moon lake you continue towards the Daly saddle and eventually catch up to the standard trail past the gullies coming down from the saddle. The route had 1 mandatory snowfield crossing There's 3 different snow tracks on the route. Do not take the highest up track, it'll put you into more trouble. The lower 2 tracks are the correct route. From there everything else is snow free, and the trip is very standard. Even with the hard 25 mph winds, I was still able to walk across the overhyped knife edge on my way up to the summit. I would only recommend this approach if you really enjoy a strenuous and very not straightforward off trail route full of decision making. https://www.strava.com/activities/4116755804 
 
Route: Ridge direct, modified
Posted On: 2020-09-27, By: Gandalf69
Info: Went up from saddle, skirted cliffs but didn't go on top of ridge. A bit sketchy in spots. Not sure how much time I saved but was fun scrambling. Route is dry, snowfields are totally available in basin. Fall colors are in. 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-25, By: PikaSteve
Info: Most recent snow has mostly melted from standard route. All remaining snow can be easily avoided except for north facing slope of K2 “easiest way”. For K2 downclimb, you can angle right to meet up with “easiest way” at prominent cairn where bypass crosses from north facing slope to west facing slope. Two snow patches highlight the end of the upper east face; you can keep your feet on solid rock, but the snow gives a good beacon for the route to the notch in the ridge line. See recent helpful trip report from SpringsDuke for more advice on which of many sets of cairns to choose from. Smoke staying north, fall colors, blue skies, no wind and climbing challenges all made for a wonderful backpacking and climbing trip in spite of the long, strenuous summit day. When she's not busy maintaining the excellent trail to Capitol Lake, the ranger is checking to make sure that all backpackers have a bear canister. 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-19, By: Cereal
Info: Dry/summer conditions with two exceptions: - the small snowfields as you traverse south after the saddle (see photo 12 of route description)… we used microspikes on one of them because it was dark, but on our descent we realized the snow could be crossed easily below it - the "easiest way around K2" to the west has snow on it, but we went up and over K2 on ascent and descent to avoid this Thus, you can leave the spikes at home. 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-14, By: jahselassie
Info: We stayed on the ridge the entire way to the summit from the saddle of Daly. Wet feet and slick rock. 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-04, By: mickknu16
Info: Bluebird and quiet day on Cap. Snow patch to the side of K2 still remains, but is passable without traction with careful footing. Crowds were packing in for the weekend. Get it while conditions are good! 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-03, By: HikesInGeologicTime
Info: Snow from last weekend is almost entirely avoidable and only small patches where it isn't; no need for microspikes yet. Campsites at Capitol Lake filled quickly last night (Wednesday), so plan ahead if you're planning to go up this weekend. 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-03, By: JROSKA
Info: Capitol Peak got a few inches of snow up high on Monday and it was still there two days later, mostly on north-facing aspects. It was somewhat problematic on the north side of K2. Just be mindful that it may take a few days to melt out and there may be ice in the morning in that area through the weekend. Consider bringing microspikes or just going up and over K2 instead of around the north side. Beyond that, knife edge and beyond, snow was not an issue. 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-08-31, By: Marshall
Info: *It rained/hailed/snowed a good amount on my hike out, so it might be wise to look for a more up-to-date report.* The (ditch) trail was in very good shape the whole way to the saddle. I went along the ridge from the saddle up to K2 and tried to stay on top of the ridge as much as possible. Definitely some really exposed stuff this way, but there were options here and there to circumvent the most challenging parts. The rock was mostly solid, and it was apparent where it wasn't going to hold. From K2 to the summit I stayed on the ridge as well after initially following cairns through looser stuff below. Give me the solid ridgeline over the loose rubble any day. I came off K2 through the gully and only stepped on snow for about 20 ft. No traction needed. Times (I hiked quickly, went at a normal speed on the ridges): 1:50 to the lake 2:20 to the saddle 4:20 to summit Pictures are parts of the ridge from saddle to K2. 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-08-23, By: durkan
Info: Crossed frozen snow fields on the east side of the Daly-K2 ridge early in the morning, but avoidable if you just go low and regain elevation later. They were soft by the afternoon. After tagging K2, avoid going up and over to the south as previously described. Found the west face to be a slab as well, so returning to the northwest or north was better for us. Lots of traffic today, but groups split between ridge of Capitol's Northeast Ridge proper and the main trail on the east face. Pick your poison and be safe: this one is solid where it needs to be on (i.e. on the Knife Edge) but loose on the east face before gaining the small east ridge, as described in the route description. Plenty of great weather, and smoke wasn't too bad. 
 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-08-22, By: ericd01
Info: 12hr Capitol Peak in the summer, a fine class-4 alpine day-hike probably not for everyone. The 3-mile Ditch trail is a nice in-the-dark early warmup. Similarities to nearby Snowmass trail: accessible parking, grassy aspen ascent, creeks to cross, and a free ranging cattle gate to close behind you. Found the NE ridge route over-exaggerated. The talus fields were clear of ice and offered many route variations. Watch out if directly downclimbing up and over K2 as it cliffs out into an abyss. Gloves were more appropriate than micro spikes. Helpful trip times: 3hrs to Capitol Lake basin, 2hrs to K2, 1.5hrs to summit. Descent 5.5hrs. Streams are low. Cheers! 
 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-08-05, By: Justineroberson5
Info: We went through 3-4 snow fields on the way up and down. Traction would of been cool in the morning. Everything softened by the afternoon otherwise summer conditions! 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-08-03, By: Gandalf69
Info: After the monsoon weekend went back to Capitol with unexpected day off. Had other weekend plans, but they changed when people bailed at last minute. Left th at 245, summit at 1130. 2 groups of 2 people went up the north face, I saw 2 summit and talked to other 2 at saddle going down. Some dark clouds here and there but nothing threatening. Back at car at 645PM. 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-08-04, By: jasongraves99
Info: Still snow fields below K2, can be navigated around but adds miles. The standard route and the ridge direct was completely free though. 
 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-31, By: kevmonster
Info: Perfect weather on Capitol yesterday. Almost all camping spots were full on a Wednesday night. There are a few snow fields to cross between the Mt. Daly saddle and the path up K2 I would have felt better with poles and/or spikes. Summer conditions K2-Summit. 8 hrs from camp at Captiol Lake. 2 hrs to K2, 2 hrs to summit, 2 hrs back to K2, 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-20, By: Gandalf69
Info: Backpacked for a night in the valley, went up the peak Sunday with a friend. Little snow showers on summit and shared summit with someone who finished. 
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