Capitol Peak  
Condition Updates  
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2022-08-09, By: gcook33
Info: Great mtn. 4.25mi, 2700' from campsite 6 after a 6mi backpack in the day before. Some mosquitoes so bring some spray/wipes. Definitely a peak you want to keep your wits about you for multiple hours. 
3
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2022-08-04, By: zootloopz
Info: Summer conditions except for one patch in the boulder field. Spikes not necessary but could be a comfort. Or you could just walk under it. Standard route. Walked / went hands free across the knife edge for my 3rd ascent of this beautiful peak. Still my favorite 14er!!! 
7 2
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2022-07-27, By: strausnb
Info: Attempted solo ascent of capitol via direct ridge to k2. I mistakenly took this route after losing the trail and figuring the direct ridge couldn't be too bad. A word of forewarning, I don't think the direct ridge should be attempted unless it's not your first time on capitol. Long sustained exposure over loose class 4 rock with no exit points and turning around would likely be more time consuming and dangerous than finishing the ridge. Made it to K2, decided I was overwhelmed and turned around descending the standard route as afternoon storms rolled in. Start early and check your GPX as I lost the route constantly. Saw a bear on the ditch trail so make sure you have your canister. Stay safe! 
3
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2022-07-18, By: bmcqueen
Info: Summer conditions. There are a couple areas of snow left as you make your way to K2, but they are low consequence sections and the boot tracks through them should provide ample traction. I carried spikes yesterday and never put them on. 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2022-07-25, By: Msbaker
Info: The road is in decent shape. I got my Mazda CX-5 up to the trailhead with minimal effort. Saw a few sedans at the trailhead so you don't necessarily need 4WD. Backpacked in 6 miles on 7/15 (Saturday evening) to Capitol Lake and most of the campsites were full. I ended up at Campsite 9. Bugs are horrendous in this area so bring your spray. Also bring your bear cannister as they are required and word on the summit was that a bear was seen at Campsite 9 the day I arrived. Started my hike at 6 AM and reached the summit in three hours from Campsite 9. Conditions were perfect. Very steep gaining the first ridge with Daly on your left. Snow fields in the Talus section which eventually leads to K2 are all avoidable or crossable without spikes. Knife edge was really fun, although it did get a bit busy on the return so be prepared to wait. The final pitch to the summit isn't easy and contains a lot of loose rock. Small summit but amazing views in all directions. Got back down to Campsite 9 in a little over 2 hours with some breaks to eat. Wildflowers in full bloom near the lake. Truly an incredible mountain. 
3
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2022-07-11, By: benmangelsdorf
Info: Hiked in Saturday, camped near the lake Saturday night, climbed Sunday and hiked out Sunday afternoon. A fair amount of snowfields between the Daly/Capitol saddle and the hike up to K2. They were hard-ish in the morning and soft on the way down around 10AM. I didn't wear spikes, but I honestly think spikes and axe would have been very nice on a few of them, particularly the last one. If you were really determined, you could probably bypass the steeper snow by scrambling some rock on the right, but I'd recommend just bringing an axe because you can then safely glissade on the way down. Aside from that, summer conditions. Amazing route, we stayed closer to the ridge after the Knife's Edge and did a ton of really fun scrambling. I wish all 14ers were like this. 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2022-07-09, By: dogsandguitars12
Info: Hiked in to camp Friday afternoon, my Corolla made it all the way up the trailhead. 99% summer conditions. We took K2's north ridge (ridge direct) to K2 then stayed high from K2 to summit. No snow at all on ridge and really solid class 3 and 4. Low winds and perfect day, didn't even wear windbreaker for most of the day. We descended standard route and it was a lot more loose than the ridge. Some snow fields left between summit and saddle, pretty not solid snow and spikes don't help from sliding and sloshing but short fields. Some of the creek crossings on the ditch trail are impassible without getting wet. Water shows recommended. Lots of mosquitoes. 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2022-07-07, By: chrislowrimore1
Info: Snow patches still remains in some of the gullies after you reach the Daly-K2 saddle, as well as the boulder field on the east side of K2. Microspikes were needed, and ice axe recommended in the early morning as the snow is iced over. No snow to navigate on K2 if you ascend K2 and descend on the north side. However, if you elect to go around the north side of K2 rather than summit it, there will be snow to navigate. Other than that, the rest of the route above the is snow free! 
5
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2022-06-26, By: calhack7
Info: Summited via Standard route yesterday. No way to avoid the big stream crossing, ended up taking off my shoes/socks and waiding across. Between there and Capitol Lake there were a few downed trees and snow patches. Up to the Daly Saddle was completely dry. Lots of snow from the Daly Saddle to K2. I had microspikes and an axe, crampons would have been better in the morning. You could probably avoid it all by staying up on the ridge between the saddle and K2. Went up and over K2, there was snow on the bypass. Some snow patches on the standard route after the knife edge but all were avoidable. Saw one guy who turned back shortly after the Daly Saddle, other than that we were the only group up on the mountain. 
7 1
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2022-06-17, By: Will_E
Info: Summitted Capitol yesterday from the Capitol Creek trailhead. Trail is dry to the first big creek crossing, I took water shoes to get across, it was just above my knees, and cold. After the creek crossing there is quite a bit of snow here and there, but there were foot steps in place that made it easier to manage. A few sections of downed trees after the big creek crossing as well. Large snowfield just below Capitol Lake, the trail to the Daly saddle was dry. After reaching the Daly saddle I attempted to do the high route to K2, but after a few steep snowfields I gave up and descended lower, ice axe was needed to do this safely. After reaching K2, route is fairly dry, I was able to avoid snow on Capitol's ridge direct route pretty easily. On the way back, I just dropped all the way to the bottom on the backside of the Daly saddle, used crampons to get back up to the Daly saddle, worked really well, even in the late afternoon. Nice day, met a couple campers near Capitol Lake, beyond that had it all to myself. 
14 4
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2021-11-24, By: ScreeSurfer
Info: Climbed Capitol Peak from Snowmass Creek trailhead as a very long day hike. Parking lot at trailhead is easily accessible with 2wd as there is only an inch or 2 of packed snow. The first obstacle was fording Snowmass Creek. Stepping stones were slightly covered with ice and I made about 5 false starts before finding a shallower stretch slightly north of the signed crossing where I made a fast dash across the creek. I made it about 5.5 miles before needing to put on snowshoes where I left West Snowmass Creek and headed up the slopes leading to Moon Lake. Moon Lake was frozen with an inch or two of crusted snow on it so it was an easy walk across it. I stayed on snow the entire way heading up to the K2-Clark Saddle. There were a few firm stretches but my snowshoes usually sank 6-8". Left my snowshoes just before K2 where I put on crampons for the rest of the climb. Snow on K2 allowed great traction as did the snow plastered to the Knife-edge. Snow was loose and sometimes thigh deep just to the south of the ridge. The ridge crest contained pretty firm snow embedded between the rocks. Took the standard eastern ledges back to Northeast ridge down, knee deep on average. 
13 13
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2021-10-03, By: arianna2
Info: I did a quick addendum to my trip report from 2 weeks ago but I will add here to just to show the pics of how it looks now 
4
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2021-09-26, By: dssmith15
Info: Beautiful day with perfect weather. Camped at Capitol Lake 9/24-9/26. Very cold at night. Route is clear and there was no ice. For more details check out the trip report: https://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=21410 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2021-09-08, By: Gandalf69
Info: Route is dry. Approaching K2 there appears to have been a massive landslide from the cliff side and from the ridge that leads over to Clark peak. Many of the big boulders are loose, it definitely took more time in that section. 
3
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2021-08-30, By: amymaylee94
Info: Started around 4am from Capitol Lake base camp. Summited a little bit before 9am. Took us under 2 hours from K2 to Capitol summit. The talus hopping from Capitol-Daly saddle to K2 was way worse than any of the Class 3/4 moves that I had to do on the K2-Capitol Ridge. If you choose to bypass the K2 summit there are a few small snow patches to be aware of but they are avoidable. Just be careful not to step and then slip on the snow or else you will probably get seriously hurt. Absolutely gorgeous weather weekend, but summit was extremely busy on Sunday morning (probably at least 20 people summited on Sunday morning). 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2021-08-23, By: halfapackofapache
Info: Day hiked Capitol on Sunday (8/22). There were still a few small snow pockets from the recent storm on K2 and along the ridge but they are avoidable. No need for microspikes. Left the trailhead at 2:45, summited at 8, back to trailhead at 11. 
3
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2021-08-22, By: wintersage
Info: Did not summit due to storm clouds moving in much sooner than forecasted (very cloudy by 8am, precipitation by 10am). The downclimb from K2 has a good dusting of snow currently but is doable without microspikes. Other parties that went past the knife's edge said the ridge was fairly dry. I don't think any parties summited on Saturday so it remains unknown how much snow the upper east face (the section right before the summit) holds. UPDATE 8/28: Went back to finish the job. Snow has melted and the trail is dry the entire way. 
2
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2021-08-18, By: Buckie06
Info: Perfect conditions on the trail. All campsites at the lake were full by Friday night. 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2021-08-10, By: cougar
Info: Smoky and hazy in the morning limited distant visibility to a few miles, but it cleared up by midday with blue skies. Avoid the K2 bypass, I went up and over on ascent, doing the solid class 3/4 downclimb, which wasn't hard at all. Attempted the same on my return from Capitol, but deviated a bit and ended up on the loose rock just below the ridge. Pulled a larger one loose, which rolled just by me, and slid down about 10-20 ft, and triggered a slide of smaller rocks, which came down on me. Fortunately I was able to stop sliding down farther and avoid injury, but it was a very close call. Also very fortunate no one was below. The cairns lead to this loose area and not the solid line. Route finding on Capitol wasn't too tricky, could use a few more cairns. Someone marked a lot of arrows with pink chalk on the rocks to supplement the cairns, these point towards descent lines. Helpful until the next rain. Not sure how official but they seemed to follow the route. Campsites at the lake were easy to get Sunday afternoon, don't think they all filled up. Creek crossing had enough logs and rocks to keep my boots on and mostly dry. 
1
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2021-08-09, By: ClimberSkierDave64
Info: Hiked in on Friday evening. It took about 2:20 to get to Capitol Lake, and we were surprised how fast it went. The smoke wasn't bad then, but by the time we started hiking the next morning, it smelled like a campfire. The camp spots by the lake really filled up fast and a food cache at a camp next to ours got raided overnight by a bear, so there was trash everywhere. The talus and boulder fields to get to K2 are slow and tedious, and a real pain in the ass on the way back. In my opinion, the downclimb off K2 and the Knife Edge are the two cruxes. The Knife edge was especially difficult, and it was much scarier than a lot of people make it out to be, so you just have to be mentally prepared for that. The rest of the route is just loose, chossy class 3 and maybe a little 4, but it's really not that bad. Lots of rockfall, so be super careful and wear a helmet. 

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