Peak(s):  Capitol Peak  -  14,138 feet
Date Posted:  02/18/2015
Modified:  04/07/2016
Date Climbed:   02/07/2015
Author:  FireOnTheMountain
Additional Members:   Dad Mike
 Pocketful of Gold - A Winter Daytrip of Capitol   

Lets start this one off again with some tunes as I was digging that from before. This time from the land of the misty mountains and oversized hairy feet. "Thing 1" and "Thing 2" of Team ZoSo if you will.

Turn It Up For the English Boys

Here's how it played out: the Madmikester needed the Capitol Peakster. I already had it in winter, but thankfully this is one bad mother f*ing peak so I was fully down to repeat. I would arrive a day in advance of Mike and lay a trench down for us to facilitate the humdrum night walking. We would then attempt a day trip the following day.

Transporting to Aspen via my secret tunnel whose portal lies at the base of the 2nd Flatiron (to gain entry one must show up at midnight on a clear, full moon wearing a long, blonde wig and whisper the magic words "To be a Rock and Not to Roll"), I began the haul to treeline from the winter closure at 8:30 am on Friday.

Delightful would be the word I would use to describe this day. Sensible hour to begin a hike, light pack, alone on a beautiful winter Elk day with amazing scenery and no worries over a summit. An 8 hour, 12 mile and 3000' effort brought me back to my truck with a beautifully, b-lined trench awaiting us that night. I'm not really one to toot my horn, but this was one bad trench....


Clark Peak



600' Below Moon Lake I Called it Good as the Wind was Now Wiping Out My Efforts


Mike arrived that evening and we promptly set out to party down Monster5's empty hotel room in Basalt. Much like any true rock star, the party ceased and we turned in for bed at 7pm.

12:56 am, Saturday. That all too familiar crunch, crunch noise emanating from my feet. Wtf, who willfully does this to themselves? Around 6am we found ourselves at Moon Lake after making a little 20 minute navigation error (above treeline that is but hey, whats a little extra vert among zombies?). It was around this time that the unthinkable happened...surly it had forgotten about us but fear not, the sun began to poke out from the horizon.

Alright, enough BS. Picture Time.


The Bus Came By and I Got On, That's When It All Began


Daly Struttin Her Stuff


Makin our way to K2



Into This House We're Born, Into This World We're Thrown


Downclimb off K2 was pretty cake. Just some minor scrambling on the North Face. However, right after that we both agreed was the hardest part of the day which consisted of deep snow, steep traversing before the Knife. Sweet.



Gollum Attacking the Knify



Secret Chute Entrance


Mike Having a Terrible Time



Oh The Mighty Arms of Atlas, Hold the Heavens From The Earth


We roped up once on the ascent at the buttress that bucks you off the ridge perhaps of the way up.



What the Does One Say to Such a View?


We Stayed Roped Up since an Anchor was Setup and Mike Investigated but Soon Found Out it Wasn't Necessary


Much Like Mike, I was also Having a Terrible Time. Last Bit Ahead.



Fun Scrambling

2 hours and 10 min after topping out K2, we found ourselves on top of the Capster.


In the Words of the Late Scholar Flavor Flav.....Yeeeeee Boyyy

A serious note: on the approach in, Mike began telling me the story of his 3 year old niece Shylah. I couldn't help but feel bad for this innocent little girl whose terrible affliction came out of no where. It's quite uplifting (for me at least) to know that Mike is climbing the last few remaining of his winter 14ers for her and I truly wish her the best.


I Am Told the Smallest Cairn is For Mike's Little Man, Ben

Descending went pretty quickly, rappelling just once at the spot we roped up.





Pagan Baby, What You Got, I Need.



Lookin Down the Secret Chute


"Knife" Edge


Elevator Shaft

Once we got back to K2, we could allow ourselves to relax some. And though we tried, the peak is just too awesome and inspiring to take in over such a short break.

The deproach went quickly although we were both hurting pretty good. Arriving back at the car still under daylight was a great feeling and the nearby pack dogs howled boisterously to our success. Very soon after, Luke showed up out of the blue as he was planning to skin in to meet us (after a big day lapping Highlands nonetheless, I got some stupid friends I tell ya). Mike and I parted ways here. He made the haul to the Springs and I the liquor store in Aspen. Avery bombers fit the bill just nice.


Start - 12:56am
Moon Lake - 6ish
K2 - 8:30am
Summit - 10:40am
K2 - 12:20pm
End - 5:10pm

Tread Lightly My Friends

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36

Comments or Questions
Because, you can
02/19/2015 03:29
We’ve never met but I can tell, you’re my kind of crazy. But, Jimi is my jam... Excuse me while I kiss the sky. As usual, nice work. Why do we do this to ourselves (answer’s in the title).

02/19/2015 03:38
Fire, you’re alright. That Mike guy is too. Helluva day, guys! Thanks for posting!

I don’t believe a word of it.
02/19/2015 03:47
This is no place for science fiction.

Alan Arnette
02/19/2015 03:50
Great job and TR. Well done.

Dad Mike
I like this trip report
02/19/2015 03:51
Great day, great write–up my friend. You’re really making me come around on this partner thing. Our 3 trips this winter have been 3 of the most memorable days I’ve ever had in the mountains. Thanks for taking the time to put this together homie, for the Shylah shout–out and for breaking trail. Your strength and speed in the mountains is inspiring.

02/19/2015 05:50
Pretty sweet . . . makes me feel like I wasted my youth, not that I necessarily had any mountaineering talent to begin with though.

02/19/2015 14:45
^ I think thats the 3rd time I’ve said that this week. Abe and Mike, this is BA! well done fellers and what a great TR!

What Dillon wrote...
02/19/2015 16:16
And I can’t believe that yet AGAIN, a measly little report of mine ends up between two classics...

Love the pics and the narrative. Please keep ’em coming!

Looks like winter to me...
02/19/2015 16:26
Hey Mike, is The Kid worth a damn? I’m starting to think he is. Putting in a track and then repeating a tough peak in not exactly the safest conditions reminds me of the kind of selfless act that guy from Pueblo used to partake in.

Climbing with people you trust is the greatest experience hands down. The bond you form is infinite and nothing can take it away. It doesn’t matter if it is Quandary or Capitol or El Diente (cough cough), achieving a summit allows one to walk with your partners forever.

12:56 AM start time? Our earliest is 2:50 AM. Sounds like we have work to do. Congrats to you both...

2ND Flatiron Portal
02/19/2015 16:38

02/19/2015 17:10
Love your music references. Favorite Rider’s on the Storm. What an incredible ascent. You guys are inspiration for sure.

02/19/2015 19:08
Thanks for continuing to inspire and reminding me what’s possible –– and for giving me motivation to train harder!

Good effort.
02/19/2015 19:30
3hours 50 minutes K2–K2 is impressive.

02/20/2015 01:05
Need I say more?

(Pic #6 reminds me of the Paramount Pictures trademark)

Summit Lounger
02/20/2015 02:08
A Bad_ _ _ Example of climbing a route for its beauty, difficulty, and commitment. Climbing routes (rock,ice,or mountaineering) that excite something inside of a person are the most rewarding. Finishing a list is a close second. Great work on an awesome peak.

looks like...
02/20/2015 02:08
a great day in the mountains. Feel free to give a shout when you are ready for a 3rd time...

02/20/2015 06:16
I’m extremely jealous of those with the guts, skill, and determination to do something like this. Inspirational!

02/20/2015 16:01
The secret portal explains how you get so turned around on the 2nd. What use for "South" and "East" when you’re gallivanting through secret tunnels?

Summits for Shylah – great cause. Best of luck to her and the family in supporting her.

Brian Thomas
Capitolization of Some Words and Not other Words
02/20/2015 17:31
Nobody will ever say this trip report was plagiarized from e. e. cummings

02/21/2015 20:31
"Alright, enough BS. Picture Time."

Thanks everyone
02/23/2015 02:35
Blaz - I really enjoy your TR style! You got some grit. Jimi and his band of gypsies is my personal favorite

Darin - 2 alrights make a....alright. Damn

Dwight - Smart man. 3/4 of it was made up.

Jay - You the man dude. Keep doing your thing!

Pap – I always find it comforting thinking about some of the crazy stuff Steve did in winter. 7 days alone in Chi Basin comes to mind

Nat/Yikes - Thinkin 2 is enough. Other mountains to explore

Rob - Cant get complacent (not you, just in general I mean). Always room for improvement!

Greg - Thanks for the acronym!

Ryan - I heard topping out the 2nd then hiking up the trail and climbing the last bit to the summit is not noob at all....

Brian - Unfortuneatly not too familiar with Cummings’ work. Read some on the internet though because of your comment.

Thanks again everyone. Fun times. Enjoy the Snow!!!

I swear!
03/02/2015 18:48
Every time I climb something pretty cool, I get one (or ten) upped by a seriously bad*** trip report!!! Way to keep whetting the appetite for more!

03/10/2015 07:11
awesome climb, music, speed, pics .... and I see that everyone else has more time to read reports as soon as they’re posted.

04/02/2015 19:45
job you too. This looks sweet. Love all the images, but the last one especially! If you’d ever want to repeat that one again, let me know 8)

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