CAPITOL PEAK        Scrolling Photos     Back


After time off to do laundry so that we'd have something dry to wear, Dan and I drove our cars up the 
4WD road to the trailhead for Capitol Peak.  After chatting with a few other climbers we set off on the
five mile approach hike to Capitol Lake under sunshine and perfect Colorado bluebird skies.  After seeing
a bear track on the trail we located a campsite below the lake that would enable us to build a fire outside
the Snowmass Wilderness area.  With a comfortable margin of time to rest late in the day we hiked the
remaining way to view the lake and take a look at the initial climb we'd be starting in the morning.

Dan and I finally got the campfire we've talked about for awhile.   It was a good one.  After finishing off
a bottle of Yukon Jack we caught some sleep under clear skies before the next morning's exploits.

Starting early we joined two other climbers from Oklahoma - Jay and Mike - and proceeded up the first
switchbacked slope to the saddle with them, seeing quite a few mule deer with fair sized antlers.  At the
ridge we parted ways with Dan, who would retrace his steps back to the car to drive back to the west
coast to go sailing, his true passion.  After parting photos with Dan, the remaining three of us continued
to follow cairns, ever upward on our climb below the ridge across talus fields.

The route-finding was not too challenging and we soon reached the peak on the ridge named K2, which
we skirted to finally arrive at the signature movement of the entire climb - the dreaded knife edge.  Mike
chose not to venture further, while Jay and I shinnied across the edge on our butts.  Actually, despite 
the exposure on both sides of the knife-edge I found it had plenty of hand and foot holds and presented
little insecurity.  Most purportedly dangerous movements don't phase me much as I have learned a long
time ago that overcoming fear is always a mental decision to control emotion.

The rest of the climb to the summit with Jay was more interesting with more route-finding challenge 
and some Class 4 scrambles.  We moved efficiently and were able to get up in perfectly clear weather
and back down to the knife edge without problem.  After shinnying back across we followed cairns back
across the talus to finally arrive at the saddle we began from earlier in the day.  From there it was a
speedy switchbacked hike down to camp.  After collecting Mike and breaking our respective camps we
hiked together back to the trailhead.

After parting ways I tip-toed down the 4WD road in my car and quickly made for Glenwood Springs to
pick up Jeff Alexander, who would join me for the balance of the adventure.