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Capitol Peak

Select Route:
Capitol-Snowmass Traverse T 
Early Times T 
Northeast Ridge (Knife-Edge) T 
Northwest Buttress T 

Capitol Peak 


Photos: Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 14,130'
Location: 39.1503, -107.082 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 83,622
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Furthermore on Jan 18, 2003
Forecast:
Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Clear
80° | 37°
Clear
57° | 36°
Partly Cloudy
56° | 36°
Chance of a Thunderstorm
53° | 32°
Chance of a Thunderstorm
52° | 34°
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Capitol knife ridge in winter

Description 

Capitol Peak is one of the most challenging fourteeners in Colorado, and yields some good technical routes including the Northwest Ridge. Standing at 14,130', it is one of the most impressive mountains in the Elk Range with its amazing north face. Unlike some of the other mountains in the Elk Range, Capitol has very solid rock which can make the climbing very enjoyable, and the views from the summit are very rewarding and spectacular.


Getting There 

Capitol Peak can be approached from either the Capitol Creek Trailhead or the Snowmass Creek Trailhead. Both of these trailheads can be reached off of Colorado 82 south of Glenwood Springs. For detailed directions to these trailheads refer to either Dawson's or Roach's fourteener guides.


Climbing Season


4 Total Routes


['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',2],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',1],['5.8',0],['5.9',1],['5.10',1],['5.11',0],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Capitol Peak:
Northeast Ridge (Knife-Edge)        Trad, Alpine, Grade II   
Capitol-Snowmass Traverse   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Alpine, Grade IV   
Early Times   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches, 2000'   
Browse More Classics in Capitol Peak

Featured Route For Capitol Peak
Dan Bayer with the Aspen Times too the photo.

Northeast Ridge (Knife-Edge)   CO : Alpine Rock : Capitol Peak
Depending on which trailhead you decide to take, you need to reach the summit of K2 which is a point northwest of the summit of Capitol. Starting from the Capitol Creek Trailhead, you have a longer approach. While starting from the Snowmass Creek Trailhead, you have a shorter approach, but have to battle 2 miles of boulder hopping. From K2, descend down the ridge towards Capitol Peak. This is where the fun starts. You can decide if you want to use a rope on the Knife Edge ridge or not. The...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of Capitol Peak Slideshow Add Photo
It's that cool.
It's that cool.
K2 in winter.
K2 in winter.
Capitol Lake/Peak.
Capitol Lake/Peak.
Capitol as seen from Mount Sopris, Mom and Dad in the foreground.
Capitol as seen from Mount Sopris, Mom and Dad in ...
Winter light.
Winter light.
With Jordan White on the summit - about to make first winter ski descent of the peak - 2009.
With Jordan White on the summit - about to make fi...
Downtown nearby Basalt. One of the local sasquatch crossing Main Street. They are quite abundant in the hills around Basalt.
Downtown nearby Basalt. One of the local sasquatch...
Capitol Peak, January 2, 2012.
Capitol Peak, January 2, 2012.
Cobra Boulder (just made that up) located near Middle Moon lake. 12-15 feet tall. May be worth checking out if you brought your shoes. Rock is flawless white granite.
Cobra Boulder (just made that up) located near Mid...
The SE side of Capital Peak, form the summit of Pyramid Peak.
The SE side of Capital Peak, form the summit of Py...
Another interesting chunk of rock.
Another interesting chunk of rock.
Capitol and Snowmass from Treasury.
Capitol and Snowmass from Treasury.
BETA PHOTO
Capitol Peak showing NE Ridge.
BETA PHOTO: Capitol Peak showing NE Ridge.
One of the smaller ponds below Moon Lake. "Middle Moon" perhaps?
One of the smaller ponds below Moon Lake. "Middle ...
Interesting chunk of rock.
Interesting chunk of rock.
Middle Moon Slab. Had no rope and no shoes, so a picture is all I've got. Looks super fun though, maybe 5.9 - 5.11 generally. Great rest day hangout.
Middle Moon Slab. Had no rope and no shoes, so a p...
Walking the knife.
Walking the knife.
Moment of commitement - Jordan White in route to first winter ski descent of Cap - above the big cliffs - 2009.
Moment of commitement - Jordan White in route to f...
Comments on Capitol Peak Add Comment
Show which comments
By Shawn Shannon
From: Everett, WA
Jul 2, 2003

Hey... does anybody know what the conditions are like on the Northwest ridge currently. I'd even be happy with what people generally encounter this time of year. Can anybody help me out?

By Shawn Shannon
From: Everett, WA
Jul 3, 2003

One more ? regarding the Northwest ridge route, one guide book says to use crampons and axe in the Slingshot Couloir, while another book just says go up it. I'd rather not bring the extra weight, anybody know the truth of the matter? (I'll put up a fully detailed description of the route once I do it and have the facts straight.)

By Stefan Griebel
Jul 3, 2003

I would recommend leaving the crampons at home and do the 5.9 more direct start instead. Otherwise the crux of the climb may well be getting across and up the couloir and onto the rock. Also, if there is another party above you, the couloir will probably funnel any rockfall right on top of you. And believe me, climbing the NW ridge without generating any rockfall would be an incredible feat. I personally don't think it could be done. Well, maybe if you free solo it so your rope doesn't knock stuff off all the time.... There's so much loose rock everywhere, that knocking a golfball-sized piece down can start quite a scary chain reaction.

By Stefan Griebel
Jul 3, 2003

Oops. I didn't see Matt's comment indicating that there was snow all the way up to the toe of the ridge. When I did this climb, that part was all melted out while much snow was still in the coulior.

By Eric Klammer
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 11, 2013

Cool area and a great place to spend a few days. Camped at Moon Lake for 3 days and never saw another person in the basin! (4th of July weekend as well) Found some cool rock to play around on, and if you've already hauled up the rope for a technical route, it could make for some rest day fun. Check above for photos and details.