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Capitol Peak

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

Capitol Peak Rock Climbing 


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 14,130'
Location: 39.1503, -107.082 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 28,865
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Furthermore on Jan 18, 2003
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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



Weather station 15.2 miles from here

4 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',2],['2 Stars',1],['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]

Classic Climbing Routes in Capitol Peak

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing 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   
Northwest Buttress   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 13 pitches, 2000'   
Early Times   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches, 2000'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Capitol Peak

Featured Route For Capitol Peak
Rock Climbing Photo: View of the traverse from the west.

Capitol-Snowmass Traverse 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b  Colorado : Alpine Rock : Capitol Peak
This is the roughly 2.5-mile-long ridge that connects the Elk Range's two granite Fourteeners, Capitol and Snowmass. It's far and away the hardest 14er-connecting ridge in Colorado, and likely one of the hardest ridges in the state, for a variety of reasons -- length, exposure, route-finding, loose rock (extremely loose rock, almost the whole way).To do this as a loop trip, park at the Snowmass Creek trailhead. (From the town of Snowmass on CO Hwy 82 drive south 1.7 miles to a T-junction. Turn l...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Capitol Peak Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: K2 in winter.
K2 in winter.
Rock Climbing Photo: It's that cool.
It's that cool.
Rock Climbing Photo: Capitol Lake/Peak.
Capitol Lake/Peak.
Rock Climbing Photo: Capitol as seen from Mount Sopris, Mom and Dad in ...
Capitol as seen from Mount Sopris, Mom and Dad in ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Winter light.
Winter light.
Rock Climbing Photo: Middle Moon Slab. Had no rope and no shoes, so a p...
Middle Moon Slab. Had no rope and no shoes, so a p...
Rock Climbing Photo: Cobra Boulder (just made that up) located near Mid...
Cobra Boulder (just made that up) located near Mid...
Rock Climbing Photo: One of the smaller ponds below Moon Lake. "Mi...
One of the smaller ponds below Moon Lake. "Mi...
Rock Climbing Photo: Interesting chunk of rock.
Interesting chunk of rock.
Rock Climbing Photo: Capitol Peak, January 2, 2012.
Capitol Peak, January 2, 2012.
Rock Climbing Photo: Walking the knife.
Walking the knife.
Rock Climbing Photo:
BETA PHOTO
Rock Climbing Photo: With Jordan White on the summit - about to make fi...
With Jordan White on the summit - about to make fi...
Rock Climbing Photo: Capitol and Snowmass from Treasury.
Capitol and Snowmass from Treasury.
Rock Climbing Photo: The SE side of Capital Peak, form the summit of Py...
The SE side of Capital Peak, form the summit of Py...
Rock Climbing Photo: Downtown nearby Basalt. One of the local sasquatch...
Downtown nearby Basalt. One of the local sasquatch...
Rock Climbing Photo: Another interesting chunk of rock.
Another interesting chunk of rock.
Rock Climbing Photo: Moment of commitement - Jordan White in route to f...
Moment of commitement - Jordan White in route to f...
Rock Climbing Photo: Capitol Peak showing NE Ridge.
BETA PHOTO: Capitol Peak showing NE Ridge.

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
From: Boulder, Colorado
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
From: Boulder, Colorado
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.

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