Friday we warmed up on some routes on Independence Pass. Sam on 5.10b on Pass Wall.
Sam on 5.10a (harder than that!) on Pass Wall. “Old Guy in the Way”, I believe is the name of the route.
We pulled into the Capitol Creek TH at 3:30pm and it started to pour. We sat in the truck and waited until nearly 7pm before it stopped raining. At 7:15pm we started the 6 mile approach hike to Capitol Lake.
Capitol Peak is that obviously beautiful peak in the background.
Bummer! After the 400' descent to Capitol Creek we found the bridge out. We took off our shoes and socks and forded it. Not so bad.
We got into camp Friday night at 10:15pm. This is Saturday morning at 6:00am on our approach to the NW buttress of Capitol (the ridge in profile here).
Capitol Lake at 11,600'
Unfortunately we found the first two pitches to be dripping wet. The first pitch ascends the crack to the water streaks and up to the middle of them at 5.9. Second pitch is 5.8 slab to chimney moves which were also wet. Given that this climb is relatively close to home we opted to save it for a better day when conditions were better.
So we hiked back past the lake and headed up the standard route of Capitol Peak.
On the pass between Mount Daly and Capitol Peak. The normal route descends the east side of this pass for a few hundred feet and then heads up. We opted for the direct ridge scramble to the summit, seen here. It goes at fun 4th class.
Starting out on the ridge scramble with Mount Daly, 13,400', in the background.
On one of the more airy sections of the lower ridge to K2.
The rock was mostly good but it definitely demanded attention.
Sam on the “real deal” 4th class knife edge section to Capitol Peak. We saw many people cruise across this section and it was really cool to see people pushing their comfort levels.
Capitol Peak, 14,130', 7/26/2008, 9:47am. It took us two hours from the lake to the summit. My third time on this cool summit.
For the descent we went the more standard route with some detours for some fine glissading action.
Capitol Lake surrounded by many colors on our descent.
Back at our camp by 11:53am. We rested a bit before packing up and hiking out that afternoon.
The cattle grazing along the approach trail have absolutely destroyed the trail turning it into a muddy soup that forces hikers off the trail to create more trail braids. it's a damn shame.
Back at the car at 3:46pm and ready for pizza and beer at Bruno's in Aspen.