Capitol Peak

Posted: September 22nd, 2022



On Sunday, September 18th, 2022 I hiked into a campsite near Capitol Lake so that I could climb Capitol Peak (14,131 feet) the following day. The trailhead of the hike was located at the end of a 4WD road. The distance from the parking lot to the lake campsite was 6.1 miles and gained 2,300 feet in elevation, taking 3.5 hours.

At 5:12AM on Monday, I started the climb to the summit of Capitol Peak. The distance from the campsite to the summit was 1.8 miles and gained 2,230 feet in elevation. There were 10-15 mile an hour wind gusts during the climb. Cairns present on the route were the best way to follow the trail.

The trail required going over a ridge, down and around to then climbing up to a section called "K2". This section was difficult as it was partially covered in snow and required downclimbing. After this was the knife's edge, a narrow section with steep sides. The summit was reached at 10:15AM. There were no other climber groups before I arrived.

After summiting I went back to the campsite for a while, then packed up and hiked back to the lot. The remaining hike took about 2.5 hours.

Overall, Capitol Peak is a challenging class 4 mountain. Doing the climb in one day would have been even more difficult. For this reason, camping by Capitol Lake was decided both to acclimate and reduce the distance on the summit attempt.

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