Completely Shut Down on Capitol

Though I typically don’t put up posts from unsuccessful attempts, this season has been a little different. This one, in addition to the attempt on Pyramid a few weeks ago, were both so enjoyable and educational that I felt it worthwhile. Though making the summits would have been preferable, I at least learned most of the route and have logistics figured out for each, which should make any future attempts much easier. One of the biggest things I’ve learned? Stop trying to pack excessive amounts of stuff in/on my small avalung daypack.

The river crossing is not an easy one right now, and will only become more difficult as the weather warms. I imagine it would be much easier in April, and would likely be doable on snow early enough. A few miles in we swapped over to our ski boots. There were quite a few small stream crossings, and Marc was happy to test their structural integrity for us.

The Snowmass Creek approach to Capitol is not a straightfoward one, with lots of bushwhacking.

Evidence of recent wind events was a little concerning. This appeared to be very fresh.

We arrived at 10,600′ about 7:30pm, and decided to set up camp. By 9, it was dumping very warm, wet snow (the forecast was for it to be cold and dry, possibly up to a half inch of dry snow at 11,000′) which kept up all night. Alarms went off in the middle of the night; after some deliberation, we made the only choice we could – to bail on the climb – and went back to sleep. Carl and I were happy to be in a tent, while Marc was not too thrilled to be in a bivy bag.

It had snowed a couple inches already, with no end in sight. On Memorial Day. With a clear forecast.

We came across a small pillow line close to camp on the way out, which Carl of course dropped.

And stuck it.

A few hours later we were back to where we stashed our hiking shoes, and finished the last few miles out, defeated but not demoralized.

I finally skied Longs Peak a few days ago, and I should have that up soon.

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