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Capitol Peak - Knife Edge

The "infamous" Knife Edge on the standard approach up Capitol Peak, one of Colorado's harder 14ers to climb.  That day (July 3, 2013) we happened to bump into Anton Krupicka, an American ultra-runner, just below the summit as he scrambled quick past us over a high ridge as he was doing a quick ascent up before rockhopping back down.  After a brief chat he went on to tag nearby 14er Snowmass Mountain, you know, b/c that's what being ridiculous is all about.  For this panorama I had to lie flat under my tripod to take this, balancing myself on the razor edge itself ensuring I didn't accidentally slip for a 1,200 foot vertical fall below.  No it wasn't that pleasant, but I made it work.  Capitol Peak itself is one of Colorado's iconic mountains & served as a backdrop mountain to John Denver's home in Aspen.  The appearance of it from this angle certainly beckons many to climb it.


Update September 2017:

Capitol Peak in recent years has had a number of deaths.  This 14er, as in others in the Elk Mountains, require prior knowledge of the route as there is only one proper Class 4 approach to the mountain that doesn't require ropes.  Here on the Knife Edge, there has been many deaths attributed to people reaching this location, then looking down the north face (which is in the shade in my panorama) where they see the talus fields below thinking that it makes a quick angled shortcut down to Capitol Lake.  Do NOT do that!  Past that is a hidden 600 foot vertical cliff band  that is impassable & many Search & Rescue missions in the past have led to body recoveries (not rescues) at the base of the peak.  Not more than a few weeks after I took this panorama, such a tragedy took place.

Written in memory of R. Palmer, R. Marcil, C. Brightwell, & Z. White

Copyright: William L
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 20756x10378
Taken: 28/07/2013
Uploaded: 28/07/2013


Tags: capitol peak; knife edge; 13er; 14er; k2; elk mountains; snowmass mountain; capitol lake; pierre lakes; maroon bells; north maroon peak; pyramid peak; maroon peak; colorado
More About USA

The United States is one of the most diverse countries on earth, jam packed full of amazing sights from St. Patrick's cathedral in New York to Mount Hollywood California.The Northeast region is where it all started. Thirteen British colonies fought the American Revolution from here and won their independence in the first successful colonial rebellion in history. Take a look at these rolling hills carpeted with foliage along the Hudson river here, north of New York City.The American south is known for its polite people and slow pace of life. Probably they move slowly because it's so hot. Southerners tend not to trust people from "up north" because they talk too fast. Here's a cemetery in Georgia where you can find graves of soldiers from the Civil War.The West Coast is sort of like another country that exists to make the east coast jealous. California is full of nothing but grizzly old miners digging for gold, a few gangster rappers, and then actors. That is to say, the West Coast functions as the imagination of the US, like a weird little brother who teases everybody then gets famous for making freaky art.The central part of the country is flat farmland all the way over to the Rocky Mountains. Up in the northwest corner you can find creative people in places like Portland and Seattle, along with awesome snowboarding and good beer. Text by Steve Smith.

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