Capitol Peak was the place to be on MLK weekend, with three parties making it up the challenging peak, including two rare and exceptionally fast midwinter single-day ascents—possibly the earliest one-day winter climbs ever done on Capitol. On Saturday the team was Stefan Griebel and brothers Charlie and Max Nuttelman, who had scouted the route to Moon Lake on December 30 and laid plans to attempt the peak on the next good weekend, hoping to do it as close to the winter solstice as possible. You know, for bonus challenge.
The three started at 12:15 a.m., anticipating a 15- to 18-hour day. With little new snow in the previous two weeks, good weather, and the benefit of their old tracks part of the way, the team raced up to Moon Lake, climbed over K2, and arrived at the Knife Edge way ahead of schedule—it was only just starting to get light! Safely across the ridge, they started up the delicate snow-covered slabs, moving very carefully without roping up. They were on top at 8:45, just 8.5 hours from the car. Descending the upper ridge with one rappel, they carefully reversed the Knife Edge and picked up their skis, returning to the car by 1:30. Charlie Nuttelman has posted an excellent TR, photos, and a video account of this great day at his blog. … Continue Reading