Climbing 14ers is a popular Colorado pastime, but Capitol Peak is not a climb for beginners.

Capitol Peak Is Difficult and Dangerous

Capitol Peak is considered one of the most difficult 14ers in Colorado as well as one of the most dangerous.  According to Out There Colorado, Capitol Peak is the third deadliest 14ers in the state behind Longs Peak and Maroon Bells. In 2017, five climbers died on the Capitol Peak climb within a six-week span

Climbing a 14er requires a certain level of fitness - even if it's a peak that's not on the list of most difficult mountain hikes. The fact there is no such thing as an "easy" 14er. But, then on top of that comes a particular element of danger that comes is inherent with any mountain climbing or hiking.

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The Treacherous Knife Edge

As you scroll through the photos below you'll see the significant element of danger that comes with climbing Capitol Peak. The standard Knife's Edge Route is 17 miles roundtrip from the Capitol Creek Trailhead, with 6,000 feet in elevation gain with technical class 4 scrambling required.

As you get nearer the top, you'll find a lot of loose rock and exposed edges - including the perilous Knife"s Edge - a 100-foot section with 1,000-foot drop-offs on either side. Concentration, balance, and a calm mind will be necessary to successfully navigate this unique geologic feature.

Capitol Peak's Perilous Knife's Edge

Capitol Peak is located in the Elk Mountains and the Snowmass Wilderness Area. This is not a hike for beginners or the inexperienced. This Colorado 14ers is one of the deadliest mountain peaks in the state. Scroll on to see some photos from this amazing hike and the nerve-wracking Knife"s Edge.

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For many, there is an inescapable draw to the idea of climbing a Colorado 14er. Before setting out on this adventure, though, there are a number of things you need to know.

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