Thursday, July 26, 2012

La Plata Peak - Standard Route

After attempting North Maroon Peak the day before on July 23rd, Cindy McCloskey, Chris Broyles, and myself decided our legs were too tired to stick with our original plan of ascending the Ellingwood Ridge route up La Plata Peak.  So instead, we decided to take the standard route.  The trail starts off by gradually ascending up through La Plata Gulch, which opens up into a beautiful meadow above 11,000 feet.  Next, a series of switchbacks are encountered, followed by an ascending traverse, which gives way to another series of switchbacks that leads to the top of the northwest ridge of La Plata.  We generally followed the ridge for the remainder of the route, with boulder hopping encountered near 13,400 feet.  After by-passing a false summit, I finally reached the top at around 10:15 am.  A family vacationing in the area joined me soon after, followed by Chris, and then Cindy.  We spent 30 minutes resting and taking in the view, and then began our descent back to the trailhead.

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