|Peak:||La Plata Peak (14er)|
|Date of Information:||10/12/2013|
the faint approach trail is really hard to find in the snow and dark, i'd recommend really studying up on it beforehand and being good with map/compass/gps because you REALLY want to make it to the trail up the narrow ridge through the woods after the 3rd stream crossing (or at least get to that ridge), as if you miss it, bushwacking through aspens can REALLY suck. anyway, once up on the ridge... we brought crampons and microspikes but didn't use either. nothing was terribly icy and mountaineering boots edged pretty well. some of the snow was fluffy and useless, but some of it made for some rather secure (if post-holey up to knees and thighs lol) travel. definitely some layers forming in the snowpack and some big slopes are getting filled in, just something to keep an eye on.
also, i would read roach's guide as well as the 14ers route description. i think we wasted too much time messing around on the ridge proper....
around sunset, we bailed down a gully after the ridge turned to the west. long shitty boulder hop down the valley, but good to remember that this "safer" (if longer and more painful heh) option exists : ) the ridge is super pretty right now. feel free to ask if you want more info or pics. enjoy!