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La Plata Peak  
Report
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Route  Conditions Information  Posted By   Posted On    Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2012-11-03  Southwest Ridge  This route is basically snow/ice free all the way to the summit. Their were a couple of small patches(no more than 10 ft) in the trees that had a little packed snow/ice and along the summit ridge their were a couple of patches of snow that were easily avoidable. The marshy meadow was frozen on the way up and muddy on the way down, with careful navigation I was able to keep my feet clean and dry. Absolutly no need for gaiters, spikes etc. FYI...there is a tree that has fallen in front of the road about 200 yards from the trailhead. I don‘t care if you have a monster truck your not getting past it. bigredmachine   2012-11-04  0     Edit Delete 
2012-09-22  Ellingwood Ridge  Climbed up Ellingwood Ridge and down NW Ridge; both routes are totally free of snow/ice despite the snow on the north face. Aspens are in full color. KyleS   2012-09-23  0     Edit Delete 
2012-08-28  Ellingwood Ridge  Climbed La Plata via Ellingwood Ridhe in about 6 hours trailhead to summit, topping out at 1:25 pm. What a route! Saw only one cairn on the entire ridge on top of Point 13,206. There are faint trails one can follow, mostly trending to the east of the ridgetop, (climber‘s left) but route finding is difficult. Opportunities abound to bail down scree fields between cliffs off either side of the ridge but eventually one reaches the point where the fastest way off the mountain is over the top and down the standard route. No snow anywhere, some wet dirt in the shade. Rain started a little after 1:30 and thunder by about 3:00 pm. Board Shorts   2012-08-29  0     Edit Delete 
2012-07-01  Northwest Ridge  Headed up this morning all is clear and dry...summer is here for La Plata. bhollamby   2012-07-01  0     Edit Delete 
2012-06-24  Ellingwood Ridge  Made it to the summit via Ellingwood Ridge yesterday. It appears the lingering snow reported last week is almost all gone. I think I stepped foot in snow once the entire day. There are some patches to be found but I generally would have had to go out of my way to get to them. Other than that the ridge is in summer shape for all intensive purposes. metalmountain   2012-06-25  0     Edit Delete 
2012-06-20  Ellingwood Ridge  Completed La Plata via Ellingwood ridge today. Still several patches of snow filling the Eastern gullies. I had good success either committing to the ridge for some Class 4 or dropping well below to stay Class 3. No traction/flotation/gaiters. Not sure if any would have helped anyhow. Too wet/mushy. Jerousek   2012-06-20  0  3    Edit Delete 
2012-06-16  Northwest Ridge  Standard Route. Almost completely clear of snow. A few small spots, but nothing you need any snow gear for. Either walk through or around. Trailhead was 47 degrees at midnight and 40 degrees at 5a.m. Guessing around 30 people climbed on Saturday, most taking 4 to 5:30 hours to summit. Clouds built up early then dissipated. JQDivide   2012-06-17  0     Edit Delete 
2012-06-06  Northwest Ridge  Blue Bird Day. Assent took a little over 3 hours. As stated in previous report very little snow. No traction needed. Ready to go. desertdog   2012-06-08  0     Edit Delete 
2012-05-28  Ellingwood Ridge  I attempted to hike Ellingwood Ridge, it is still carrying a lot of snow in the gullies on the eastern slopes of the ridge and I did not make farther than Pt 13206, as the picture below shows the snow on the ridge and I went done quite a ways and it looked like all the upper gullies I could see were full. I did not have any snow traction devices so I decided to turn around and come back in July or August. Built-to-Last   2012-05-28 2  2    Edit Delete 
2012-05-26  Southwest Ridge  southwest route from Winfield is 95% dry. A couple small snowfields in the basin can be avoided easily. Patches of consolidated, firm crust snow on last half mile or so to summit. All snowfields are on flat stretches, no need for snowshoes/spikes. Was very windy in saddles, calm at top. cougar   2012-05-29  0     Edit Delete 
2012-05-23  Northwest Ridge  Trail is clear of snow and very well maintained up to around 12,500ft, at which point you encounter a snowfield that you can rock hop around or hike up. I would have liked to have had an axe with me for peace of mind when I hiked up the snow field, but the odds of needing it, or any other gear, are very small. I‘ve attached a photo of the snow field going from around 12,500ft-13,300ft. The snowfield makes for a very fast and fun descent once the sun has had some time to soften it up. kylerhuss   2012-05-27 1     Edit Delete 
2012-05-20  Northwest Ridge  Summer hike to the top of the ridge. At 13,500 you will encounter a snow field to the summit, this can be avoided if you want to stay on the rocks. No gaiters or ice ax used for the day. Micro spikes used briefly on descent. Beautiful day! jblyth17   2012-05-21 4  1    Edit Delete 
2012-04-29  Southwest Ridge  4wd trail head is open to register. We hiked up to the meadow at 12,500ft The trail had numerous 3 and 4 foot high snow drifts. The trail thru the meadow was indiscernible (willows) - not even sure if snowshoes would help after it had softened. The switch back up to the 13,000 ft ridge was snow packed. Monte Meals   2012-04-30  0     Edit Delete 
2012-04-28  Southwest Ridge  I climbed La Plata by the southwest ridge. The road was sufficiently clear that I was able to drive all the way to the upper trailhead in a stock Isuzu Trooper with street tires. There are only a couple of 10 foot long sections that require you to drive over snow. The lower part of the trail is clear, but soon we started running into some deep snow banks on the trail. The snow was still hard in the morning so it wasn‘t so bad, but there was still some post holing. Bring your gaiters Above treeline the trail is completely buried in snow, so we walked on the patches of dry ground and crossed snowfields as necessary. On the upper part of the mountain Yak Trax or the like could be useful, but you‘ll be climbing half the time on rocks and half the time on snow, so that‘s up to you. Snowshoes would‘ve been nice on the way down in the valley. You probably won‘t need them anywhere above the saddle unless you get there late. But after noon the snow in the valley got really mushy and there was much post holing. I‘d suggest leaving the snowshoes at the end of the valley before you ascend the saddle and then using them to cross the valley on the way back. We started hiking at 9:30am, peaked at 1:30pm, and got back to the car (at the upper trailhead) at 3:30pm. Lindyhapa   2012-04-28  0     Edit Delete 
2012-04-20  Northwest Ridge  I attempted the northwest ridge of La Plata yesterday. The recent storm had dropped three to five inches of new snow on top of the snow laid down by the big storms earlier in April. There was quite a bit more snow than I had seen on my ascent of Mt. Antero in early March, and quite a bit more snow than I had expected after our ultra-dry winter. The road to the trailhead was dry, despite the recent snow. I re-broke the trail into La Plata Gulch and up to about 11,200. The summer trail is invisible above about 11,100. I contemplated heading straight up to the ridge, but I had planned to shoot sunset from the summit and the thought of descending all that snow-covered talus was not appealing. Good judgment finally got the better of me, and I turned around. The new snow will melt quickly, of course, but the drifts are deep enough to linger for several more weeks. You probably won‘t need snowshoes if you‘re traveling early in the morning, but that trail is going to get quite icy very soon, so micro-spikes will be helpful. In short, the peak is still in much more difficult conditions than it will be in summer. Don‘t let our warm March lull you into thinking snow season is over. gprandall   2012-04-21  0     Edit Delete 
2012-04-07  Northwest Ridge  The peak is in great shape with areas of rapid melt out, but has some trouble areas. Around photo 2 in Bills trip report the snow was hard slab with a powder base about stomach deep. On our descent we elected to use the hill to the side to avoid the snow as it had softened up and looked to be primed for a slide. As you cross the terrain in photo 3, we had to traverse 1 large ( 200ft), and a few smaller snow fields. With the cold weather last week there almost no purchase with the spike on my ice axe as we crossed, an a fall would have been very bad here. From about 11,000-11,5000 the snow will be a post hole heaven if you don‘t have cold weather before you go. If anyone has questions PM me for more info. At this time crampons, ice axe, and snow shoes are needed if the standard route is to be followed. If you bushwack a bit and dont mind some extra vertical then microspikes and snowshoes will do the trick. Andymcp1   2012-04-08  0     Edit Delete 
2012-03-14  Northwest Ridge  I climbed Plata today, it was a long day.... a very long day that could have been avoided if we opted to take the standard summer route. The Standard winter route was a frozen snowy prison. I was post holing on every step to my waist with BIG snowshoes on for .25 mile, which lasted for an hour or two. It sucked. DONT DO IT. If I was to advice anyone interested in climbing Plata soon, I would suggest taking the standard route with a packed trail. It‘s really obvious and very solid in the morning, not so much in the afternoon. Definitely bring microspikes and snowshoes. The snowshoes may help if your day lasts as long as mine did. There is also some fairly decent glissading available. Rcizzle   2012-03-14  0     Edit Delete 
2012-03-10  Northwest Ridge  The route looks in fantastics winter conditions climb! We did La Plata Peak, Nothwest Ridge yesterday. The trail all the way up to tree line is well pack, traction will be necessary. From tree line at 11200 feet we head straight to the Northwest ridge, pretty step, rocky with some snow fields. From the Northwest Ridge to the summit, the trail is visible. Microspikes or crampons will be necessary for the last 1500 feet because of the hard pack snow about the ridge. Snowshoes weren‘t necessary about tree line, so we leave them at 11200 feet. javy20040   2012-03-11  0     Edit Delete 
2012-02-18  Northwest Ridge  The trip report from 02/16 covers the risks of the route well. I just wanted to re-emphasize / echo sentiments on two items (last 500 feet to treeline / scree slope just above treeline) as we climbed it on 02/18. Hopefully this write-up helps those trying to get out soon. Item 1 - ~ 11,300 ft to 11,800 ft - I hiked it with a much more experienced climber (chrisinaz) and below the tree line had us both spooked heading down with the sun shining and softenin the snow pack. It‘s very steep with a lot of loose snow and there is risk of sliding off the trail and risk for a slide in that area. The snow is piling up around there so be careful. Item 2 - ~ 11,900 ft to 12,200 ft - The scree slope is the way to go up after you get above treeline but it‘s a little tricky coming down. Just go slow. The route is definitely doable. It‘s beautiful out there right now. Enjoy if you get out! jasayrevt   2012-02-19  0  3    Edit Delete 
2012-02-16  Northwest Ridge  Went via the NW ridge yesterday. TR to follow soon. The trail terminates at treeline below the northern most head wall of the ridge. I chose the steep but short scree slope over traversing the side of the ridge. I feel it was way safer. The crux of this route for me was coming down. On the upper half of the trail BELOW treeline is very steep. The snow was soft and there was nothing for my micro spikes to bite into. I took 4 or 5 hard falls that turned into an uncontrolled slides. There‘s a story for about this to follow in my TR. Basically my glove saved me from smashing into a tree. Crazy I know. When possible I walked down in the powder on either side of the trail to slow my movement down and keep me from sliding. If you attempt this anytime soon be extra cautious coming down on the trail below timberline. Feel free to PM me with any questions. WDavis   2012-02-17  0     Edit Delete 

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