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La Plata Peak  
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Route  Conditions Information  Posted By   Posted On    Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2011-10-16  Southwest Ridge  Route was a bit muddy in the basin, and some unavoidable snow above 12,500. Snow was firm in the morning but softened in the afternoon. Was 2 feet in drifts, but usually only 6-12 inches. Snow patches on the steep slopes the last mile before the summit made the route/a good route hard to find. Gaiters would have been helpful, but snowshoes would have been overkill. Microspikes might have helped in some spots, but not necessary at all. This will probably all change after it snows tonight and tomorrow. Vincopotamus   2011-10-16  0     Edit Delete 
2011-10-15  Northwest Ridge  Just below tree line, there is some ice on the trail. Microspikes or trekking poles would probably be helpful. I had an ice axe, and used it in lieu of trekking poles. Above treeline, there is some snow, but I did not use any aides. I carried crampons, but they were not necessary. Overall, the trip is in great condition. At least 35 other people were making an attempt on this route on Saturday. ilium   2011-10-17  0     Edit Delete 
2011-10-14  Southwest Ridge  Route gets kind of hard to find in the marsh area, just make your way to the back of the valley. You will eventually pick up the trail again. Gators, waterproof boots, and microspikes, or similar, suggested. Snow is unavoidable and can get thigh deep at higher elevations. slapshot   2011-10-16  0     Edit Delete 
2011-09-24  Northwest Ridge  NW Ridge Route almost completely snow free. Patches of snow are pretty avoidable. Aspens are beautiful! BigfootUSAF   2011-09-26  0     Edit Delete 
2011-09-24  Ellingwood Ridge  Climbed Ellingwood Ridge and descended NW Ridge. No snow issues at all anywhere on either route. Fall colors in this area seem at their PEAK! Wentzl   2011-09-25  0     Edit Delete 
2011-09-18  Northwest Ridge  Trail is free from snow until the upper ridge. The rocks are a bit slippery, but are not dangerous. Some of the trail is snowpacked rather well and it is best to follow the cairns until the trail reappears for the final half mile or so until the summit. Going down is a bit trickier, but just take your time. In some places there is an inch in others there were maybe five at most. I brought an axe and crampons and they were not needed. ColoradoLawDobe   2011-09-18 1     Edit Delete 
2011-09-11  Northwest Ridge  NW Ridge has seen a small dusting of snow in the summit area that will pose no problems. Trail in great shape. RockyMountainMustang   2011-09-11  0     Edit Delete 
2011-08-20  Northwest Ridge  Trail was clear, dry, beautiful and a bit of work. Some of the upper areas are a bit gravelly and washed-out (as might be expected this year) but not unsafe. The trail down from the summit to the false summit is not well established, so make sure you don‘t wind up on the wrong descent like I did. hvolmer   2011-08-25  0     Edit Delete 
2011-07-16  Ellingwood Ridge  There is very little snow to be concerned with on Ellingwood Ridge. There was a couple of sections right next next to some rock faces that can be traversed right next to the rock. There is a gully as you near the summit of East La Plata that is still full of snow and ice. I believe that you can climb some rock to reach the top of this gully, but you would exceed Class 3 by downclimbing into this section. I stayed close to the left side of this gully, but slipped a couple of times. Once atop the gully, I traversed over some snow onto smooth rock so it was a bit slick at times. There is a little bit of lingering snow en route to La Plata‘s summit, but steps can easily be kicked-in or it can be skirted to the left. I carried my axe and some microspikes, but didn‘t use any tools. tmathews   2011-07-17  0     Edit Delete 
2011-07-16  Northwest Ridge  Snow is of zero concern on this route. There is some mud but it‘s also of no consequence. The creeks and rivers are really roaring right now, the valley is incredibly lush and the wildflowers are exploding from everywhere. a94buff   2011-07-16  0     Edit Delete 
2011-07-09  Ellingwood Ridge  There were a few snow fields to cross. An ice axe was helpful but probably not required. Largely the ridge is snow free, I hiked it in shorts and trail runners. dannyg23   2011-07-10  0     Edit Delete 
2011-07-08  Northwest Ridge  Completely snow-free, except for some small patches of snow. iquack08   2011-07-08  0     Edit Delete 
2011-07-03  Northwest Ridge  Good trail conditions--a few short snow fields below the saddle. They were easy to cross in trail shoes, with poles (and poles weren‘t necessary). We didn‘t posthole at all, and if you want, you can walk around the snow in the rocks. usfgal   2011-07-05  0     Edit Delete 
2011-07-03  Northwest Ridge  Climbed La Plata Peak‘s NW Ridge Route. Only a couple of minor patches of snow on the ascent to the ridgeline. You can either walk through the well-bootpacked snow, or you can simply hike around the snow patches. Once on the ridgeline, some parts of the trail are covered in snow. The best option here is to stay on the rocks to the right of the snow (as the climber is ascending). A beautiful day on a great route! If you‘re into wildflowers, I suggest waiting about 7-10 days before climbing, as the flowers are just starting to come out, and in a few more days, they should be spectacular! Also, I talked to some hikers on the summit who had taken the SW Ridge Route, and they said that there were only a couple of patches of snow on that route now too. pklotzbach   2011-07-04  0     Edit Delete 
2011-07-02  Southwest Ridge  no need for ax or snowshoes, but bring your route finding skills. patches of snow and the growing willows make the route easy to lose. the basin is very wet and muddy in some parts. waterproof hiking boots preferred. wizzer   2011-07-02  0     Edit Delete 
2011-06-26  Northwest Ridge  Climbed NW ridge, skied N face. The ridge is nearly dry to summit, on two small snow crossings. Climbed in trail runners with no problem. N face is in from about 15ft of true summit. Dropped in at 10:30 with snow already pretty soft, but still good. Hike out back to standard trail is very wet and there is plenty of rock snow and willows to deal with. Plan on wet feet unless you wear your ski boots. COBuckeye   2011-06-26  0     Edit Delete 
2011-06-04  Northwest Ridge  The La Plata TH is easily accessible and snow isn‘t encountered until about 10,500 feet. From there I postholed something fierce until about 11,700 (much worse on the way down of course). The trail is hard to stay on during those elevations I mentioned due to mounds of snow covering it. At around 12,000 feet the trail is easy to find and stay on for the most part. Since your out of tree cover though the way to the top is simply up. Not much need for trails at that point. There are some wicked cornices hanging once you top out on the saddle at 12,700. Hard snowpack and a little icy above 13,000. The sky was hazy today and I think that‘s due to some fires that are going on. Wind was minimal and that was a blessing. I will add that at the third creek crossing the runoff from the snow melting is causing the creek‘s levels to be a bit high. It was very difficult to cross the third creek crossing on the designed path. I ended up going upstream about 15 feet and crossed the creek on a tree that had fallen and was suspended over the creek about 12 inches. The tree is small, only about 5-6 inches in diameter. It worked out alright. Artvandalay   2011-06-04 2     Edit Delete 
2011-05-28  Northwest Ridge  Tried to hike La Plata on Saturday - Started at 3:00 - the snow had not frozen and we spent 90+ minutes post holing to only go about 700 vert. We tried to switch over to skins but there were a lot of sections with little to no snow or were simply to steep to try to skin up. We gave up around 5:30 and headed back down. hberry   2011-06-01  0     Edit Delete 
2011-05-09  Northwest Ridge  Did this climb at night (mistake), but anyway, since we climbed through the night the snow was relatively firm. There is at least 6 feet of snow in most places below the ridge. The ridge however, remains generally bare from the first head wall all the way to around 13,100‘. After this the ridge is very well covered by well packed snowfields. We turned back at 13,900‘ due to altitude sickness so I don‘t have much info beyond this point; from what we could see though, the snow was nearly continuous to the summit. Barb4rian   2011-05-11  0     Edit Delete 
2011-04-23  Northwest Ridge  Well lets just start off by saying we were slightly kidding ourselves with a weather system expected to move into the area from Saturday to late Saturday night but we decided to give it a go anyway. We got to the trailhead at 5:35 and were off on the trail by 6. Unfortunately there were three of us and only two sets of snow shoes so I decided to be a nice guy and let my girlfriend use the other pair we had. Conditions were not to bad on for the beginning part of the road and we arrived at the trailhead shortly after. There seemed to be no previous tracks, but the trailhead would be easy enough to follow, or so we thought. Just before crossing the bridge maybe 1/4 mile from the start of the trailhead and after a few steps sinking into our knees my girlfriend and Nick decided to throw on snowshoes. Right as they were doing this we had lost the trail already but I decided to go on ahead and try and find the bridge because I could hear the river. Right after we got across the river things went down hill. . . FAST!!!!. We lost the trail and the the snow was immediately deeper and with every step I sank into the deep snow. Even Nick and my girlfriend were having issues with snow shoes. Almost every other step they took they would sink into their hips as well. We continued on for about an hour like this. For me without snow shoes it was terrible. I knew right away I wouldn‘t be reaching the summit that day. It took us about an hour to go a quarter of a mile. I even tried crawling on all fours from time to time to spread out my weight and even thought didnt work. I would be crawling along and before I knew it either my knee or both hands would fall through the snow. After about 1.5 hours of utterly exhausting work while still being completely off the trail. we decided we all had enough because we knew that this was not going to happen today for us. It will be a while before the snow melts out of this area. kushrocks   2011-04-30  0     Edit Delete 

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