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 Peak(s):  La Plata Peak  -  14,336 feet
 Post Date:  07/11/2005
 Date Climbed:   07/10/2005
 Posted By:  SarahT

 7/10/05 Ellingwood Ridge   

Climbing La Plata via Ellingwood Ridge made for a very exciting day. We hit the trail at 4:20am. It was fairly difficult finding the faint trail leading up toward the ridge in the dark. We had planned to scope it out the evening before but my car died on I-70 and I had to have it towed back to Boulder and borrow a friends car. Unfortunately we reached the TH at 10:30pm. Anyway, we made our way in the right direction and found more than one usable trail along the way. The climb up the loose talus slope at the start of the ridge wasnt as bad as some people have described, although a large rock did fall on my shin, bruising it and tearing a hole in my pants. The first part of the ridge was rather mellow and I was a little dissappointed. That ended quickly though as the ridge became more complicated and rugged. I really dont know what class I climbed. Tons of Class 3 for sure. Ive never climbed a Class 4 route but I am 99% sure I did some of that on this climb. I stayed as much toward the top of the ridge as possible until I was faced with a scary looking downclimb - must have been low class 5. Then I would perform the tried and true technique of going down to the left (east) and around the obstacle. Near the end we had to cross a steep icy gully that made me VERY uncomfortable. An ice axe would have been good for this <10 foot section. After 9 hours we reached La Platas summit and joined half a dozen other people. Decended La Platas standard route which seemed never ending, but beautiful. 13.5 hours RT, a long, grueling day. But definately worth the effort. This must be the most exciting route in the Sawatch!
 


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