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 Peak(s):  La Plata Peak  -  14,336 feet
 Post Date:  07/01/2007 Modified: 07/02/2007
 Date Climbed:   06/30/2007
 Posted By:  Shoedawg

 La Plata - Southwest Ridge   

I started my hike close to Winfield around 5:45 a.m. and signed the trailhead register about 40 minutes later. The 4-wheel road was an easy walk until the last 300 feet. Two vehicles were parked at the top. One was a Pathfinder and the other was a Tuscon.
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The trail was easy to moderate up to the hanging valley. The trail is real easy through the hanging valley but it is still muddy in spots.
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Towards the north end of the valley the trail heads up to the ridge. This part killed me because the trail gets steep and it has patches of scree and I wasn't acclimated yet.
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Here is another pic from the valley looking north.
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It took me forever to get to the ridge as my lungs were searching for every particle of oxygen they could find. Finally on the ridge I took another break and got a nice pic of the Apostles.
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I started to walk on the ridge and my legs began to cramp. I literally drank a liter of water, took two advil and a vitamin. It took about ten minutes before I could walk again. I began to wonder if I should turn around and try another day. About that time two people from Tennessee came by and I thought if they could do it so could I. Unfortunately I knew what I was looking at was a false summit and my brain was overtaking my desire to summit.
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The trail peters out into a 600 ft. hill of talus. I was really struggling for air as I started up the hill. I could only take about ten steps without stopping for air. About a third of the way up the talus hill I shouted to the Volunteers that I was turning around. I think it was about 10:30 at that time. Once I got back to the hanging valley oxygen returned and I flew to my vehicle south of Winfield. I returned around 12:15. All in all it was a great day as I saw some fantastic views and met some nice people. This is a great site and I'll see you Centennials next year. La Plata, I'll be acclimated next year.
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Here are 2 more pics, one is the hanging valley and the other is the refrigerator couloir.

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Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (2)
Yog


Keep trying...     2010-11-30 10:20:11
...and you'll get it! Nice pics!


LuLuLuv


Great TR     2007-07-03 00:08:43
Nice report, are you a professional photographer? Nice pictures!



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