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 Peak(s):  La Plata Peak  -  14,336 feet
 Post Date:  06/15/2009
 Date Climbed:   06/14/2009
 Posted By:  SkiNowWorkLater

 La Plata June Ski   

Finally an "easy" day on a 14er! We left Aspen at 4:00AM to head over Indy Pass and to the La Plata trailhead; another pre-dawn start. The summit of La Plata is only 4.5 miles from the trailhead, and most of the hiking we could do in sneakers and hiking boots.

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Right from the trailhead the trail got steep almost immediately and hardly ever let up. Sure the trail is only 4.5 miles long, but you gain 4,500' in elevation in that distance! Despite that, we were able to keep our sneakers on until we hit the snow line at 13,500'. After a straightforward, albeit windy, bootpack we were standing on the summit 3.5 hours after leaving the car.

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A quick changeover and we were ready to ski the north-facing couloir on the north face right from the summit. We were all amazed at how good the snow was for being the middle of June! We were able to get a continuous 2,200 feet of skiing down a consistent fall line before we hit the dirt again. We all reached the bottom with huge smiles across our faces.

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All that was left was to change back into our shoes and hike around the ridge back to the standard trail. This took quite a bit of side-hilling and traversing nasty scree slopes, but careful footing got us through and soon enough we were back on the well-packed trail and it was a quick hike back down to the car. Round-trip length: 6 hours!

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Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (3)
JakeK


Nice turns!     2009-06-15 10:40:40
Great pics... I was probably an hour behind you, and your bootpack made the hike up in the snow a lot easier! I couldn‘t believe how great the snow looked on the north face... as soon as I hit the ridge, I regretted not bringing my skis!


mw1000


Sweet Air     2009-06-15 16:31:34
Dude, that statue of libertied spread eagle was AWESOME! Great pics!


ossie322


Awesome!     2009-06-25 09:05:45
Yes! I was thinking my ski season might have been over but after seeing this I‘m thinking one last descent (and spread eagle) is in the cards!



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