Peak:  La Plata Peak (14er)
 Route:  Northwest Ridge
 Range:  Sawatch
 Posted By:  kushrocks
 Date of Info:  04/23/2011
 Date Posted:  04/30/2011

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.

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