Peak:  La Plata Peak (14er)
 Route:  Northwest Ridge
 Range:  Sawatch
 Posted By:  gooseybean
 Date of Info:  07/08/2013
 Date Posted:  07/09/2013

The wife and I started out prepared to do Ellingwood Ridge (Photo 3)- but the instructions from confused us and we backtracked to the Northwest Route. So a quick note for those trying to do Ellingwood Ridge - after the road hike and then starting on the trail, you will come to a small bridge crossing a spectacular creek bottleneck - just after this take a left where the trail splits right (South) & left (North). After a little hike you will come to another creek - you may have to wade across this if run-off is high. That\'s were we turned back but should have continued on, so I hope that helps some of you.
Now, our climb up the standard route was great (started at 6:00) it was a bit wet (a large thunder/lightning storm rolled through the night before) but by the time we reached rocks/boulders things were drying up. The willows were a bit damp but did not soak through to my socks. This standard route is very steep and involves a lot of switchbacks - so be prepared. After timberline there\'s a traverse that leads to a small saddle, and then it\'s up, up, up lots of boulders. Here (at the boulders area) there was some leftover snow, but it doesn\'t hinder the hike at all. We made summit at about 10:15 with few clouds and began our descent at about 10:40. Have your camera ready for there are lots of marmots just hanging out (Photo 4). Clouds came and went, but without moisture nor lightning. Really a beautiful hike.

Photos (click for slideshow):
Image #1Image #2Image #3Image #4

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