Peak:  La Plata Peak (14er)
 Route:  Northwest Ridge
 Range:  Sawatch
 Posted By:  Artvandalay
 Date of Info:  06/04/2011
 Date Posted:  06/04/2011

The La Plata TH is easily accessible and snow isn't encountered until about 10,500 feet. From there I postholed something fierce until about 11,700 (much worse on the way down of course). The trail is hard to stay on during those elevations I mentioned due to mounds of snow covering it. At around 12,000 feet the trail is easy to find and stay on for the most part. Since your out of tree cover though the way to the top is simply up. Not much need for trails at that point. There are some wicked cornices hanging once you top out on the saddle at 12,700. Hard snowpack and a little icy above 13,000. The sky was hazy today and I think that's due to some fires that are going on. Wind was minimal and that was a blessing. I will add that at the third creek crossing the runoff from the snow melting is causing the creek's levels to be a bit high. It was very difficult to cross the third creek crossing on the designed path. I ended up going upstream about 15 feet and crossed the creek on a tree that had fallen and was suspended over the creek about 12 inches. The tree is small, only about 5-6 inches in diameter. It worked out alright.

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