Peak(s):  La Plata Peak  -  14,336 feet
Date Posted:  08/26/2012
Date Climbed:   08/23/2012
Author:  Theodore
 La Plata - NW Ridge with wife  

Had a good friend getting married in Beaver Creek this weekend so my wife and I figured we'd try to sneak a 14er in while we were out there. We originally were looking at Holy Cross, but the weather didn't look like it was wanting to cooperate. Forecast wasn't a ton better for La Plata, but we gave it a go anyway, and I'm glad we did! We flew out after work on Wednesday, stopped in with some friends in Denver and got 3 hours of sleep before heading up to the TH.

We made it to the TH at ~6:30 and knew we would be "stuck" there until 2:30 since they were closing down 82 for the cycling race. The forecast was calling for rain, but we somehow lucked out and while it was cloudy around the area, we never saw any virga or heard any thunder.

Onto the photos!

Sunrise from the trailhead. Sky was on fire!


We made it up through the forest and were closing in on the switchbacks.

Trail @ end of forest

After the first set of switchbacks, traversing the side of the ridge.

Heading up the traverse

Us on the way up.


Me on the ridge.

Me heading up

Audrey on the ridge.

Audrey heading up (cheerleader pose)

Rest break and route check.

Rest and route check

Looking up at the summit ridge.




Once on the summit, we didn't want to push out luck and linger too long with all of the cloud activity around. I really wanted to run over and tag East La Plata, but it wasn't in the cards on this trip. We started back down and had a few sprinkles on the way, but it was clear and quiet outside of that!

I did notice this ridge line all morning long glowing red in the early light. Anyone know why it's so red? Excess iron? Any sort of mining leftovers?


Artsy shot of a burned out tree trailside.


Down and done!


Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions
Dark Helmet

well done!
08/29/2012 17:45
well done, looks like a great hike, man! that almost has to be iron causing that coloration, its too textbook to not be that.

Audrey needs the correct outfit to match her pose... iffffffffff ya know what I mean......

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