Peak(s):  La Plata Peak  -  14,336 feet
Date Posted:  07/01/2007
Modified:  07/02/2007
Date Climbed:   06/30/2007
Author:  Shoedawg
 La Plata - Southwest Ridge  

I started my hike close to Winfield around 5:45 a.m. and signed the trailhead register about 40 minutes later. The 4-wheel road was an easy walk until the last 300 feet. Two vehicles were parked at the top. One was a Pathfinder and the other was a Tuscon.

The trail was easy to moderate up to the hanging valley. The trail is real easy through the hanging valley but it is still muddy in spots.

Towards the north end of the valley the trail heads up to the ridge. This part killed me because the trail gets steep and it has patches of scree and I wasn't acclimated yet.

Here is another pic from the valley looking north.

It took me forever to get to the ridge as my lungs were searching for every particle of oxygen they could find. Finally on the ridge I took another break and got a nice pic of the Apostles.

I started to walk on the ridge and my legs began to cramp. I literally drank a liter of water, took two advil and a vitamin. It took about ten minutes before I could walk again. I began to wonder if I should turn around and try another day. About that time two people from Tennessee came by and I thought if they could do it so could I. Unfortunately I knew what I was looking at was a false summit and my brain was overtaking my desire to summit.
The trail peters out into a 600 ft. hill of talus. I was really struggling for air as I started up the hill. I could only take about ten steps without stopping for air. About a third of the way up the talus hill I shouted to the Volunteers that I was turning around. I think it was about 10:30 at that time. Once I got back to the hanging valley oxygen returned and I flew to my vehicle south of Winfield. I returned around 12:15. All in all it was a great day as I saw some fantastic views and met some nice people. This is a great site and I'll see you Centennials next year. La Plata, I'll be acclimated next year.

Here are 2 more pics, one is the hanging valley and the other is the refrigerator couloir.

Image Image

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Keep trying...
11/30/2010 17:20
...and you'll get it! Nice pics!


Great TR
07/03/2007 06:08
Nice report, are you a professional photographer? Nice pictures!

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