Peak(s):  La Plata Peak  -  14,336 feet
Date Posted:  10/09/2007
Date Climbed:   09/30/2007
Author:  skier25
 La Plata (New Snow)  

That morning, I woke up at 3:15 to make the 2 1/2 hour drive to the La Plata trailhead. Thanks to this awesome tool, I wasn't late.

However, the drive from Georgetown to Dillon and over the Climax Pass was reduced to blizzard conditions. 30 mph maximum. I found out that there were some terrible accidents that happened later that morning.

I got to the trailhead and waited for my partner in the car. When she finally arrived (after her unexpected trip to Minturn) we began hiking at 7:30.

The first part of the trail flew by, and it seemed that everything was frozen solid. It was cold, and it reminded us that summer is officially OVER.
In the trees, the snow was not significant; just a light dusting. We were the first ones on the trail, and we didn't see anyone until we were on the side of the ridge.

Once the sun hit, the snow began to melt fast. Only the snow above treeline remained throughout the day.
Unfortunately, because the morning was so cold, it was necessary for my partner to turn back. I tried to convince her otherwise but for her, the fun was gone. (I think it was because her socks were too thick ). We decided that I would continue with other people while she left a note on my car telling me that she had made it safely back to the trailhead.

Higher up on the mountain it was ankle deep snow, and when I crossed the main snowfield in the next picture, It proved to be knee deep in places.


Hiking along the ridge was fun, but the wind was just ferocious! I got knocked off balance by the wind twice!

Once I summited, I looked back to see a man with what I thought was a black labrador retriever. 15 minutes later, a huge black beast of a dog (I thought it was a lion) came out of nowhere and ran right for me. This scared the hell out of me. No one expects to see a massive St. Bernard up that high! The dog and its owner were both very nice, and I descended the rest of the mountain with them.

This is what La Plata looked like when we got back to the cars:
The rest of the drive home was incredibly scenic; I just wish I had taken more pictures!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

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