Peak:  La Plata Peak (14er)
 Route:  Northwest Ridge
 Range:  Sawatch
 Posted By:  jasayrevt
 Date of Information:  02/18/2012
 Date Posted:  02/19/2012

The trip report from 02/16 covers the risks of the route well. I just wanted to re-emphasize / echo sentiments on two items (last 500 feet to treeline / scree slope just above treeline) as we climbed it on 02/18. Hopefully this write-up helps those trying to get out soon.

Item 1 - ~ 11,300 ft to 11,800 ft - I hiked it with a much more experienced climber (chrisinaz) and below the tree line had us both spooked heading down with the sun shining and softenin the snow pack. It's very steep with a lot of loose snow and there is risk of sliding off the trail and risk for a slide in that area. The snow is piling up around there so be careful.

Item 2 - ~ 11,900 ft to 12,200 ft - The scree slope is the way to go up after you get above treeline but it's a little tricky coming down. Just go slow.

The route is definitely doable. It's beautiful out there right now. Enjoy if you get out!

  • Comments or Questions

02/19/2012 20:11
Just a few addenda:

That steep area below treeline may be avoidable by, on the ascent, cutting left at a flat area on the ridge and following the ridge crest until rejoining the trench at treeline. Snowshoes would be a must for this option, but are otherwise not needed at present.

It's possible to bareboot the entire climb, but microspikes are a good idea to have along (crampons would be overkill). An ice axe or pair of trekking poles are also highly recommended.


Good time
02/19/2012 23:28
Nice meeting you guys out there!


The sketchy part
02/20/2012 16:32
One thing I did coming down when possible was hiked down parallel to the trail in the deeper, unbroken snow. It was a little more work but well worth is as the powder doesnt allow you to slide much, and if you do start to slide it stops you.

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