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La Plata Peak conditions?

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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La Plata Peak conditions?

Postby vdavidoff » Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:45 pm

Anyone been up La Plata Peak in the past week? I'm having some knee issues and might not make it all the way, but the weather is looking to be so good that I'm going to give it a shot Wed morning, 2013-01-09. I did South Fork of Lake Creek about 3.6 miles out on 2013-01-04 so I have an idea of the conditions down low, but I'm curious about the rest of the way up. Newest condition report on the Northwest Ridge route page is from 2012-11-25.

Thanks.
Andy

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Re: La Plata Peak conditions?

Postby michaelgrundy » Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:07 pm

I too am looking for La Plata conditions. I will be headed up there on MLK weekend (So there is quite a bit of time) but I would still like the info!

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Re: La Plata Peak conditions?

Postby ezabielski » Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:59 pm

My friend and I tried to climb on Sunday via the standard route. We found that on the path being formed by winter users must have diverted at some point from the summer trail. The going was extremely slow traversing a long slope and then climbing steep sections to gain the ridge. We turned around at this point since there was no chance we could summit and return before dark. The snow is light. We carried snow shoes and never used them, opting to keep our microspikes on the entire way. Some places, although short, were steep enough you could get a pretty good glisade going!

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Re: La Plata Peak conditions?

Postby vdavidoff » Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:18 am

Thanks for the info! Just curious, what time did you guys start?

Andy

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Re: La Plata Peak conditions?

Postby vdavidoff » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:36 am

I guess I'll go ahead and add that, again, with the caveat that my knee might have me turning around early, I'm aiming to be on the trail at 0500 tomorrow morning, 2013-01-09. If anyone's interested in joining me, you can find me there.

Andy

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Re: La Plata Peak conditions?

Postby vdavidoff » Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:31 pm

I'm down. Luckily my knee held up, which is unusual and awesome, but I think I totally agree with ezabielski about the route (at least, the one that's currently most well defined) being non-standard and kind of nuts. I didn't summit and the main reason was because that route got so sketchy. I followed it way farther than I should have. I'm gonna review data from my GPS and whatnot and try to get a trip report up.

I am not entirely certain yet, but I think the route deviated at about 1.6 miles. Don't quote me on that just yet though. I've attached the elevation profile from my GPS if anyone is interested. Basically from ~1.6m - ~2.1m seemed to me to be extremely steep, and based on what was beneath my feet, not the standard route (and I don't think I ever rejoined the standard route). But again, don't quote me just yet. Where I turned back was after a stretch that I found to be fairly dangerous, and wasn't willing to continue on. Here's a panoramic shot from that point:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewdavidoff/8364688353/in/photostream

Even thought I didn't summit, it was a great hike and I got a beautiful view shortly after sunrise! I learned a lot and it was a great personal success.

Andy
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Re: La Plata Peak conditions?

Postby geojed » Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:43 pm

vdavidoff wrote:I'm down. Luckily my knee held up, which is unusual and awesome, but I think I totally agree with ezabielski about the route (at least, the one that's currently most well defined) being non-standard and kind of nuts. I didn't summit and the main reason was because that route got so sketchy. I followed it way farther than I should have. I'm gonna review data from my GPS and whatnot and try to get a trip report up.

Andy


The standard winter route gains the North ridge much earlier. Approx where I have the arrow in the screen capture I made from your pano.
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Re: La Plata Peak conditions?

Postby vdavidoff » Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:57 pm

Thank you. I think I may have actually seen a set of tracks going that way that gave me pause, if I'm remembering correctly.

Oh, and unfortunately I think it requires a Strava login to view this, but this is the data from my GPS.

http://app.strava.com/activities/36959701

Peak conditions report:

http://14ers.com/php14ers/peakstatus_entry.php?recnum=2022

Andy
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Re: La Plata Peak conditions?

Postby ThuChad » Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:57 am

This is a track from 2/28/10, taken from sgladbach on SP. From what I read it's the best route in the winter.

Image

If I'm looking at it correctly, which is kind of hard since they're different maps, you should have gained the ridge at the level area around 11,700. Hindsite is always 20/20. :-D

Image
I'm just pretending to be a poseur.

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Re: La Plata Peak conditions?

Postby vdavidoff » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:55 pm

Here's my route and the GPX from trip report laid next to each other in Google Maps.

The trip report I got the GPX from: http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=11465&parmpeak=La+Plata+Peak&start=15&cpgm=tripmain&ski=Include

My route is red, the one from the trip report is blue. This gives a better idea of where I thought the switches back (?) up out of the gulch got a little crazy.

Andy
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Re: La Plata Peak conditions?

Postby vdavidoff » Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:19 pm

No one may care about this but I just wanted to add that after a getting two 14ers successfully under my belt (albeit easier ones), and learning a ton along the way, it's now clear (ly stupid) what I did here. I feel like given my experience level at the time, I made the right decisions when it came to my safety, but it's now just so clear what route decisions I should have made (a hunch at the time, now unquestionable).

I guess, point is, it's nice to look back after a relatively short period of time and see the progress in terms of my experience. Fun stuff. I plan to attempt La Plata Peak again in the very near future.

Andy

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Re: La Plata Peak conditions?

Postby jlikescamera » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:58 am

Was up there on 03/05/13. Trailhead was open. There was a ton of snow with an old snowshoe path that headed up the valley to the west of what I believe is the winter trail. Eventually we deviated from this to try and break what we thought the winter trail should have been through 2-4 feet of powder. We eventually arrived at the southern tip of the rock face where the actual climb starts. At that pnt though the trail breaking had cost us too much time to summit and return in day light so we headed down

If anyone with experience would be interested in giving the summit a try this Sunday, the 17th let me know! I've been itching to conquer it!

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