Start on the normal route for the NW ridge from the Twin Lakes trailhead. About 1/2 mile down the trail after crossing bridge over creek, turn east (left) and follow a small trail cutting across LaPlata gulch and into LaPlata basin. Hit the stream draining LaPlata basin and turn south (right). Follow trail on the west side of the stream up into LaPlata basin. This trail is unmaintained and numerous blowdowns will hinder your progress. Occasionally the trail will wander away from the stream, but minimal route finding skills will keep you on track. When you break out of the trees into an area of low growing shrubs, the north face of LaPlata will be right in front of you. At some point, cross to the east bank of the stream and continue south to the scree slopes leading up the face. The route we took was the western most couloir running up the face.
Climb the western most couloir. This is a moderate snow climb of appx. 30 to 40 degrees. We encountered some rockfall when the sun hit the upper slopes, but we could avoid it by staying on the east (left) side of the couloir. About half way up, the couloir turns left and slightly steepens. Near the top, we encountered ice, but at a moderate angle. At any time near the top, you can traverse right onto the rocks for a relatively easy scramble, if you want to avoid the ice.
Crampons and ice axe.
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