(hmmm, Northwest Ridge? That doesn't seem right.... maybe I should take better notes.)
I went with M**** and H****, my two then-roomies. A good, easy trail up another Sawatch hump distinguished by its backwoods feel. Poor M**** was lost in emotional pain of a long-term relationship break-up on the way up, and poor H***** was lost in the physical pain of an old knee injury on the way down. Me, I was fine, although I had to ask the obnoxious ass-wipe ahead of us who was trying has damnedest to impress the woman he was climbing with to keep his voice down. He didn't take kindly to it. Twit.
Next time I'll go by myself and do the Ellingwood Ridge.
I had tried this route a few years earlier but got "monsooned" off well below the summit at about 10:30 a.m.
Start 7am, summit 11:30, return 13:00. 6 hours, 1 candybar, no water.
Skinned from La Plata Gulch Trailhead to just above tree-line (much snow) climbed and followed ridge to summit (little snow). Strong wind, no clouds, beautifull view. Ski descent from 200ft below summit through 2 coulouirs on west-side. Too little snow above tree-line to create avalance danger.
La Plata has turned me away twice, both times due to bad weather.
Incredible day! Great weather (sunny, 30F at the summit, and no wind :), awesome views!
Started from the North Winfield 4WD trailhead, and made quick time to the plateau. The weather held out, and we had very nice views of the Sawatch Range. This route seemed quicker than the standard route from the north - only 6.5 hours round trip.
My 10th Fourteener. Had a great time on Ellingwood, but if I ever do that climb again I'll definitely start earlier in the morning (My friend and I started at 5:30 AM, but it took us ten hours to summit). Absolutely loved it!
The weather was electrifying.
A long, challenging, seldom traveled route. I saw no trail, no cairns, and no footprints during my 5-6 hours on the ridge. photos.
Ellingwood Ridge is sweet ! If you're looking for six hours of scrambling on a great ridge, this is it!
Well La Plata surprised me. After climbing Missouri, Emerald and Iowa the day before, I didn't think La Plata would be much fun but it was.
Weather was great, the hike through the basin was beautiful. The rocks on the mountain were fun - avoid the trail - it's scree and loose footing. Climb on the rocks and have fun! Very solid.
La Plata is everything a Sawatch Mountain should be.
Have done this mountain twice, which is surprising since for some reason I don't particularly care for the thing. First climb was memorable because the weather was so unbelievably warm, climbing partners Aaron Johnson and Mike Kloepfer took a two hour nap on the summit!
And got away with it...
Very nice day after a long spell of bad weather, the mountain gods were smiling. This is a beautiful hike up a scenic valley, and a great mountain.
I was sure I told Shon 2 nights of camping, so I had to talk him into it once we were there. Great view of Huron and the Apostles and Ice mtn from our camp on the less popular southern basin. steep bushwhack to get out of it, but oh well.
Got a bit turned around in the early-morning dark but once on route had a blast. First half is pretty good rock, but quality deteriates as you go. This climb just sucks your energy out. Lots of up and down. But in the end, the sense of accomplishment and the incredible scrambling and scenery made it well worth it.
CD, Mark, and I summited on my birthday! I had to climb the route after having climbed Elbert and not being able to tear my eyes away from the ridge! We gained the ridge very early (way North of the peak), which made for a very long day. Great clasic ridge climbing with as mush exposure as you want. Many of the obstacles can be avoined by dropping slightly below the ridge, but what fun is that! Also, if anyone tries to tell you that there is a trail that should be used to get you to the route, they are full of it.
Labor Day brought a snowstorm in 2001, so we avoided the mountains for a few weeks before trying another few 14ers. La Plata Peak turned out to be an excellent choice because the aspens along the Clear Creek Road were peaking. The willows kind of suck in the valley, especially with non-waterproof boots, and the southwest ridge felt to us like it took forever to climb, but we had a great autumn day, nevertheless.
La Plata was one of my favorite Sawatch fourteeners (along with Mount of the Holy Cross and Huron Peak). It is a nice climb with asttounding views. The Ellingwood Ridge is dramatic from the north ridge.
Perfect day to climb a 14er. Gary, Dave and myself. With minimal stops on the way up we managed to summit this peak in under 4 hours. The summit was beautiful and it was fun to look down at the Ellingwood ridge which Gary and I attempted the previous year a little too late in the season. This year we may make another attempt to summit via the Ellingwood ridge.
Picking our way along the trail-less ridge was slower going than expected. A fun and challenging route. Reaching the summit by this route leaves a feeling of accomplishment.