With my Colorado Outward Bound training group, we hiked up trailless Crystal Lake Creek and camped below all of the large lakes. We climbed a snow couloir to gain the ridge, then meandered along the pinnacles to the summit. A great glissade back to the lakes. We also climbed a prominent couloir on the north side of the peak that forms the SE corner of the basin. Since we were training we set 11 fixed lines just getting to the Ellingwood Ridge!
Magnificent and very diverse trail, poorly marked at the beginning. Once out of the gulch, incredible scenery of what I believe to be Winfield Peak to the South. The sun struggled to shine. Did not trust the cloudy skies. It took me a long time to reach the saddle below the crest for being in doubt to procede several times. Skeptically observed the clouds taking over the peak as I was just below the snowfield (almost noon). I instantly chose to descend; reached timberline in a light rain/snowfall under thunder and lightning. Very slow descend especially from the upper portion; treacherous terrain. Slipped several times. Long, steep and great climb. Am rating this one as the most difficult 14er I've hiked so far but plan to summit from Winfield on a hopefully sunny day.
Turned back by weather around 12,500 feet the previous day. Returned and successfully summitted on a beautiful day.
This was an awesome but tiring hike. Many boulders to hop across. I got misrouted a few times which added to my time and tiredness. I missed the summit and started towards the Winfield Trailhead.
La Plata will definitely give you some great views! especially in the Spring time. My girlfriend, Lorena, and I climbed this peak during our Memorial Day Weekend break in 2002. Our high camp was awesome. I have posted a detailed trip report under the trip report section of the La Plata Page. This is not a hard route. Just an arduous one if you are full out camping like we did. The photo was taken by Lorena.
My first mountain I ever climbed.
Climbed with homeboy Uy. Starting in the morning, we kept a good pace until about ½-way up, when Uy started developing a bit of altitude sickness (he'd recently returned from England, i.e. sea level). He pushed through it, though, and we summited. After hanging out on top for a bit, we went back down. Towards the bottom Uy injured his leg, but we slowed down and everything was cool. It was a beautiful day, and seeing the sun come through the trees in La Plata Gulch while listening to the river below on the return was really nice. Overall, a great day in the Colorado Rockies- good climb with a good friend in beautiful weather .
I had tried this solo three weeks earlier and turned back because of some deep snow. I came back with a friend to find half the snow and twice the fun. We barely made it back down before the latest storm moved in.
This is a nice hike all the way to the top as long as the weather holds out. Watch the west for storms, it is blocked by a series of peaks so if a bad storm rolls in you have only a short time before it hits you! While reaching the summit I got slamed by the worst storm I have ever been in. the winds were 35+ mph and visibility was about 5 feet. so be carefull
Monsoonal morning. Plenty of clouds. 5 hours roundtrip.
A good challenging hike the weather was good and the views great as always.
The third fourteener I've climbed was the nicest yet! It was a challenging route, but not forever long like Mt. Massive was. The weather was a little crummy and cloudy but thankfully it cleared up by the time we got to the top! Saw a bunch of rodents and a few birds, but nothing too exciting in the wildlife category. The walk through the basin was long and windey. Pretty wet in places, too. Once you started really climbing, though, you didn't stop!! We followed cairns all the way up the rocky ridge at the top. On the way down, however, I am certain that we were following different cairns. The moral of that story is just go up however you want! Met several nice people on that mountain, as we have on all the others we climbed. Mountaineers are such nice people!
started out very easy, other than the ten quadrillion steps about 1 mile in. other than that the hike was very simple through the gulch. once we reached la platta it was straight up from there. i started to feel a little altitude sickness around 13,500, i continued on and made the summit.
What a beautiful trail! This is one of my favorites. The hike through the forest next to La Plata Creek was the cat's meow. After tree line, the switchbacks get a little tiresome, but the peak is worth the work. My book said the trail is 8 miles roundtrip, but by my estimations it was about 12 miles RT because of the switchbacks. It really wore me out that day. Started around 9:15 am and reached summit at 12:45 pm.
Eighth of 10 fourteeners in 6 days. #16 overall.
Solo on a very Cloudy, foggy day. I couldn't see more than 10 feet in front of my shoes above 14,000 ft. Had to search around for the actual peak, and finally found the register. Snowed on me constantly above 12,000 ft or so. Very eerie to climb with little or no visibility - like being in a different world. I plan on climbing it again so I can enjoy the view from the peak!
The hike through the La Plata Gulch was beautiful, with some excellent views of Sayres Peak to the South (before the fog rolled in).
A very nice trail from the top of the 4WD road. Did not take very long to gain 1,000', even for a flatlander like me. You have to scramble up two ridges on this route. The first ridge which is just after you leave the basin. You can actually scramble up the face of the ridge, from a point where you will find two cairns, or follow the trail that switchbacks. We went up the face and came back down the trail. After gaining the first ridge at around 13,200, you are a short hike from the second ridge which is taller than the first. There are many cairns to guide you, however the trail becomes very faint in many places. After reaching the second ridge at around 14,000' you are about 30 minutes and two false summits from the top. A great view from the summit, no marker, but there was a summit register provided by The Colorado Mountain club. Thanks! A great mountain to climb and the summit cleared of clouds an hour before we got there.
Awesome Ridge! Very Nice Summit!
This is one of the best climbs I've had. The trail was great. Even the willows in the high basin were easy to get through. I climbed the large scree to the south false summit thinking I was reaching the true summit. I was really let down when I found out I still had a mile to go.
First attempted in May of 2001. Much snow - used snowshoes and crampons. Decided not to go all the way to summit as energy was dying and it was getting late in day. Turned around only 20 minutes from top. No trail could be seen - we had to break trail all the way in snowshoes - 13 hours of work and quite exhausting. Never sunk in so many holes with my snowhoes. Went back in June and did a fast solo up to summit - much easier.
Ellingwood Ridge was incredible. Good climb on solid rock. Started a little late and had to run up to the summit to avoid storms. A bad place to be caught in storm, little escape from the ridge, very tiring.