La Plata Peak

After two months in Boise where we mostly studied and worked the whole time, we’ve been trying hard to take advantage of what is left of summer here in Colorado and get up high before winter settles in. Tracy had never been up a 14er, and we thought La Plata would be the perfect introduction. I had never been up the peak either, so I was psyched to get another under my belt and in the process get a good look at the Ellingwood Ridge, which I have been told is one of the better technical ridge challenges in the state.

The forecast was great, with no rain predicted, so we didn’t get up too early but apparently no one else got the memo, as the lot was packed by the time we got there around 7:30. The day started off chilly with a hint of autumn in the air. As we climbed higher our bodies warmed and soon we were above tree line, staring at the rest of route up the Northwest ridge of the mountain. From this vantage point, the Ellingwood Ridge loomed in the distance and certainly looked impressive. It was studded with too many towers to count and looked like it would be a tedious undertaking. I’d like to go back and try it, but definitely on a good weather day!


From this point onward we had incredible views of the surrounding peaks that only got better the higher we climbed. We passed many folks already on their way down, and shared the summit with only two other parties. We lounged for a long time on top, contemplating the view of endless mountains that stretched off to the horizon. I didn’t want to leave, as perfect weather on a 14er isn’t all that common, and it felt great not to be worried about getting down fast. Taking one last look around, we finally left the summit and headed back down the mountain as the sun began to sink lower in the western sky. The afternoon light was beautiful, and we thoroughly enjoyed the descent back the car.


You get a great view of the peak heading back over Independence Pass, and from that view you realize the fourteeners really are big mountains!


We’ve been getting up high the last couple of weeks, and are hoping for a nice, long fall so we can continue to do so, winter is long enough!

One Response to La Plata Peak

  1. Ahhh – First family photo? I want doubles!

    JG September 5, 2007 at 2:49 pm
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