La Plata (Northwest Ridge)

La Plata was a full on redemption 14er for me.  My first attempt at a 14er was La Plata but we ended up in getting lost and bushwhacking up a 13er. My first “successful” attempt at La Plata was my first year in Colorado, I knew nothing about 14ers, I wore blue jeans, did not wear sunscreen, and lets just say I felt a little unpleasant by the time I got back to the car. Snowy Trail
Beautiful Snowy Scenery!
Even though I had to break trail and post hole through snow to get to the summit this was definitely a much better experience.  Sticking with my normal routine, I drove to the La Plata trail head Friday night, camped out in the Forrester and hit the trail early.  Right off the bat I start hiking up switch backs, I quickly got into my stare at the beautiful scenery and march groove and before I knew it I was above tree line.  It was obvious this hike was going to be similar to my Grays and Torreys experience.  I could see the summit was engulfed in clouds and knew it was going to be very unpleasant on the summit.  The worst part of the day was the snow covered talus field near the summit, absolute ankle/shin killers! There was no real defined trail so I ended up post holing between the cairns I could find. La Palta
Snowy Mountains!Snowy Trail
Just the right amount of snow! My trail shoes and gators kept my feet warm and dry!Blustery Summit
The beginning of post holing through the talus before the summit.  Sore Ankles!La Plata Summit
Almost zero visibility on the summit. It was cold and miserable.
La Plata was pretty deserted, I only ran into 4 other people that were going up as I was going down.  They gave me many thanks for blazing the trail to the summit, but I am sure my tracks were buried soon after I made them.  Before I knew it I was back below tree line and in the car with the heat on full blast!  This was my 29th 14er for the season, and I will be tackling Mt. Sherman next to finish off my 30by30 challenge.

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