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Ascent of La Plata Peak on 2008-07-12

Climber: David Foster

Others in Party:Vaune
Date:Saturday, July 12, 2008
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:La Plata Peak
    Location:USA-Colorado
    Elevation:14336 ft / 4369 m

Ascent Trip Report

Entered from West Winfield side, not the classic approach. In retropsect, the wrong approach, Hiway 82 would have been better.

Vaune and I left Lakewood at 430 Friday(after checking on her car work) and drove up US 285 (I should have gone I70) getting to Buena Vista at about 645. Ate at Subway, then ~ 15miles north on US24 to Chaffee cty 390 (same road as Huron, Missouri, etc). it was about 30 minutes on this...~3 miles oiled until the Dude ranch, then 20mph gravel, do about 20 minutes from US24. We found informal campground at 9.4 miles from US24. Pretty nice, but dirty from others. Water was down a cliff (found a trail afterwords)

Up at 5am, Vaune served Granoloa, then in the car to drive to Winfield about 11.5mi from US24. Roach and 14ers.com described route as various points on the road where driving would stop, depending on vehicle. In reality, by far the worst point in the road was in Winfield, a road wash. Vaune able to guide me through it. Expectation was .6miles to cemetary then .2 more to a sign warning high clearance necessary. In reality, sign was at the cemetary, and road to the cemetary some of the worst the rest of the way. Walked ~ 1.6miles along the road, hoping for a hitchike (ony one vehicle passed us). Found there were some nice camping spots a .25 mile beyond the cemetary....and nobody there. Last part of road was jeepish, but maybe 200 yards. Only one guy drove that far to the official trailhead, where we regitered...with about 6 people in front of us.

Trail immediately steep until reaching treeline and meadow at 12000 feet. Quite boggy. Roach approach went up NE the main creek. Little evidence of trail this way. Trail continued, approx as per 14ers.com up the East face of a cliff band. This trail approach looked out of the way to Vaune and I so we climbed up a nice steep grassy approach slightly more North of the trail. this had really good footing, and found some supportable snow patches further up to avoid rocks.

Crested the cliffs and found the trail not too clear in the graaay flat. Headed towards obvious direction...As soon as the climb started, rolling on rocks a long unbroken way to 2 false summits. Eventually summited at 1050am. 1 guy was on his way down to west winfield, everybody else on summit had come from US82. They described it as straight forward, good trail with few rocks!!!! VAune offered chocolates to all.

Trip down was hard on the feet, my gel insoles were too tight. Vaune in brand new Lowa boots. Way back got to be pretty hot. Stayed the night at the campground
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:4386 ft / 1335 m
    Elevation Loss:4386 ft / 1335 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:4186 ft / 1275 m
    Extra Loss:200 ft / 60 m
    Route:Road to trailhead
    Trailhead:Winfield cemetary  10350 ft / 3154 m
    Time Up:3 Hours 40 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:4186 ft / 1275 m
    Extra Gain:200 ft / 60 m
    Route:same
    Trailhead:same  10350 ft / 3154 m



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