Posted on May 7, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Exploring Colorado’s 14ers
Mount Elbert and Mount Massive are visible north of La Plata Peak’s summit.
Story and photos by Kim Fenske
Piercing the sky like a giant sundial over the Arkansas River Valley, 14,336 -foot La Plata Peak has an impressive knife ridge pointing southward toward Mount Oxford, Mount Belford, Missouri Peak, and Huron Peak.
La Plata is the fifth highest peak in Colorado, joining its slightly taller neighbors Mount Elbert, 14,433 feet, and Mount Massive, 14,421 feet, as leading skyscrapers of the Central Mountains.
The La Plata Peak Trailhead is a few miles west of Twin Lakes on the road to Independence Pass. The trailhead parking area is a small pad beside the highway. La Plata Gulch, the valley at the base of La Plata Peak, is accessible by a road crossing Lake Creek on the south side of Colorado Highway 82. The trail registry and entry into the forest is on the left side of the road.
A ptarmigan on La Plata Peak begins to change to summer colors.
Filed under: Colorado, hiking, recreation, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Colorado, Colorado 14ers, hiking, La Plata Peak | 2 Comments »
Posted on December 2, 2010 by Bob Berwyn
Rimed and partially rimed snowflakes on the windshield of a car in Frisco, Colorado.
Winds at higher elevations have built pockets of potentially dangerous snow slabs on leeward slopes; triggered slides likely in avalanche terrain
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — The avalanche danger in the Summit County backcountry edged up a notch, with pockets of considerable danger on north to east to south-facing slopes above tree line, as high winds scoured snow from windward aspects and deposited it as slab on some leeward slopes.
Those slabs have been identified below ridgelines, steep, elongated gullies and concave terrain features. Some of those slabs are sitting on unstable layers of faceted snow that can collapse like a house of cards under a trigger.
The considerable rating means that triggered avalanches are likely and natural avalanches are possible, requiring cautious route-finding, careful snowpack evaluation and conservative decision making in avalanche terrain. (more…)
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: avalanches, backcountry skiing, CAIC, Colorado, Colorado Avalanche Information Center, Colorado news, La Plata Peak, snow, Summit County News | Leave a Comment »