The last 14er of the 2017 season, La Plata Peak. We were preparing for an upcoming trip to Mexico to climb volcanoes and this was one of our last trainers before the trip.
Snow was already in the high country, common for early October. The trail retained a decent amount on La Plata that day but we had a great weather window with manageable winds.
A friend, Julie, joined my partner and I to take the standard Northwest ridge route. She cruised up with me following and Ricardo shortly behind. We enjoyed some downtime on the summit taking photos and trying to stay warm.
The wind had picked up and it was getting cold so we didn’t stay too long after Ricardo topped out and we snapped some pics. On the way down Julie nearly missed the route but I was able to catch her part way and we descended to get back on track.
Julie descended ahead of Ricardo and I and separated from us at some point near the treeline. We continued on back to the trailhead where we realized she wasn’t back yet and became concerned. We waited for a long time before finally she reappeared having gotten lost and off trail for some time. We were just glad she made it back as we had seriously contemplated what our next moves were given the amount of time we waited.
Luckily all made it out safely and we had a great day!
Leadville is one of my most favorite mountain towns. A little gem with plenty of local options. Definitely spend some time here as you're passing through or even stay overnight to get better acclimated for your hike if you're coming from sea level.