Forums Trip Reports LaPlata North Coulior, CO
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  • #576872
    319 Posts

    It’s been a thin year here in Colorado, but seems like we are still able to find a few things to ride and wanted to post up some stoke.

    Headed out Friday night to the trail head of La Plata.

    What’s this on the road? That’s a good sign.

    After driving a bit to far, we turned around and made camp.

    This made it a little easier for an early morning start, although my lazy butt couldn’t get out bed. We got loaded up and headed out. After getting stuck down in the weeds for a while, we finally got back on trail and was greated by this lovely sight.

    Mountains like this always give me a boost!

    Going Up!

    Keep Going.

    More to go.

    Finally! Barrows Summit Picture.

    Despite getting to the top in record slow time, the snow seemed to be holding up nicely so we took our time and soaked in the views. The weather was perfect. Cool, slight breeze, and clear. Not sure how many 14ers’ we could see from up here but this made for a great lunch.

    Looking West Towards Aspen.

    Looking South Towards the San Juans.

    I missed the entrance shot, but it was steep and bullet hard with lots of rocks. I had my doubts, pulled out the axe and made my way down 100 ft. Still seeing lots of rocks, I began to wonder what Barrows was thinking. He dropped in, passed me and radioed up that it’s getting softer!

    I rode down and leap frogged just a little past him and took this shot looking back up.

    Set up for a few riding shots and put away the axe.

    No tracks and fresh snow!


    More leap frogging and more action shots

    My turn to ride and out to the bottom. Looking back up

    Radioed up and gave the all clear and soft snow report!

    Barrows the little dot.

    Looking back up.

    Skinning out of the basin, we tried to get another picture of the Couliour.

    What a great day. Soft snow, killer views, long day, no one around, good riding partner…Mission accomplished! I was beat and ready for some real food.

    I put up more pictures than usual. Hopefully people like them.


    47 Posts

    Awesome pictures, that line is a classic!


    Nice job boys! Great photos.

    1490 Posts

    Thanks to Keffler for getting this up so quick, I thought I would add my comments.
    15 years ago, Mark Rikkers, Andrew Worm, and myself made the (probable) first snowboard descent of this line in good corn conditions, I thought it would be appropriate for the anniversary of that descent, to try and get the line in powder. The mid April storm in Colorado was kind of disappointing here in the Front Range, so I spent some time trying to figure out where it really snowed. The Independence Pass SNOTEL showed 2.5″ of SWE, and considering the line on the N side of La Plata is high quality, I was hopeful it would yield good powder conditions.
    Keffler on the ascent, BTW, that beautiful mountain in JK’s photo is Sayres, one of CO’s really nice 13ers.

    jkup1 by barrowsworm, on Flickr

    Keffler, approaching La Plata’s NW Ridge

    jkup2 by barrowsworm, on Flickr

    We had a rather arduous morning, getting a little lost, and having to transition from skinning to booting many times due to the combination of patches of deep snow, and bare ground or rock, but it was a beautiful day, we persevered, and eventually, summited Colorado’s fifth highest mountain.
    Keffler, summit shot

    jksum by barrowsworm, on Flickr

    The top section was relatively bulletproof, but we were able to drop in right off the high point. The first 50 feet or so went with some careful side slipping, the next 100 feet or so were rideable chalk, studded with a bunch of rocks, but we were able to link turns through this section, very carefully (this is also the steepest section ~48 degrees) feathering our edges to avoid hooking up on a rock and going over the bars. After the top 150 feet we were rewarded with the hoped for settled, deep powder, for over 2K’ of riding.
    Keffler handling the top bulletproof snow

    jkd1 by barrowsworm, on Flickr

    And in the powder, the rest of the way

    jkd2 by barrowsworm, on Flickr

    jkd3 by barrowsworm, on Flickr

    Keffler, stoked

    jkstoke by barrowsworm, on Flickr

    Tracks in the mid section couloirs, all powder snow in there

    traks by barrowsworm, on Flickr

    Fantastic snow, on a high peak, with an interesting steep and long line. The exit was even more arduous than the approach, and again included many transitions from booting to skinning and back, as well as some tricky routefinding to avoid dangerous south facing slopes, but it was well worth the effort.

    1113 Posts

    Nice one boyos. :thumpsup: Good to see a CO TR. I hope to get out a couple more times this season.

    700 Posts

    Nice shots guys.

    820 Posts

    :disco: Nice work, still getting after it. I’m hung up…

    74 Posts

    :thatrocks: Nice, so great to see some CO stoke, and the peaks are covered with the white stuff. I gonna add Sayres to the to do list. There seems to be at least two great lines on the La Plata gulch side.

    1490 Posts

    @waltzingmatilda wrote:

    :thatrocks: Nice, so great to see some CO stoke, and the peaks are covered with the white stuff. I gonna add Sayres to the to do list. There seems to be at least two great lines on the La Plata gulch side.

    Yup! Sayres has some very nice lines, on a better snow year, one would be able to drop right from the summit into some nice steep terrain for ~2K’.

    54 Posts

    Nicely done!

    wasatch surf
    979 Posts

    that looks real nice. good photos guys

    wasatch surf
    979 Posts

    that looks real nice. good photos guys

    38 Posts

    Good stuff. I got that line probably 5 or 6 years back in similar conditions. Fun shred and a beautiful approach. Did you guys look at Elbert? might still be good in there too…Bueno

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